My Mom is on medicaid and wants to buy an irrevocable burial arrangement with money she saved. Can she do that?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Uniontown, PA

Does she need to tell COA if she buys the burial arrangement?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Unde PA law, your mother is free to do so according to the following

    Burial resources include both burial spaces and burial reserves.
    55 Pa. Code 178.3

    The CAO will verify:
    Resource Disregard and Exclusion of Burial Plots-OPS031102

    < the status of each burial reserve;

    < the amount and availability of interest earned on all burial reserves;

    < the balance of each revocable burial reserve; and

    < the money set aside for burial if co-mingled with other funds.

    Burial reserves may be verified by a statement from the financial institution or funeral director holding the funds.


    An irrevocable burial reserve is a fund held in trust or under contract with a financial institution or a funeral director. No part of the fund may be withdrawn before the client's death and the fund must be used for burial expenses.
    55 Pa. Code 178.5

    Funds held in an irrevocable burial reserve are excluded. There is no limit on the amount that can be set aside in an irrevocable burial reserve. If the amount is exorbitant in relation to the cost of most funerals in the area, the CAO will want to be very certain that the funds are irrevocable. An irrevocable burial reserve is not considered exorbitant if it exceeds the average local cost by no more than 25 percent.

    To be considered irrevocable, burial reserve funds must be deposited with a financial institution or a funeral director under a written agreement which provides that the funds cannot be withdrawn before the death of the beneficiary.

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  2. Justin Jay Watling

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Generally, purchase of a burial contract will be allowed. There probably is a limit as to the amount that can be spent. COA will need to be advised.

    Consult a local attorney before you take any action, and make that consult sooner rather than later.

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