This article is a section taken from MA for People Who Are Age 65 or Older or People Who Are Blind or Have a Disability (MA-ABD), a part of the revisions and additions to the Minnesota Health Care Program Eligibility Policy Manual.

Burial Space Exclusion

Two separate and distinct exclusions apply to assets set aside for burial expenses. All assets set aside for burial expenses must be evaluated to determine if they may be excluded under one of the exclusions. This section discusses the Burial Space Exclusion (BSE). The Burial Fund Exclusion (BFE) will be discussed in the subsequent section.

The BSE allows burial space items to be excluded without limiting their value. Burial space items include the burial site, a repository for bodily remains, services performed at the burial site, and items related to the burial site. Only burial space items (BSI) may be excluded under the BSE. Burial services are never excluded under the BSE.

Requirements for an Asset under the BSE

An asset excluded under the BSE must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Each BSI must be itemized on the burial contract.
  • Each BSI must be paid in full.
  • There is no limit to the value of a BSI excluded under the BSE.
  • Each person is allowed one BSI serving a particular purpose.
  • A married person may purchase two burial contracts allocating funds for each spouse, but cannot have one contract covering expenses for both spouses.
  • When someone owns additional BSIs, a signed statement or copy of the burial contract with the name of the person for whom each BSI is intended and that person’s relationship to the buyer will be evaluated.

Assets Held for Family Members

People can exclude assets under the BSE for themselves and the following immediate family members:

  • Parents, including adoptive parents
  • Minor or adult children, including adoptive and stepchildren
  • Siblings, including adoptive and stepsiblings
  • Spouses of the above family members if they are still legally married at the time of the purchase

Assets Excluded under the BSE

The following is excluded under the BSE:

  • The total value of a contract that only allocates an amount for BSIs
  • The amount allocated for itemized BSIs when the contract lists both BSI and burial services

If the person cannot distinguish BSIs from burial services in the contract:

  • All expenses are categorized as services and none as BSIs.
  • The person may ask the funeral provider to amend the contract, distinguishing burial services from BSIs.
  • The expenses under the BSE are not excluded if the contract is not amended.

The BSE is in addition to the $1,500 BFE. A burial asset is excluded under one exclusion or the other, but not simultaneously under both.

Legal Citations

Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.056, subdivision 1a
Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.056, subdivision 3d

CREDIT: The content of this post has been copied or adopted from the Minnesota Healthcare Programs Eligibility Policy Manual, originally published by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

This is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Healthcare Eligibility Policies.