Medical Assistance for People Who Are Age 65 or Older and People Who Are Blind or Have a Disability Burial Space Exclusion

A burial space or agreement which represents the purchase of a burial space held for the burial of the person, his or her spouse, or any other member of his or her immediate family is an excluded asset, regardless of value.

Burial Space

A burial space is a(n):

  • Burial Plot;

  • gravesite;

  • crypt;

  • mausoleum;

  • casket;

  • urn;

  • niche; or

  • other repository customarily and traditionally used for the deceased's bodily remains.

 A burial space also includes necessary and reasonable improvements or additions to such spaces, including but not limited to:

  • vaults;

  • headstones, markers, or plaques;

  • burial containers (e.g. for caskets); and

  • arrangements for the opening and closing of the gravesite.

For example, a contract for care and maintenance of the gravesite, sometimes referred to as endowment or perpetual care, can be excluded as a burial space.

No Effect on Burial Fund Exclusion

The burial space exclusion is in addition to, and has no effect on, the burial fund exclusion (see MA-ABD Burial Fund Exclusion).

Multiple Burial Spaces

For items that serve the same purpose, only one item is excluded per person. For example, a cemetery lot and a casket for the same person is excluded, but not a casket and an urn for the same person. If a person has multiple burial space items for the same purpose, the person may choose the one to which the exclusion will apply.

Spaces Owned by a Person's Spouse or Sponsor

Burial spaces owned by a spouse whose assets deem to a person for the burial of an eligible person, his/her spouse and/or any member of the eligible person's immediate family (including the spouse or sponsor) are excluded.

Agreement Which Represents the Purchase of a Burial Space

An agreement which represents the purchase of a burial space is a contract with a provider for a burial space held for the eligible person or a member of their immediate family.

Person's Immediate Family

The person's immediate family includes the person's:

  • parents, including adoptive parents;

  • minor or adult children, including adoptive and stepchildren;

  • siblings (brothers and sisters), including adoptive and stepsiblings;

  • spouses of the above relatives.

If the relative's relationship to the person is by marriage only, the marriage must be in effect in order for the burial space exclusion to continue to apply. For example, a burial space held for a sister-in-law is no longer excluded if she and the person's brother divorce.

Held For

A burial space is "held for" a person when they have:

  • title to and/or possesses a burial space intended for the person's use (for example, has title to a burial plot or owns a burial urn stored in the basement for his or her own use); or

  • a contract with a funeral service company for the specified burial spaces for the person's burial (i.e., an agreement which represents the person's current right to use the items at the amount shown).

Until the purchase price is paid in full, burial spaces are not "held for" a person under an installment sales contract or similar device if:

  • the person does not currently own the space;

  • the person does not currently have the right to use the space; and

  • the seller is not currently obligated to provide the space.

Until all payments are made on the contract, the amounts paid may be excluded under the $1,500 burial funds exclusion. See MA-ABD Burial Fund Exclusion for more information.

Agreements Which Represent the Purchase of a Burial Space

If the contract shows the purchase of a burial space at the specified price, the space is held for the person, and the contract is irrevocable, it is not an asset. If the contract is revocable, or the space is not held for the person, it is an asset that is not excluded under the burial space exclusion but could be excluded under the burial funds exclusion.

Legal Citations

United States Code, title 42, section 1382b

Code of Federal Regulations, title 20, section 416.1231

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

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