Clay County Indigent Cremation Program
Clay County Indigent Cremation Policy
Revised February 2021
The Indigent Cremation Program is managed by the Clay County Public Administrator on behalf of the Clay County Commission. This is a program of last resort, and the policy will only be utilized in the most extreme cases of poverty, lack of family connections, and/or abandonment. According to the laws of the State of Missouri, next-of-kin have the responsibility of the right of sepulcher for a deceased person, so the indigent cremation policy can only be utilized in the most extreme cases.
194.119. Right of sepulcher, the right to choose and control final disposition of a dead human body. — 1. As used in this section, the term "right of sepulcher" means the right to choose and control the burial, cremation, or other final disposition of a dead human body.
Clay County will pay for the disposition of a deceased person’s remains at the funeral home of the County’s choice. Payments will be made to the funeral home and/or provider for cremation services only. No payments will be made to a third party. The body must already be located in the Kansas City area. Clay County will not incur costs of transportation. The Clay County Public Administrator must approve all applications.
- The deceased must not have combined assets totaling at or over $1,000.00
- The deceased must not own any taxable personal property or real property.
- The deceased must meet qualifications to receive public assistance, even if the deceased was not receiving assistance at the time of their death. The Missouri Department of Social Services will confirm eligibility.
The deceased must be a resident of Clay County, Missouri.
The following will be considered to determine residence qualifications:
- Where the deceased resided on a daily basis, including but not limited to if they had a lease, paid room and board or rent.
- Where the deceased paid taxes.
- Where the deceased listed their residence for official purposes such as on a State of Missouri official identification or for correspondence with a federal agency.
- Where the deceased’s non-taxable personal property is located.
- Whether a criminal or probate court in a county of the state of Missouri or Kansas has previously or currently assumed jurisdiction over the deceased.
- Where the deceased died.
- Any and all assets of the deceased must be turned over to the Clay County Public Administrator and these assets will be utilized to reimburse Clay County, Missouri for the expenses related to the cremation of the deceased and internment of their remains.
- Remains will be released pursuant to Missouri Revised Statute 194.119.
- If no one collects the remains, then one year after the date of cremation (or at the earliest convenient date after one year after cremation), Clay County will arrange for the final disposition of the cremated remains. The disposition can include but is not limited to being scattered at a scatter garden or pond, being interred, or being placed in a crypt, and the disposition could occur on public or private property.
This document constitutes the policy of the Clay County Indigent Cremation Program. However, it is not intended to be controlling and dispositive for each and every circumstance, and the Public Administrator’s office reserves the right to exercise its discretion upon investigation and interpretation of the totality of the facts and circumstances when administering the Indigent Cremation Program.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Andrea Pilgrim with the Clay County Public Administrator’s Office at 816-407-3250.
- For applications or inquiries, contact Andrea Pilgrim by phone at 816-407-3253 or contact us via email form.
Please fill out the email form below.
There are approximately 350 people in Clay County, Missouri under guardianship and conservatorship with the Public Administrator's Office.
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