Alabama law states that all counties are charged with the burial of unclaimed or indigent bodies at the county's expense.
Whenever any person dies in Mobile County, and the decedent's family and immediate relatives are indigent and unable to provide for an interment, Mobile County through the Mobile County Commission Administration will grant a cremation, unless religion prohibits it. Section 38-8-2 of the Alabama Code applies to the legal authority and obligation on the part of the County in bearing only the necessary burial/cremation expenses of the indigent.
Next of kin requesting indigent burial assistance must first obtain an Application for Indigent Burial. The person must then call the number below and make an appointment to come in person and turn in the application and supporting documents. The County will review the indigent status of the individual as well as the financial status of immediate family members according to the procedures of the Mobile County Commission. Once indigence is verified and application approved, the County Administrator's Office will make contact with Serenity Funeral Home or Small's Mortuary for arrangements.
Please note the following details regarding the Indigent Burial Program:
- The decedent must have died in Mobile County.
- Unless prohibited by religious statute, the decedent will be cremated.
- Next of kin include the surviving spouse, parent(s), adult children, adult siblings, and/or legal guardian.
- The County does not provide for subsidization of privately arranged funerals.
- The decedent and next of kin cannot own real property in Mobile County
- The County bases eligibility on federal poverty guidelines. Insurance, income, property, and assets will be reviewed to determine eligibility.
- Lack of life insurance or burial policy does NOT constitute indigence. A decedent who has a prepaid burial plan, burial plot, or burial insurance benefits is not eligible for an indigent burial.
To apply for assistance, please contact:
Edith Gray, Administrative Assistant
County Administrator's Office
Phone: (251) 574-5980
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