Connecticut funeral homes deal with cut in indigent benefit

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HARTFORD — Connecticut funeral directors say it will be more challenging to carry out of the final wishes of the indigent.

The new state budget that took effect on July 1 reduces the $1,800 maximum funeral benefit to $1,400 in order to help balance the state’s budget.

Howard K. Hill, president of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association, said the cut underscores the need for families to prepare financially for their final arrangements.

Hill said he and other funeral directors are finding it “more and more difficult to help families in need.” Hill owns funeral homes in Hartford and New Haven.

The national median cost for a complete adult funeral in 2012 was $7,045, or $8,343 if there’s a vault.

Connecticut spent about $4.5 million for 2,557 funerals and burials in 2014.