Forsyth County revises policy for providing financial assistance for burials

Justine Lookenott
The Forsyth County Commissioners revised the policy regarding pauper burials during the July 12 work session meeting(Image by Getty Images)

(Forsyth County, GA) During the July 12 Forsyth County Commissioners Work Session, the policy regarding pauper burials was revised.

Since 2017, the County has funded about 30 to 38 pauper burials per year. So how exactly do pauper burials work in Forsyth County?

Pauper burials qualifications

There are two main qualifications for those seeking a pauper burial:

  • The deceased must have passed away in Forsyth County (Legal county of residence does not matter)
  • The deceased and their family must be unable to provide for the deceased’s burial or cremation

The Forsyth County Finance Department will determine financial eligibility by assessing the income and resources of the deceased and their immediate family members.

If a death occurs over the weekend, the body will remain at the morgue until the eligibility for burial services is determined and the family can be interviewed.
Forsyth County has funded about 30 to 38 pauper burials per year since 2017(Image by Getty Images)

Provided funds for pauper burials

Since 2017, Forsyth County has spent between $36,000 to $56,000 per year on pauper burials. With the revised policy, these costs will be going up.

The previous policy for pauper burials only allowed for cremations at a cost of no higher than $1,200. The revised policy raises that cost to $1,500 and also allows for burials with the same price limit.

Cremation services include:

  • Transfer of remains
  • Direct cremation
  • Minimum vessel in which to store ashes

Burial services include:

  • Transfer of remains
  • Minimum casket
  • Poly box grave liner

The revised policy also allocates $2,600 for burial plots in situations where the deceased and their family are unable to provide for one.

In total, qualified applicants are given $4,100 dollars for a burial or cremation and for burial plots.
Forsyth County has spent between $36,000 to $56,000 per year on pauper burials since 2017(Image by Getty Images)

In case of an unclaimed body, Georgia law requires the county to alert the Board for the Distribution of Cadavers. If the Board decides to claim the body, the County is removed from providing burial services to the unknown deceased.

To request burial assistance, contact the Forsyth County Finance Department at 770-205-4535 or at

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact Justine Lookenott at

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I cover local news in Forsyth County, GA. My debut into the writing world began at the age of 10 when I won an essay contest in Around Acworth Magazine in which I wrote about spending the summer with my pet goat, Eclair. Since graduating from Kennesaw State University, I have been published in several newspapers and magazines in the Atlanta area including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta School Guide, What Now Atlanta, Newcomer Magazine, the Marietta Daily Journal and the Cherokee Tribune.

Forsyth County, GA

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