Death Benefit & Insurance
Obviously, none of us wants to think about passing away and our funeral. Inevitably, it will happen...to all of us. We should do our best to make sure we have arranged what we can do. One simple thing you can do, submit your Designation of Death Benefit Beneficiary form to the Enrollment Department.
The Siletz Tribe carries Death Benefit Insurance on all tribal members, including children, for funeral and burial costs. As of 2/1/2016 there were 1,421 tribal members that DO NOT have a beneficiary listed for this benefit. Are you, a family member or your children one of them?
Please check with your family members to see if they have submitted their paperwork for this important benefit. If it has already been submitted, when was the last time it was updated for contact information for the beneficiary? Do you know whom you have listed as your beneficiary? The form to update can be found at the bottom of this page.
Would you like to make some of the arrangements for your funeral service in advance for your family? Do you have a family member that may pass soon but you are not sure what they would want for their funeral services? There is a Funeral Pre-Planning tool now available that may assist you in talking with your family. The tool can be found at the bottom of this page. The form is for your personal use and is not to be returned to the Tribe.
Things you need to know:
- Tribal members need to fill out and keep an updated Designation of Death Benefit Beneficiary form. It can then be updated at any time to name a different beneficiary or to update the contact information for the beneficiary. It is extremely important to update your Death Benefit Beneficiary Designation form anytime you marry, divorce, or it your designated person passes away.
- If there is no beneficiary named on the appropriate tribal form, the beneficiary amount remains with the Tribe and only funeral expenses will be covered. If your child DOES NOT have a Designation of Death Benefit Beneficiary form on file with the Enrollment Department, the parent is NOT the default beneficiary. There is NO "default beneficiary"!
- The designated beneficiary needs to be age 18 and older as they may be the one responsible for making your funeral arrangements.
- Are your children over the age of 18 now? They need to update their beneficiary. You can now update your beneficiary to include them.
- The Enrollment Department keeps the original form on file with the tribal member's Enrollment file. In the event of your passing, the most recent form that has been submitted is what will be used to determine the Beneficiary for this benefit.
- The beneficiary can be anyone. A tribal member or non-tribal member. They can be a family member or not. The most common beneficiary is a parent, spouse, adult children, or someone trusted who will be in charge of funeral arrangements.
- Most funeral homes are willing to work with the Tribe so families do not have to pay out-of-pocket costs up to the benefit amount. Some funeral homes are not, so please be aware of that. You should research what the funeral home you are planning to use will accept.
- If the funeral expenses are less than the current benefit amount, then the unused balance of the death benefit goes directly to the beneficiary.
- If the funeral expenses are over the current benefit amount, the balance of the expenses is the responsibility of the person making the funeral arrangements.
- The beneficiary (insurance) amount is separate from the funeral costs and will be paid directly to the beneficiary after the original death certificate has been received.
- If there is no beneficiary listed, the funeral and burial expenses are still paid and the Enrollment will work with the family and funeral home. However, any unused balance of the death benefit and the insurance will go unpaid to anyone.
- The Tribe has caskets on hand that have a Pendleton blanket liner that can be purchased with death benefits or directly.
- If you have specific wishes for your burial, please let your family members know this. There is a tool available under the forms section titled "Funeral Service Pre-Planning Tool" that may assist in talking with your family and loved ones regarding your funeral wishes. You may also want to research costs for plots and fees if you wish to be buried someplace other than the Siletz cemetery.
If you have questions about the Death Benefits, tribal caskets or completing the Designation Benefit Beneficiary form, please contact the Enrollment Staff.