Death Benefits & Insurance
Though it can be difficult to think about our own passing and funeral arrangements, it’s important that you designate a Death Beneficiary to help ease the financial burden for your loved ones in the event of your passing. You can do this by 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. If you, a family member, or your child is one of them, it is strongly advised that you designate a beneficiary to receive this insurance.
Please check with your family members to see if they have submitted their paperwork for this important benefit. If it has already been submitted, you should review when the last time it was updated for contact information for the beneficiary. If you do not remember who you have listed as your beneficiary, contact the Enrollment department to confirm. If you need to update your beneficiary, the form to update can be found above.
If you would like to make some of the arrangements for your funeral service in advance or have a family member that may pass soon but are unsure of what they would want for their funeral service, there is a Funeral Pre-Planning tool available that may assist you in talking with your family. The tool can be found near 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
- The Tribe provides coverage up to $6,000 for funeral and burial costs. The funeral and burial costs will be provided regardless if there is a Beneficiary on file or not.
- If there is a Beneficiary on file, they will be paid the $1,000 benefit amount after the original death certificate has been received.
- There is no default beneficiary such as a spouse or parent.
- 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 if your designated person passes away.
- If there is no beneficiary, the beneficiary amount remains with the Tribe and only funeral expenses will be covered. 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.
- 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.
- The designated beneficiary needs to be age eighteen (18) and older as they may be the one responsible for making your funeral arrangements.
- If your child is over the age of eighteen (18), they will need to update their beneficiary. You can also now update your beneficiary to include them if you’d like.
- The beneficiary can be anyone. A Tribal member or non-Tribal member or a family member or not. The most common beneficiary is a parent, spouse, adult child, or someone trusted who will be in charge of funeral arrangements.
- Tribal Member/Guardian is responsible to update information on a Non-Tribal beneficiary so Enrollment Staff may reach them.
- It is suggested to list at least two beneficiaries. If more than three beneficiaries, attach an additional sheet of paper.
- This form is required to be notarized to ensure the Tribal Member/their guardian completed the form.
- Before submitting the Designation of Death Benefit Beneficiary form to the Enrollment Department, make a copy of the form to keep in personal file with other legal documents such as the Last Will & Testament. A copy of the form may be given to the Beneficiary as well.
- Designation of Death Benefit Beneficiary may be returned to us in person or mail via U.S. Postal Service.
- Upon receiving notice of the passing of a Tribal Member the Enrollment Staff will contact the first named Beneficiary listed on the most recent completed form.
- Per Tribal Confidential Policy, Tribal Staff cannot share the Beneficiary’s name and/or contact information with anyone other than the Beneficiary.
- The Beneficiary may choose to designate another person to make the funeral arrangements on their behalf, this does NOT change who the beneficiary is.
- 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. Be aware some funeral homes are not. You should research what the funeral home you plan to use.
- If the funeral expenses are less than the current benefit amount, the unused balance remains in the funeral fund.
- If the funeral expenses are over the current benefit amount, the person making the funeral arrangements will be responsible for the balance.
- The Tribe has caskets on hand that can be purchased with death benefits or paid directly.
- If you have specific wishes for your burial, please let your family members know this. 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 do have a beneficiary on file but cannot remember who is it is, contact Enrollment Staff to confirm who you named as your beneficiary.
Notify Passing of Tribal Member, Tribal Casket, or Other Assistance Not Listed
Plot Location at Paul Washington in Siletz and/or Dance House
Grave-site Prep at Paul Washington in Siletz
Honor Guard & Veterans
Tribal Community Center in Siletz
Funeral Pre-Planning Tool
The Funeral Pre-Planning Tool may assist in talking with your family and loved ones regarding your funeral wishes. You may use this for your personal use a record.
Frequently Asked Questions by the Beneficiary
Who do I notify in the event of the passing of a Tribal member?
Notify the Enrollment Department of the Tribal Members date of passing and the contact information for the funeral home.
What items does the death benefit insurance cover?
The Beneficiary or family can use the funds for the cost of the funeral attendant, casket, burial plot, flowers, head stone/marker, vault, facility use, or any other costs associated with the funeral services.
How do I explain the death benefits to the funeral home?
Provide the Funeral Home with the Enrollment Department’s contact information. Staff will send them information on the process and amount of the death benefit available for the funeral and burial costs.
My loved one was a Veteran, is there assistance with arranging for a Tribal honor guard?
The Tribe has a Veteran Coordinator that can assist you with this, see the listing under Staff Assistance on this page.
How do I purchase a casket with the Pendleton blanket lining?
Contact the Enrollment Department to make arrangements to view the caskets that are immediately available for purchase. The Tribal casket comes in pine or cedar finishes depending on the size of the casket and the lining is made from the Tribal Pendleton blanket . The on-hand caskets can be picked up in Siletz and delivery is available at a fee. Both the cost of the casket and delivery fee will be paid from the Death Benefits.
What does the beneficiary or funeral home need to submit to process payments?
In order to process payment to the Funeral Home and then the Beneficiary, the Enrollment Officer will need an ORIGINAL death certificate (long form) and a copy of the Funeral Home’s invoice/contract for services. Depending on accounting deadlines, payments can take up to three weeks to process. The original death certificate will NOT be returned, it will remain on file with the Tribal member’s file in the Enrollment Department.
How do I publicly announce funeral arrangements with the Tribe?
Once the funeral arrangements have been decided please notify the Enrollment Officer. The family has the option for the public posting of the funeral services within all Tribal offices –OR– they can choose not to have the services publicly announced in which case the staff will publish that the services are private. At the families discretion, staff will commonly include the name and address of the person designated to receive condolences for the family.