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Death Benefits

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. As of 10/10/2021 there were 1,599 Tribal members that do not have a beneficiary listed for this benefit. 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 at the bottom of this page.

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 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 if 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 eighteen (18) and older as they may be the one responsible for making your funeral arrangements.
  • If your children are 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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions by the Tribal Member & Their Guardian

What is the Purpose of the Death Benefit Designation Form?

  • The Tribe provides coverage for up to $6,000 for funeral and burial costs at this time. The funeral and burial costs will be provided regardless if the Designation of Death Benefit Beneficiary form is on file or not.
  • There is a $1,000 benefit that is paid directly to the designated Death Benefit Beneficiary that is not used for the funeral and burial costs. There is no “default beneficiary” such as a spouse if married or parents if it is a minor child that should pass. The form is used for the Tribal member or their guardian to designate the person they want to receive the Death Benefit beneficiary amount. Anyone over the age of 18 as of the date the form is completed (Tribal member or non-tribal) family member or not, can be listed as the Death Benefit Beneficiary.
  • It is suggested to list at least two beneficiaries as most people travel with the person named as beneficiary #1 and may be involved in an accident together.
  • To name more than three (3) beneficiaries, attach an additional paper listing #4 through however many additional names you want.
  • This Form can be updated with the Enrollment Department as often as needed; both for designation of the Death Benefit Beneficiary and contact information. The form is REQUIRED to be notarized to ensure the Tribal member/their guardian completed the form.
  • Upon receiving notice of the passing of a Tribal member the staff will contact the first named Beneficiary listed on the most recently completed Form. Contact information for a non-Tribal beneficiary needs to be consistently updated so staff can reach them.
  • Per the Tribal Confidentiality Policy, Tribal Staff cannot share the name or contact information of the Beneficiary with anyone other than the Beneficiary.
  • The named Beneficiary can choose to designate another person to make the funeral arrangements on their behalf, however, payment will still be sent to the named Beneficiary.
  • The original Form must be returned to the Enrollment Department. A copy of the Form should be kept with other legal documents such as the Last Will & Testament. A copy of the Form should also be given to the Beneficiaries as well as a copy of this guide.
  • If you don’t know who you have designated as your Death Benefit Beneficiary or their contact information may have changed, complete an updated form!

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.

Staff Assistance

CTSI staff supportive assistance is available during the funeral planning process.

Plot Location*:
Culture Department

Grave-site Prep*:
Public Works

Honor Guard & Veterans:
Tony Molina

Community Center:
Heidi Lussier

Dance House:
Culture Department

Anita Bailor

Tribal Casket:
Enrollment Department
800-922-1399 ext. 1258

If there is other assistance not listed you are in need of, please contact the Enrollment Staff.

For burial at Paul Washington Cemetery*