Marion County continues to look after unclaimed bodies 

The commission approved additional services for unclaimed deceased Marion County residents. 

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Posted November 21, 2022 | By Morgan Ryan
morgan@ocalagazette.com 

Roberts of Ocala Funerals and Cremations will continue to handle unclaimed bodies in Marion County under a revised agreement unanimously approved recently by the Marion County Board of County Commissioners.

Roberts oversees the disposition process as part of a longstanding service offered by the county. This service includes pickup, storage and disposal of all unclaimed bodies in Marion County, as well as all legal documentation.

In most cases, unclaimed bodies are the result of the county being unable to find any relatives or friends of the deceased to take charge of the funeral arrangements. Roberts Funeral Home makes sure they are properly laid to rest.

The board renewed the annual contract with Roberts with several revisions, one of which involved the search for assets the deceased may have had, such as property or bank accounts.

The revised agreement calls for the funeral home to perform an asset search on the deceased. If any assets are located that could be used to cover the costs of cremation and other disposition services, the funeral home first notifies the county of the assets. The county now has the option of seeking reimbursement of its costs through liens, in lieu of Roberts doing so.

The agreement also now includes additional services for veterans at the request of the Marion County Veterans Council. The council has requested that veterans’ remains be made available for a Military Funeral Honors Ceremony.

Marion County has allocated $720 per body to fund the disposition process, and there is an estimated $46,000 to fund the service in the 2022-2023 budget.