Payment for a funeral
The person who contacts the funeral director and orders the funeral is legally responsible for paying the costs of the funeral although the money will usually come from the deceased's estate. If money is a problem it is worth contacting several funeral directors to see if fees are negotiable or if payment may be made by instalment. Some banks and other financial institutions will release funds from an account of the deceased person to pay funeral expenses.
Help with funeral costs
If a person has no next of kin or the next of kin are receiving certain social security payments, the Department of Human Services (SA) may arrange and pay for a cremation. For more information contact the Funerals Assistance Programme.
For information about possible assistance from Centrelink (federal government), see What to do following a death.
Associations or clubs
Some associations or clubs may pay a small funeral benefit for members or people who need assistance.
It is worth enquiring of the union to which the deceased belonged whether or not any benefits are available.
Health insurance schemes
Some schemes cover funeral benefits. Check the policy or contact the health insurance company.
Banks may lend money to low income earners and pensioners. A home equity loan may be appropriate for those with real estate who need access to cash (see Consumer Credit). A loan should not be accepted without knowing:
- the precise rate of interest to be paid
- exactly how much will have to be paid back
- over what period of time the loan will continue.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.