How can I afford my loved ones’ funeral?

How can I afford my loved ones’ funeral?

Sometimes death is unexpected and not only do you have to come to terms with loss and grief, but the added worry of paying for a funeral can be overwhelming. There are many options available to allow you to afford a funeral, and you may also qualify for government assistance. Having the most up-to-date information gives you the ability to make the most informed decisions and ease the stress on knowing what financial options you have.

What does a funeral cost?

Funeral costs depend on many options; whether you choose a burial or cremation, what type of service you’ll have, and a range of additional extras. While most funeral homes won’t have a fixed price, they can give you a guide of what you can expect and a range of packages for any budget. It’s always better to get an all-inclusive quote once you’ve decided on what you’d like so there are no hidden charges you haven’t allocated for. We at Cairns Funeral Directors, take pride in the fact that we are totally honest and up front with all additional costs, we will help you to keep within your budget, but still giving your loved one the best Celebration of their Life.

  • Purchasing and Reserving a gravesite
  • Minister or Celebrant fees
  • Newspaper Notices
  • Church and Venue Fees
  • Floral Tributes
  • After Hours transfer fees
  • Urns
  • Catering
  • Upgrading to a more personalized Coffin or Casket
  • PowerPoint
  • Service Booklets

Additional Costs:


What the packages can include:


A funeral package can include several extras and additional options to make the funeral as special and unique as you would like, or your loved one had wished for. But some costs are mandatory by Australian law and some things that you can choose as add-ons.


Some things included in a funeral package could be:


  • Transportation
  • Repatriation
  • The type of coffin or casket
  • Cremation fees and permits
  • Medical certificates
  • Death registration certificate
  • Mortuary care, preparation and viewing
  • Personalised Music
  • Personalised memorial book
  • Order of service sheets
  • Personalised framed photo
  • Personalised thank you cards

Can I get any assistance to pay the costs of a funeral?

If your loved one has a pre-arranged funeral in place, you’ll be relieved to know everything will be taken care of down to the costs and decision of how the funeral will take place. If your loved one hasn’t taken this option, there are some ways you can be supported financially with assistance.

Some of these are:

Government Assistance by Centrelink

Australian residents may be eligible for the following Centrelink bereavement payments:

  • Partner Allowance
  • Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Double Orphan Pension
  • Stillborn Baby Payment

Contact the Centrelink Bereavement Line on 132 850 for more information.

State Assistance

Under some circumstances, the state government can help families with payments as long as there is proof of hardship or that you’re unable to access funds to pay for it.

Bank Accounts

A bank will release funds from a deceased account if they have adequate funds, but only under a few conditions:

  • Only the funeral bill can be paid and only after the bank has the original tax invoice from the funeral director.
  • You can be reimbursed the funeral costs already paid with an original receipt.
  • No other related expenses such as the wake, or memorial can be paid from the deceased account.
  • The bank may need you to provide a copy of the medical certificate, death certificate, the deceased will with an invoice from the funeral director, so it’s advised to contact the bank ahead of time to know exactly what documents you’ll need.

Department of Veteran Affairs:

A Funeral Benefit may be granted in respect of funeral expenses of an Australian veteran who, at the time of death, was:

  • receiving a Special Rate (T&PI) Pension
  • receiving an Extreme Disablement Adjustment (EDA)
  • an ex-prisoner of war
  • receiving an increased rate of pension for a double amputation.

Where the veteran was in one of these categories, DVA will arrange payment of a Funeral Benefit direct to the estate of the deceased veteran.


A super fund will allow a family member access to their funds if they have been nominated. Some funds can also release a portion on compassionate grounds, but you’ll need to check with their provider.

Life or funeral Insurance

Life insurance can take some time for the funds to clear, so be prepared to out-lay costs first and then be reimbursed at a later time. Pre-paid funerals will be atomically paid to save the burden on the family.

Legal Options

Legally the person who arranges the funeral and signs the contract will ultimately be responsible for the fees. While there are several methods to obtain the costs mentioned above, if there is not enough money in the deceased estate and no life insurance or pre-paid funeral insurance, you will have an obligation to pay.

At Cairns Funerals, our funeral directors will guide you with the process and assist you in the variety of payment options. We will treat you with compassion, consideration, respect, and dignity through the most difficult time of losing a loved one.