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Who is Looking After the Funeral?

You would be surprised at what happens, when it happens. No one is really sure about who is looking after what.

If you are the executor of a deceased person’s will,you have the legal responsibility to make their funeral arrangements. You can pass this responsibility to a family member or friend.

If there is no will, the next of kin, other family members or friends usually arrange the funeral before the courts appoint an administrator. The person arranging the funeral is financially responsible for it, and is the only person who can make arrangements with the cemetery or crematorium.

If you wish, you can make your own arrangements for your funeral. This gives you a chance to have a funeral you are happy with, and relieves distressed relatives of the burden.


Before you sign an agreement for a funeral you should discuss payment options with the funeral director, and find out if any money is available to help with the costs. Money may come from:

  • The estate – the deceased persons bank may allow money to be withdrawn from the account to pay for the funeral expenses.
  • A funeral benefit fund the deceased may have contributed to.
  • A superannuation fund or a life insurance.
  • Department of Veteran Affairs or Returned Service mens organisations.
  • A health fund, trade union or pensioners organisation.
  • Centrelink.


The deceased may have left documents instructing the use of a particular funeral director. If not, then the executor will have to find one. This is an unfortunate task, but it makes sense to shop around and find someone with whom you are comfortable. Relatives may know of someone.


  • Registration of the death, and obtaining certificates and permits.
  • Co – ordination between clergy or celebrant and cemetery or crematorium.
  • Transportation of the body.
  • Preparing the body, and supplying the casket or coffin.
  • Transportation ( the hearse ).
  • Handling fees, flowers, and notices.


It makes sense to get quotes and compare costs with various funeral directors, and you should obtain an itemised quote before signing on the dotted line. All funeral directors have a ” basic funeral ” which gives the deceased a dignified departure and takes care of the necessary details at a reasonable cost. The cheapest option is a direct committal, which is a burial or cremation without a service. If this is chosen, the family can hold a memorial service at a later date.

There will be a range of coffins and caskets to choose from, and there may be additional costs to be paid directly to the cemetery or crematorium for plots, niches, or urns.

If a cremation is chosen, you have the option of scattering the ashes, or keeping them at home.