Welcome to the second part of; What to do if someone dies (Part II)
Check the links below for:
- Organ donation
If the deceased had wished to donate their organs it’s important to move quickly as the process of donation needs to happen soon after death.
If the person dies in a hospital the staff can check that the person is a registered donor via the Australian Organ Donor Register (The Donor Register lets authorised medical staff who have permission from the Australian Government check your donation information anywhere in Australia, 24 hours a day, seven days a week).
Consent is always needed before donation can go ahead, so it’s important if you are considering organ donation to discuss the decision with your next of kin and those close to you so the decision to donate is upheld.
If you are not aware whether the departed wants to donate, then the next of kin are required whether or not to donate the departed’s organs.
- For further information, read more about organ donation article by Choice Australia.
- If there is there a will or pre-paid funeral arrangements
Just prior to arranging a funeral home is a great time to reach out and confirm the death with family and next of kin, if not done earlier then it is also the perfect time to enquire about the existence of a will or any pre-paid funeral service or nominated funeral home.
Often steps have been taken by the departed or a trusted loved one with regards to financial arrangements or with matters regarding directions as to how a funeral service would like to be conducted, Family, aides or lawyers for the deceased (via a will) are good places to start asking before reaching out to the funeral home directly.
- Appointing a Funeral Home and Funeral Service
Be aware that the choice of funeral home is yours to choose, however if refrigeration is not available and the departed needs to be moved, if you have no-one organised – parties may tend to recommend one on your behalf. If you are unhappy with the initial choice of funeral homes, then simply let the funeral home know and alternate arrangements can be easily accommodated.
Preferred Funeral Director – If the departed or family has a preferred Funeral Home determined, simply contact them to arrange transport of your departed.
No Preferred Funeral Director – If the departed has not indicated or the family hasn’t chosen a funeral director then one will need to be determined.
Choosing a suitable funeral home amongst others can be complicated, due to the many Service Levels, Religious Customs, Options and Price points available.
Our website makes it easy to compare funeral homes and also get a feel for their offerings in order to make a clear decision quicker, as well as assist organising the whole funeral process and assist with. Matters of Estate for executors as well.
Either start by:
- Click the link Organise a funeral to
- start using our customised planning tools including our funeral home directory
- use an auto-created perpetual memorial page for the departed that is available for others to share images and videos and post tributes for
- planning tool has unique functionality to notify invitees via SMS Email or Social Media to the funeral including Map Guidance
- Search the service directory and choose the category for funeral homes.
Notes on choosing a funeral home
- Look for an indication of cost? While a funeral home may not be able to give you a solid quote, a ball park cost including what services are included is really helpful.
Some basic services are required for any funeral and these can be compared (Transfer of Remains & Hearse fees, Professional fees, Death Certificate and Casket/Coffin Cost)
- Did they offer enough information about what you need to do and what procedures need to be followed? Equally, was the funeral home engaged and prepared to listen to your requirements?
Once you’ve chosen and engaged a funeral home, a representative will see you as soon as possible to go through the details about what is to happen next and to transfer the body. You will also have to provide information such as the deceased’s name, age, religion, next of kin – the details of when the funeral might be held can also be discussed at the time or you can organise to discuss it a little later.
There are many optional considerations which can be included into a funeral service.
According to ASIC the fees for a basic cremation can start from $4,000 to around $15,000 for an elaborate casket, burial and flowers (not including a cemetery plot).
Paying for a funeral
Besides the actual service of the day and considering overall finances it is often best to plan the total funeral journey most often consisting of burial or cremation plus interment costs.
(i.e. Cemetery Plot + Optional Monument or Niche for Cremation – these are separate costs).
Depending on your circumstances, the following funds may be available:
- Insurance or funeral bond payouts
- Money in the deceased’s bank account
- Superannuation funds
- Government allowances or bereavement payments
- Bereavement payments for veterans or Indigenous Australians
- Assistance from clubs, trade unions, or associations that the deceased was a member of
Funeral finance is also worthwhile considering, many funerals loans can be paid out easily once money from the estate is settled, however prior to these disbursements becoming available then the potential benefits of using finance include:
- Having access to cash immediately, so that levels of funeral service are not restricted or limited by immediate funds available.
- If the departed has a joint account with a spouse, once the death is registered the account is immediately frozen until probate is completed. Unfortunately, the spouse will not be able to access these funds except for a 1-time disbursement to the funeral home upon presentation of an invoice from the funeral home.
- Avoiding dipping into personal savings which can impact on other financial areas e.g. taking funds from offset accounts may unintentionally increase repayments on other loans (home loans etc.)
- Probate and Estate matters can take a variable amount of time and not knowing when costs paid in advance will be refunded
Check out this link for some further information on accessing finance in a hurry.
We trust this article is of use, for the next part please follow the link below:
To download this complete checklist you can use our link Funeral Planning Checklist.