Article Category - Wills & Estates 19 February 2020

It's hard enough losing a loved one, but if you haven't been in this situation before you might not know where to start or what to do first? We have put together this quick guide to help point you in the right direction and hopefully take some of the stress out of a naturally difficult time. 

Arranging a Funeral: Upon the death of a person, it usually falls on the spouse or partner of the deceased organise the funeral.

However, before organising a funeral you should first check their Will (if they have one) to find out if they have left any wishes regarding their preferences for a burial or a cremation, as well as any other preferences for how they would like their life to be celebrated.

Paying for a Funeral: What is a sorrowful time can often become a stressful time with families left wondering how they will pay for a funeral? It's useful to know that a bank will release funds on the presentation of a tax invoice from the funeral home from the deceased's bank account to pay for their funeral (where funds are available).

Usually costs of the Order of service, wake and other expenses associated with the death are not covered by the deceased's bank account but these additional expenses will in time be reimbursed from their estate.

Arranging a Death Certificate: The funeral home will organise for a death certificate to be issued once the funeral is completed.

The original Death Certificate will be sent from Births Deaths and Marriages to the funeral home, and the funeral home will then provide this to the next of kin.

The funeral home will also let Centrelink or Veteran Affairs know of the death, as if the deceased was receiving a pension and a pension payment is made to their bank account after their death, these payment will need to be paid back to either Centrelink or Veteran Affairs.

What's next? There is not a lot that can really be done to commence proceeding to call in and finalise the deceased's assets and liabilities until the death certificate has been received. In our next article, I will cover what you should do once you have received this, and the steps involved.

If you have any questions about Estate Planning, don't hesitate to contact our office in Bathurst, Oberon or Lithgow on 1800 650 656.

Peter McManus | Solicitor