Article Category - Wills & Estates By Lauren Sheraton, Scott Paige 21 September 2021

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 to 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 payments will need to be paid back to either Centrelink or Veteran Affairs.

What's next? Once the Death Certificate has been received, we recommend you arrange an appointment to sit down and discuss the next steps to finalise the Estate.  This could include a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court of NSW, if required.

If you have any questions following the death of a loved one, don't hesitate to contact our office in Bathurst, Oberon, or Lithgow on (02) 6331 2911.  

Munashe Masimirembwa | Solicitor

Lauren Sheraton | Solicitor

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