It can be difficult to come up with enough money to cover funeral costs, especially if the death is sudden. For those who have arranged a pre-planned funeral, then there’s no problem. The funeral home will take over the funeral arrangements depending on what the deceased client and the funeral company have agreed.

Funeral expenses usually include casket, funeral director’s basic services fee, embalming and body preparation, funeral ceremony and viewing, death certificates, obituary and other miscellaneous services carried out by the funeral home.

Next, you have to consider the grave space  and the cost to dig the grave. And don’t forget the headstone or marker.

Where do pensioners go for help?

There are many institutions in Sydney that offer assistance to pensioners. Here are some of them:

  • Pension. If you're a pensioner and your pensioner spouse dies, you can apply for a lump sum bereavement payment equivalent to 14 week's payment of the difference between the couple's rate and the single rate that the survivor will be paid.
  • Department of Veteran's Affairs. The surviving partner of a veteran can get a funeral benefit of up to $2000 to help in covering the funeral costs. Bereavement payments are also given depending on the status of the veteran.
  • Local Health District. They can provide financial assistance to those experiencing financial hardships but the Local Health District has complete discretion about whether to grant assistance and up to what amount they are willing to give. Application is done by writing a letter to the Chief Executive of the Local Health District stating the assets, income and expenditure.
  • Pensioner Associations and Clubs. If the deceased is a member of an association or registered club, he or she might be eligible to a small funeral benefit for members. Check with the club or association regarding how to avail of this benefit.
  • Banks. Financial institutions like banks may lend money to pay for funeral costs.
  • Insurance. If the deceased died because of a vehicular accident and is not at fault, the relatives of that person can claim funeral expenses from the other driver’s insurance company.

These institutions aim to make funeral planning and spending easier for the family of pensioners.