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The loss of a family member or close friend can be very overwhelming, particularly if you’re also responsible for arranging their funeral. A common question we get asked is ‘who pays for the funeral’.
This blog article explains the process of paying for the funeral and what happens with the deceased person’s bank account during the probate process.
Who pays for the funeral?
Traditional funeral directors generally require payment upfront, before the service takes place. This is usually before the estate is released. At Bare Cremation, we understand that many families are not financially prepared to pay for a funeral, particularly if the death was unexpected. That is why our services are not invoiced until after the cremation has taken place.
Funeral expenses are considered estate expenses. This means that the deceased person’s bank accounts can be used to pay for the funeral expenses. Funds can be paid either directly from the bank to the funeral provider; the Executor or Administrator; or the person who organised or paid for the funeral with their own money. The bank will usually require an invoice or receipt for the funeral service, a death certificate and a copy of the Will (if one exists).
However, if your loved one had a prepaid funeral plan with a funeral provider like Bare Cremation, they will need to be contacted to make arrangements.
If the deceased person had a funeral bond or funeral insurance, contact the company to organise the release of funds to pay for funeral expenses.
How does the deceased estate pay funeral expenses?
Even if the deceased person’s account is frozen, the bank can release funds from the estate to pay for the funeral. Either the executor, administrator, or the person who paid for the funeral just needs to provide the bank with an invoice or receipt for the funeral service.
What happens if the estate can’t afford the funeral?
If a deceased person’s estate doesn’t have sufficient funds to pay for the funeral and the family are unable to contribute, this is what’s known as a destitute or ‘pauper’s funeral’.
Authorities will contact funeral directors to arrange a simple state-funded funeral service on the family’s behalf. The deceased will be given a simple cremation, or burial in a shared or common grave. You can find out more in our article on paupers funerals here.
Final thoughts and paying for a funeral
At Bare Cremation, we understand that the first week after your loved one has passed is such an emotionally sensitive time for you and not necessarily right for putting on a large and expensive funeral service.
You might want to consider carrying out an unattended cremation to allow you the time to organise a memorial send-off later, when you are emotionally and perhaps more financially prepared.
For more information on what can be paid out of a deceased estate account, read our Executor Guide here.
To learn more or get a quote for a Bare cremation, click the below button or give us a call. For a prepaid funeral service call 1800 202 901, or for an immediate-need funeral service call 1800 071 176.
This article is not legal advice. You should chat with your solicitor or accountant for specific advice on your personal or financial situation.