Who is liable for paying the costs of a funeral?
The instruction to a funeral director to take (1) A statement giving the details of a crime an accused person is claimed to have committed. (2) A personal property security. (3) A judge’s directions to a jury at the end of a case. of a funeral is a personal An agreement that the law will enforce.. The person authorising the funeral, therefore, may be personally liable for the The amount charged by a lawyer for legal work. Lawyers can only charge the amount agreed with the client in a costs agreement or the amount stated by a court in its rules. The party who loses a case usually has to pay all their own costs plus most of the costs reasonably incurred by the other side. See also indemnity costs. of the funeral (usually there is provision in wills that covers the payment of funeral expenses, however, if the All the property a person has, including real property and personal property. It is often used to describe property belonging to someone who has died, or the property of a bankrupt. does not have the money to cover the Money that is owed by one person or business to another., the contractor A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. be liable).
Most banks will A document signed by parties ending a court action. The party who began the action agrees to drop it, often in exchange for a payment by the other party. Also called terms of settlement. part of the deceased’s money to meet funeral expenses.
A person who is merely assisting the family of the deceased and does not wish to be personally liable for costs may be protected by obtaining a written A promise to pay compensation to cover losses or expenses that may arise in the future if some stated event occurs. For example, if a business partnership ends and one partner continues to run the business, they generally agree to indemnify the others against any claims against the business in the future. Insurance contracts also indemnify the insured against stated risks. for costs from an adult who is a close relative or (1) Someone whose money or property is being looked after for them by someone else (called a trustee). (2) A person who is left something in a will, also sometimes called a legatee. See also trust. of the deceased before instructing a funeral director.
In the case where someone dies without friends, relatives or funds to cover burial expenses, the costs will be borne by the state.
The trustees of any public cemetery upon the order of a magistrate or coroner must bury, or may permit, the remains of a poor person to be buried in their cemetery free of any charge. Before making any order, the magistrate or coroner must be satisfied that the deceased person died without the means to pay for the burial and does not have friends who can pay. The magistrate or coroner must also specify that the body be cremated, unless satisfied that the deceased person’s views on cremation are unknown, or cremation is contrary to the wishes or beliefs of the deceased, or it is not practicable to cremate the body (see pt 10 ss 142–145 C&C A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation.).
Pre-payment of funerals with funeral directors is becoming a more popular means of paying for a funeral in Victoria. The pre-payment is often in the form of an insurance (1) An undertaking by someone to do or not do something, especially a good behaviour bond, which can be part of a sentence given by a court. (2) A tenant’s payment of money to a landlord at the start of a tenancy. The bond is held in case there is any damage to the property or the tenant fails to pay rent.. However, it is also possible to arrange insurance that will cover funeral costs.
The Social Money or property promised to be handed over as a guarantee for repayment of a loan, or as a guarantee that a defendant will meet their bail conditions. Act 1991 (Cth) (‘SS Act’) provides a bereavement benefit to recipients of Commonwealth pensions to assist these pensioners in meeting the extra costs brought about by the death.
The benefits established by the SS Act (division 9, sections 21 (where bereavement is defined), 82–91 inclusive:
- A surviving pensioner spouse (including a de facto spouse) will receive a temporary supplementary pension of a lump sum being the difference between the amount of the single pension and the amount of the married pension received by the couple for a period of 14 weeks from the death of the spouse (ss 21(2)(a), 146F–146L SS Act). This benefit is payable even if the surviving spouse is not entitled to the single pension in their own right.
- A single pensioner’s estate will receive one fortnightly payment of pension to the estate or other person nominated by the Australian Government Department of Social Security.
The Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides a benefit towards the funeral expenses of an ex-serviceman who dies of war-related causes, in the circumstances set out in sections 98 and 99 of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth) (‘VE Act’). These circumstances are situations where the pensioner dies in an institution, while proceeding to or from an institution, or after being discharged while terminally ill from an institution.
In certain circumstances, a grant may also be made towards the funeral expenses of a married serviceman’s widow or child, or an unmarried ex-serviceman’s widowed mother or widowed step-mother (s 100 VE Act). The procedure to follow to make a claim is set out in sections 111–113 of the VE Act.
An allowable deduction of $100 from personal income tax is provided by the Australian Taxation Office where the deceased was a dependant of the taxpayer and where the total concessional expenditure of the claimant was in The amount a person does not get back from the insurer when they make a claim on their insurance. For example, if a car is insured for an agreed value of $10 000 with an excess of $1000, the insurer will pay only $9000 on a claim if the car is written off. of $1590. Other possible sources of funeral benefits may be life insurance, health funds, workers compensation, social clubs, funeral funds and superannuation schemes.