When you cannot afford a funeral for a friend or relative who passed away in Queensland and their assets will not cover their funeral costs, you may be able to get funeral assistance.
A funeral cannot be organised before a person has passed away.
The Department of Justice & Attorney-General is unable to provide assistance if you have already made a payment for a funeral.
Eligibility for funeral assistance
To apply for funeral assistance, you need to:
- be a friend or relative of the person who passed away in Queensland
- have spoken to other family members to confirm that no one can arrange or pay for the funeral
- have no prior funeral arrangements
- if you have signed a contract with a funeral director, you must get written approval from the funeral director to release you from the contract.
If you are able to get funeral assistance, the Department of Justice & Attorney-General will organise and pay for a simple burial or cremation on your behalf.
Applying for funeral assistance
You will need to provide information at an interview about the financial situation of your friend or relative who passed away, including:
- bank account details
- bank statements
- pension details
- the person’s will.
If you are the spouse or parent of the person who passed away, you will need to provide your current bank statement and proof of ID.
You will also need to sign a statutory declaration stating the information you provide is correct. This information is used to decide whether or not you are able to get assistance.
Using a funeral director
The court will then contact a contracted funeral director in the area where your friend or relative passed away.
Burial site location
The location of the cemetery or crematorium where your friend or relative will be buried or cremated will be chosen for you.
Please be aware that the burial site will be unmarked—up to 2 other people who have passed away may be buried in the same plot as your friend or relative. Relatives or friends are not allowed to identify the burial site with a headstone or plaque.
The funeral director will:
- provide a properly made, conventionally shaped, stained and suitably lined coffin
- conduct the funeral in a proper and respectful manner
- provide a graveside service for burials
- provide a service at the crematorium for cremations.
The funeral director cannot provide extra services for additional fees, such as:
- headstones or plaques
- church services
- funeral notices
- an upgrade of the coffin.
You will need to tell the funeral director if you would like a member of the clergy to conduct a graveside service and pay the fee yourself.
Transportation to home town
The Department of Justice & Attorney-General through the Coroners Court can arrange for your friend or relative to be buried or cremated in their home town or ancestral home if you pay the transportation costs.
Recovering funds later
The Department of Justice & Attorney-General through the Coroners Court will try to recover money from the estate at a later time. A hold will be placed on the bank account of the friend or relative who passed away. You must notify them if you become aware of any money owing to the estate after the funeral service.