what is a pauper's funeral

What Is a Pauper’s Funeral?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Have you ever considered what would take place in the event that your family was unable to pay for a funeral? Or, what happens in the event that there is no one listed as the Next of Kin?

    The term "pauper's funeral" refers to a respectful arrangement that is made for someone who passes away destitute and without anyone to pay for their funeral. This is a common term.

    In order to assist people in Australia in comprehending how a funeral can be paid for in the event that the family is unable to do so, we have compiled this paupers funerals guide.

    You're looking for funeral services in Melbourne, aren't you? Stop looking; Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals is right around the corner.

    How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

    To begin, it is absolutely necessary to be aware of the fact that funerals are not cheap.

    According to the Cost of Death report that was produced by Australian Seniors, almost a third of Australian families (32 percent) are left in financial hardship after paying for a funeral, and it takes them at least six months to recover from the debt that they incurred as a result of the expense.

    According to finder.com.au, the typical cost of a funeral in Australia is about $7,499, but experts predict that this cost will more than double to pass the $16,000 mark within the next 15 years. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funeral Directors are here to help make the funeral process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones.

    What Happens When Australians Die Alone?

    funeral 2

    A funeral is an important opportunity for friends and family to come together and say their final goodbyes to a deceased loved one.

    When an individual passes away on their own, the authorities will make every effort to locate and contact their next of kin before making arrangements for a straightforward funeral that will be paid for by the state.

    If a person had no family to claim them and no money of their own, they would be placed in a coffin and either given a simple cremation or buried in a shared or common grave. This would be the case if they had no other assets.

    The government of Australia has hired funeral directors to handle the logistics of arranging funeral services for destitute individuals on their behalf.

    The authorities do everything in their power to ensure that families are aware of the funeral arrangements so that they can attend and say their final goodbyes to their loved ones.

    When the family members of the deceased are located, they are unable to pay for the funeral expenses in some cases.

    In other instances, they may have been estranged from one another and do not want to be responsible for making funeral arrangements for the deceased person.

    In these kinds of situations, the state or a private contractor working for the government will take care of making the funeral arrangements.

    After the 20th week of a mother's pregnancy, if her baby is stillborn in the hospital, the state may pay for the funeral expenses of both the mother and the baby.

    When a Person Dies With No Family or Next of Kin?

    When a patient passes away in a hospital and there is no living relative to claim them, the hospital will make arrangements for the patient's burial or cremation.

    If local health authorities determine that the deceased person left assets or was next of kin, they have the right to seek reimbursement for the costs of the funeral from those assets or relatives. This reimbursement may be partial or complete.

    Sometimes the authorities will ask the police for assistance in locating friends or relatives who may not have been aware of the deceased person's death or the circumstances surrounding it but who wish to make funeral arrangements and pay for the services.

    The majority of so-called pauper's funerals are held at crematoriums outside of the Northern Territory, unless a coroner has advised otherwise, or the deceased person has expressed in a will, or to family and friends, that they did not wish to be cremated when they died. In these cases, a burial service is held instead.

    Following the funeral, the plot number where the deceased person is buried (or their cremated remains) is recorded for the benefit of the public record; however, these graves are typically not marked in any way.

    An ex-serviceman or woman who passes away in destitute conditions is eligible for financial assistance from the Department of Veterans' Affairs in Australia to help pay for their funeral costs.

    What If Someone Dies With No Next of Kin or Known Identity?

    When an individual passes away by themselves in Australia, the authorities will make every effort to locate and inform any relatives or friends of the deceased person who may not have been aware of the passing of the individual.

    It is possible that the deceased's family or friends were unaware of their passing and that they would like to make funeral arrangements and pay for the service.

    Sometimes when the Next of Kin is located, the relative may have been estranged from one another and may not wish to take responsibility for making funeral arrangements for the deceased person.

    When this occurs, or when the deceased's relatives are unable to pay for the funeral expenses, the arrangements for the funeral are handled by a private contractor working for the government.

    The authorities in Australia will do everything in their power to keep families informed about the funeral arrangements so that they may attend if they so choose.

    What If a Person Dies in Hospital With No Family or Next of Kin?

    If a patient passes away in a hospital and has no living relatives to claim them, the medical facility is required to make funeral arrangements on the patient's behalf. In the event that it is determined in the future that the deceased person had assets or that their Next of Kin could have covered some or all of the costs, the health authorities have the right to seek reimbursement from the estate for the costs of the funeral.

    After the 20th week of the mother's pregnancy, the state may arrange for a funeral to be paid for by the government in the event that a baby is stillborn in the hospital.

    Direct Cremation: an Affordable Funeral Option

    Direct cremation, also known as simple cremation, is the most cost-effective choice for funerals among the various options available to families who are looking for low-cost funeral options.

    A direct cremation is a service that helps families carry out the burial of a loved one at an affordable cost and independently from any funeral home or ceremony. The ashes are returned to the family after the cremation is complete.

    Then, at the appropriate time, a personalised memorial can be arranged in accordance with the financial means available to the family.

    A direct cremation won't put a dent in your savings, and it gives Australians the option to organise a personalised funeral service themselves, so they can be sure that the memorial is an accurate reflection of the deceased person's life.

    Centrelink Lump Sum Bereavement Payment and Other Benefits

    Bereavement payments from Centrelink and other forms of government assistance may be available to eligible Australian citizens who are coping with the death of a spouse or partner.

    A lump sum payment from Centrelink may also be used to assist with funeral expenses.

    After the passing of a loved one, the federal government of Australia offers a variety of assistance in the form of payments, financial support, and other services.

    The Department of Human Services is in charge of the administration of these programmes. When you notify Centrelink of the death of another person, your circumstances, your relationship to the person who passed away, and the timing of your notification will all play a role in determining the type and amount of bereavement payment you receive. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a full range of funeral services to help make this difficult time a little bit easier for you and your family.

    You can do this by calling Centrelink at the number 132 300 or by filling out the Advice of Death form that is available here on the Services Australia website.

    After that, the information will be passed along to Medicare from Centrelink.

    The following bereavement payments offered by Centrelink are available to eligible residents of Australia:

    Partner Allowance

    If you are currently receiving a Partner Allowance and your spouse passes away, you may be eligible to receive an additional 14 weeks of their pension. This is subject to the terms and conditions of the programme.

    You will, however, be required to get in touch with Centrelink and submit an application for an additional income support payment. Additionally, there is a possibility that you could qualify for a lump-sum bereavement payment from Centrelink (explained below).

    Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment

    The surviving partner of a Pension Bonus Scheme member who did not successfully claim the Age Pension and Pension Bonus before they passed away may be eligible to receive a one-time cash payment in lieu of those benefits.

    Carer's Allowance

    You may be eligible for an additional 14 weeks of pension in the form of a lump sum payment after the death of a loved one if you provided additional daily care for them before they passed away.

    Double Orphan Pension

    Help is made available to families in need who have a child in their care who is either an orphan or whose parents are unable to care for them due to certain life circumstances. There is no requirement to demonstrate either your income or your assets.

    Stillborn Baby Payment is given in the event that a baby is stillborn. You can also get more information by calling the Bereavement Line at 132-850 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Please Note: Changes to Centrelink entitlements may occur without prior notice. If you have any questions regarding these changes, please call 132 300 or visit the Centrelink office that is located closest to you.

    Department of Veterans Affairs

    If the person who passed away was a veteran who had served their country and had fallen on hard times prior to their death, the Department of Veterans' Affairs in Australia may be able to offer financial assistance to help cover the costs of the funeral.

    Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website as soon as possible after the loss of a loved one in order to provide notification to the DVA if you believe you may be qualified for benefits.

    You might be eligible for a bereavement payment from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you were the spouse, dependent, or caretaker of a deceased person who was receiving a pension from the VA before they passed away.

    In most cases, the benefit takes the form of a one-time payment of up to $2,000 maximum. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may provide assistance with pensions for war widowed partners and other fees, in addition to funeral benefits for veterans.

    Early Release of Your Super

    In most cases, you won't be able to get your super until you've reached your preservation age. However, the law does permit you to access your retirement savings at an earlier age in certain situations.

    These specific compassionate grounds and extreme financial hardship are among the limited circumstances that qualify.

    If you fulfil certain requirements, you may be able to access your funds to pay for a funeral or other final expenses. Before giving serious consideration to this alternative, you need to get specific guidance on your current personal or financial situation from a financial planner.

    Get in touch with your super fund if you want more information about the possibility of withdrawing some or all of your superannuation early on account of severe financial hardship.

    You also have the option of seeking assistance from certain organisations with these claims. One such illustration is that of Supercare.

    Government Assistance With Funeral Costs

    what is a pauper's funeral1

    In the event that you are unable to pay for a funeral on your own, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the government in this regard.

    You are eligible to participate in a variety of government schemes and programmes, including the following:

    • bereavement allowance
    • bereavement payment
    • widow allowance
    • pension bonus bereavement payment
    • as well as non-financial support and assistance.

    State Assistance With Funeral Costs

    A number of state governments offer financial assistance to low-income families in order to cover the expense of burying a family member or friend. It is possible that you will be required to provide evidence that you are unable to pay the costs of the funeral in order to qualify for these state funeral assistance funds.

    Even if your application for state funeral assistance is approved, you may still be required to make a contribution towards the cost of the funeral, which is typically around 50 percent of the total cost. This is the case in some situations.

    Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals provides professional burial services in Melbourne. We understand that the death of a loved one is a difficult time, and our team is here to help you through every step of the process.

    Funeral Assistance Victoria

    Funeral aid organisation that is not run for profit Bereavement Assistance gives Victorians with low incomes who have limited or no funds the opportunity to receive dignified funeral services. The alternative is a pauper's funeral, which is paid for by the state.

    Charity that is not for profit Bereavement Assistance is a programme that helps low-income residents of Victoria pay for a dignified funeral service and cremation when the other option is a "pauper burial," which is paid for by the state. If you live in Victoria and need funeral services, contact Bereavement Assistance today.

    Funeral Assistance Queensland 

    In the state of Queensland, if you are unable to pay for a funeral, you may be able to get assistance with the cost of the funeral by making an application to either the Queensland Magistrates Court or the Queensland Coroners Court.

    To be eligible, you need to provide proof that no other members of the family can afford the burial or cremation costs.

    In the event that a family is unable to pay for the funeral of a loved one and has not yet begun making funeral arrangements on their own, the state of Queensland may be able to provide funeral assistance to the family.

    The deceased individual must have resided in Queensland and possessed no assets that could be used to pay for their own funeral expenses.

    When a family makes an application for funeral assistance in Queensland, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General is the agency that oversees the arrangements for a straightforward burial or cremation.

    Funeral Assistance Northern Territory

    Under the Indigent Persons Funeral Scheme, residents of the Northern Territory have the opportunity to submit an application for the provision of funeral services.

    In the event that the estate is unable to pay for the funeral costs and the family is unable to contribute, the Public Trustee may submit an application for financial assistance to the Coroner's Office under the Scheme.

    There is also a Native American funeral benefit available. The Northern Land Council and the Central Land Council each have programmes that can assist with the financial burden of funeral expenses for an Aboriginal person who satisfies the requirements of the respective council.

    Under the Indigent Persons Funeral Scheme, residents of the Northern Territory have the opportunity to submit an application for the provision of funeral services.

    Funeral Assistance Tasmania

    The Department of Health and Human Services in Tasmania is in charge of managing the state's publicly funded direct cremation programme.

    People who pass away in Tasmania without being claimed by relatives and without sufficient funds to cover the cost of their funeral are eligible for the Essential Care Funeral Package.

    A person whose estate and relatives are unable to pay for a funeral can have the Essential Care Funeral Policy take care of the arrangements and cover the costs of the funeral.

    This programme also makes arrangements for people's funerals in cases where the deceased person's relatives are unable to pay for the service. It is emphasised that this is not an assistance package for people who are living on low incomes, despite the fact that some states have support that is means-tested to assist with the costs of funerals.

    Funeral Assistance NSW

    Destitute funerals are available in the state of New South Wales for people who are unable to pay for the cost of the funeral and whose friends and relatives are also unable to help pay for the funeral.

    Unless the deceased's next of kin specifically requests a burial, the service will consist of a basic funeral. This is managed by the NSW Department of Health.

    In the state of New South Wales, the public or local health services will make arrangements for the cremation or burial of an individual who passed away while living in poverty.

    In the event that a family is experiencing difficult financial circumstances and has already arranged and held a funeral for a loved one who passed away in similar circumstances, the family may be eligible to submit an application to the Area Health Service for an ex-gratia (Latin for "out of goodwill") contribution to help with the costs associated with the funeral.

    However, bereaved families are not eligible to make an ex-gratia claim for a contribution from the state if they have already been offered a public health funeral service for their loved one and have declined the service. This is because the state considers such a refusal to be an admission of guilt and will not make a contribution.

    Funeral Assistance Western Australia

    People who are financially unable to pay for the expenses associated with a funeral can receive assistance from the Bereavement Assistance Program. Additionally, applicants are required to demonstrate that their families are financially unable to cover the costs.

    Residents of Western Australia who are unable to cover the expenses associated with a funeral can receive assistance through the Bereavement Assistance Program.

    In the same manner as with other state programmes that assist with funeral costs, applicants are required to demonstrate that their families are unable to meet the costs.

    Funeral Assistance South Australia

    Residents of South Australia who are unable to pay the costs associated with a funeral and who have investigated and tried every other possible course of action may be eligible for assistance from the Funeral Assistance SA programme.

    A programme known as Funeral Assistance SA is available in South Australia to assist low-income families who are unable to pay for the funeral costs of a loved one.

    The cost of a full contract cremation funeral, which includes a funeral service and floral coffin tribute, may be covered by Funeral Assistance SA if the program's criteria are met.

    Releasing Funds from the Bank

    You can get in touch with the financial institution where your loved one had money deposited to ask them to release the funds so that you can use them to help pay for the deposit and the remaining balance on the funeral bill.

    In order for the bank of the deceased to verify your relationship to the deceased, you will be required to contact the bank and provide identification.

    Before they will release any money, the bank may also require you to complete documents, provide a copy of the death certificate, the deceased's will, or an invoice from the funeral director. Considering your options for funeral arrangements? Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers pre-paid funerals as a more affordable and convenient option. We’ll help you make all the necessary arrangements in advance, so that your loved ones won't have to worry about anything when the time comes.

    Using Superannuation and Life Insurance

    Both life insurance and superannuation, if they have been previously purchased, can be used to cover the cost of a funeral.

    This is one of the most common ways that families in Australia cover the costs associated with the burial of a loved one, and it is one of the most common ways.

    Individuals can choose who their super is passed on to after death, or it can be automatically assigned to their dependents or spouses if they have a super fund.

    The one and only drawback to this is that it typically takes some time before these funds can be distributed (generally between one and six months).

    It is possible that you will be required to pay the burial costs up front and then be reimbursed once the request has been processed.

    Additionally, there is a possibility that you will be able to access your own Super on compassionate grounds in order to assist in paying for the costs associated with the funeral.

    Prepaid Funerals

    People have begun prepaying for their funerals in order to increase their chances of being buried in the location of their choice after they pass away.

    Additionally, funerals that are pre-paid help alleviate any financial burden that may be placed on surviving family members during an already trying time.

    In this scenario, they devise a funeral plan that specifies in great detail how they want their service to proceed in the event of their passing.

    The next step is that they deposit the money into a funeral fund, which, once the person has passed away, is transferred immediately to the funeral director.

    Many people in Australia are taking matters into their own hands and prepaying their funerals in order to guarantee that they will receive the send-off that they desire as new service options become available.

    Several months or even years in advance, these can be arranged with the majority of funeral service providers.

    By prepaying for their own funerals, Australians are able to determine their final wishes in advance and cover the costs of the funeral in advance, relieving the financial burden that would otherwise fall on their families.

    Stop by Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals to learn more about the prepaid funeral service we offer and to discover the burial option that is most suitable for your personal circumstances.

    Another advantage of prepayment is that it allows you to secure today's price and ensures that your family will not be responsible for any additional costs, regardless of whether the service is required in five, ten, or fifty years.

    FAQs About Funerals

    There are times when a deceased person is found to have no living relatives. In other situations, families might not be able to afford the funeral expenses or might choose not to do so. It's possible that the deceased person was receiving care from the local authority, that they were homeless, or that they were living alone.

    After the authorities have determined that there is no next of kin or that the next of kin is unwilling to take responsibility for the body, they will release the body from the mortuary and give it into the care of a funeral director.

    When a person passes away, the responsibility for paying off their debts falls to their estate. If there is no will, the responsibility of paying off any outstanding debts from the estate falls on the shoulders of the executor of the will or the administrator of the estate.

    It is not possible to obtain a court order to legally stop someone from coming, and it is unlikely that the police will become involved in the situation. In most cases, they won't get involved unless there is a previous history of violence, a current threat of violence, or an existing restraining order against the person.

    It is likely that "the executor, or whoever was in charge of the funeral," or more simply, the person who signed the contract with the funeral director, will have the right to possess the ashes. If there is no such person, then the ashes will be returned to the family.

    Scroll to Top