According to one survey, almost one-third of Australians live from hand to mouth or 'pay cheque to pay cheque', as it is known. They may struggle to pay off their debts each month and will certainly find it difficult to save any money for a rainy day. It's little wonder, therefore, that some of these unfortunate people may find it difficult to pay for the cost of a funeral, should a loved one pass away. This can make it even more difficult to deal with the aftermath of their bereavement, especially as there are limited resources for them to turn to. If you are worried that you may find yourself in this position in the future, what can you do?
The Australian government is not without sympathy in this situation, but there is only a limited amount that they can do with public funding. They may be able to give you a small amount of cash for a couple of months to help you transition to a life without the income from the bereaved party. They may also be able to give you some money towards the funeral cost itself, although this will vary between the different states and territories.
For example, some will offer a minimum amount for what is known as a 'destitute' funeral, but this will typically revolve around a basic cremation and may not cover the costs of interment. Other schemes may offer a certain amount of assistance if you can show that no family members would be able to pay otherwise. They may, however, put a hold on your bank account and may try to recover the costs from an estate in due course.
The Better Approach
It's never much fun when you have to go cap in hand to your state government to get assistance in such an emotional situation. If you can, it would be far better to plan in advance and see if you can prepay some of the costs involved.
When you talk with a funeral director, they'll be able to give you an idea of the likely costs and suggest some ways that you can prepay these funds. You'll be surprised at how much you will save in this way, but you do need to start somewhere in order to build up momentum.
Start the Ball Rolling
Remember that there's no time like the present. Get in touch with your funeral director now to talk about prepaid funerals, and this will make everything so much easier to deal with when that fateful day arrives.