What to organise before you die

There’s a lot to organise when you die. We’ve outlined what you need to do before you die to relieve the burden off your family.

Writing your Will

If you die and don’t have a Will, a formula set by law will share your estate. If the state or territory government can’t find a close relative, chances are your estate will go to the government.

A Will or legal document will set out how you want to distribute your estate or personal assets after death.

Attend one of our free FIS seminars about estate planning.

Making your wishes known

If you would like to be an organ and tissue donor it’s important to tell your family of your decision. They’ll have the final say.

Transplants give people a second chance at life. At any time more than 1,300 Australians are on organ transplant waiting lists.

By registering your organ donor decision you can save up to 10 lives and improve many more.

Planning and saving for your funeral

You should let your family and friends know how you would like your funeral. It will help them make decisions during a very difficult and stressful time.

Here are the typical items you’ll need, to arrange a funeral:

  • funeral director fees
  • transport
  • coffin
  • death certificate
  • permits
  • burial or cremation
  • cemetery plot.

Other expenses to think about include a celebrant or clergy, flowers, newspaper notices and the wake.

Saving for the funeral

Having a plan, will allow you to work out how much it will cost so you can save for it.

If you can, put aside a little money regularly to save for your own funeral.

If you get a Centrelink payment, you may be able to use Centrepay to help with your funeral costs. You can tell us how much you want to pay and we’ll take money from your pay before you get it.

It’s important you tell your family or the executor of your will about the account. This way they’ll know how to access it. To access the funds, your family needs to give evidence of your relationship, proof of death and the funeral cost.

You may choose to pay for your funeral in full before you die. There’s a few options:

  • pre-pay your funeral for an agreed service - give a copy to your executor and put one with your Will
  • invest you money in a funeral bond - they’ll release the funds to the estate or the funeral director if you nominate one
  • take out a funeral insurance policy – it’s a lump sum payment towards the cost of a funeral in the future.

Superannuation

Many superannuation funds include life insurance, death and disability insurance. You should check to see if yours does.

Ask the fund what will happen to your superannuation when you die and who they’ll pay it to. The Super fund trustee will decide who to make the payments to, unless you tell them who.

Read about super death benefits on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.

Getting help with your money

You can speak to a financial counsellor by contacting any of the following:

You can speak to a financial counsellor if you:

  • would like help to work out a budget
  • would like to know which products best suit your needs
  • are in financial trouble.

Financial Counselling Australia is the peak body for financial counsellors in Australia. They can put you in touch with a financial counsellor if you are in financial difficulty.

MoneySmart has information to help you plan for your own funeral or the funeral of a family member.

Page last updated: 23 March 2020