Financial support

There are many ways to find financial support following the death of a loved one.

We are testing the Alpha stage of the 'End of life' guide. If you find this guide useful or would like to report an error, please leave us a comment below.

Paying for a funeral

Health, sickness, accident or life insurance policies may help pay for funeral and other expenses. If the deceased had insurance, call the company and ask if it can help.

Some people organise prepaid funerals or funeral bonds to help pay for their funeral after death. If you think there may be a prepaid funeral or funeral bond but can't find the paper work, it may have been left with someone such as a lawyer for the deceased or the executor of their will.

The Bereavement Assistance Program provides assistance in certain circumstances to help families pay for funerals. You may also be eligible for bereavement payments through Centrelink.

The Department of Justice may be able to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with conflicts related to burials.

Notifying authorities

After the death of a loved one, you may need to find out more about the changes to investments you own. Notifying the right authorities in government and other organisations will allow them to give you a clear understanding of what your financial situation is and whether you require any financial assistance. 

Understanding your financial situation

You may find the deceased's lawyer or executor can help clarify your financial situation. If your partner had superannuation you may be entitled to a payment. You need to contact the superannuation fund and find out if you are eligible.

Relatives and friends do not have to pay the debts of the deceased person unless the debts are in joint names. Debts can be paid from the estate.

Financial assistance

You should find out if you are eligible for various bereavement payments provided by the Australian Government, including:

  • Double orphan pension – provides help with costs of caring for children who are orphans or unable to be cared for by their parents in certain circumstances.
  • Bereavement allowance – a short term income support payment for recently widowed people.
  • Bereavement payment – helps ease adjustment to changed financial circumstances after the death of your partner, child or a person you were caring for.
  • Pension bonus bereavement payment – a payment to the surviving partner of a member of the Pension Bonus Scheme who did not make a successful claim for the bonus before their death.

You may also be eligible for parental leave, compassionate leave, the stillborn baby payment or dad and partner pay in the case of a stillbirth or infant death.

The Financial Counsellors Association of Western Australia can help you find a counsellor to provide you with advice on the decisions you make after the death of a loved one. They also offer a 24 hour national debt helpline.

You can also talk to a Financial Information Services officer to find out more information about how any decisions you make could affect any payments you receive from the government.

You may be able to claim compensation if you are a close relative and were financially dependent on a person killed in a motor vehicle crash.

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages waives fees for death certificates for eligible people.

Your housing situation

You may want to stay in your family home. But if this is difficult, think about all the options carefully before you decide on a change. Moving too quickly may not be the best option.

The Bond Assistance Loan Scheme provides bond assistance and two weeks' rent in advance as an interest free loan to help people with rental payments. The National Rental Affordability Scheme offers financial incentives to rent dwellings for people who are eligible.

If you are having trouble paying your power, gas and water bills, the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme may help.

For help with your mortgage, you may want to consider legal advice and an application for financial hardship. More details about hardship notices are available through Legal Aid WA and Moneysmart.

Further assistance

  • If your loved one was a member of former member of the Australian Defence Force, you may be eligible for a bereavement payment and funeral expenses provided by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
  • Miners' Promise provides support and financial assistance to families of persons who have died in mining accidents.
Page reviewed 10 May 2020