Organising a funeral can feel overwhelming. Many of us are in such a vulnerable and emotional state of mind when the time comes to make all the necessary arrangements. Often, the person organising the funeral has already been losing sleep for some time, as a carer for their loved one.

I am a big fan of lists of things to do, especially when it comes to arranging a funeral.

Where do you start?

At the beginning.

Fair Trading NSW has a useful, free brochure which includes a useful checklist for things to consider when organising a funeral. Their checklist includes the following key steps:

  1. Is there a will and if yes, where is it? It might have some directions for funeral arrangements.
  2. Is there any paperwork about a pre-arranged or pre-paid funeral, or plot?
  3. Remember, you can ask funeral directors for an itemised quote. The NSW government requires funeral directors to advertise their ‘least-expensive’ pricing option online. This is important, so I have added some more information about this below.
  4. Is there enough money in the deceased’s bank account to cover the funeral costs? Check with the bank about accessing the funds.
  5. There might be other sources of funding to help with funeral costs. For example, Centrelink recipients might be eligible for a bereavement payment, whilst military veterans, and members of some unions, insurance/superannuation funds and clubs might have access to a funeral benefit.
  6. If you don’t have sufficient funds to cover funeral costs, you might be able to get some help from your local Public Health Unit

You can download the Fair Trading NSW brochure here. 

You can read the information on their website here.


Remember, you can get a few quotes from funeral directors.


When a loved one dies, we can feel utterly at sea. We are processing so many things, and the cost of the funeral seems like it should not matter. But of course it matters, and it is OK to act like it does.

A funeral director is required by law to provide you with an itemised quote, so you can see exactly where the money is being spent. We are also required to provide information about our ‘least-expensive’ option online, so that should be on our websites or social media pages (our guide to pricing is available here).

Sometimes you might feel pressured to make a decision. But here are some things to remember:

  • If your loved one passes away in a hospital, the hospital will generally have a place to keep the body while you make your choice. They can do this for several days.
  • If your loved one dies in an aged care home or at home (and a doctor certifies the death), you can actually keep the body at home, until you make your decision. We can even loan you a cooling plate to keep the body at home for more than a day.
  • Even once a funeral director has transferred your loved one into their mortuary care, you can have the body transferred to another funeral director if you are not happy with the service you are receiving.

Jackie Bailey is an independent, full-service Funeral Director. Jackie’s Funerals conducts funerals in Sydney, Wollongong, the Illawarra and Southern Highlands, South Coast of NSW and the Blue Mountains. Get in touch any time for a free, no-obligation quote and a chat about your needs. At any time of the day or night, 24/7, 365 days a year, we can arrange for your loved one to be transferred into our mortuary care.

Ph: 0428 576 372   Em: