Change text size:   Increase font size   Reduce font size  |   Print page:   Print this page
  |   Contact us   
 
consumers
English

Contributory and pre-paid funerals 

Pre-paid funeral arrangements 

Some people make pre-payments towards the cost of their funeral. There are two types of pre-paid funeral arrangements covered by the Funeral Funds Act 1979.

Contributory funds

Small regular payments go towards part or all of a funeral service with a particular funeral director or provide money to go towards the cost of the service. Conditions may vary between funds and will be set out in detail in the fund's constitution.

Pre-paid funeral funds

This involves selecting a funeral director, making decisions about the type of funeral that you would like and then paying for that funeral at today’s prices, usually in one lump sum or several instalments. The money is then forwarded to a funeral fund registered with NSW Fair Trading and is considered an exempt asset for the purpose of calculating the pension.

Other funeral products

There are a number of other funeral products available to consumers, for more information on these products visit the Other funeral products page.

Top of page

Consumer protection 

The following rules are in place to protect consumers:

  • A funeral fund must invest all the money paid to it in secure investments.
  • All registered funeral funds must lodge annual reports with NSW Fair Trading. However, you should seek your own independent financial advice as to whether the fund is financially sound and viable.
  • The funeral fund provider must be separate from the funeral director who is to supply the service.  This ensures that your money is secure if the funeral director goes out of business.
  • A funeral fund provider must provide a client with a 30 day cooling-off period when they enter a pre-paid funeral contract.  A client may cancel the contract within the cooling off period without incurring a financial penalty.
  • A funeral director must provide a client with information on each component to be supplied under the contract and the costs of those components before they enter into a pre-paid contract. This information should also detail the services not covered by the contract and state clearly the terms and conditions of the contract.
  • A funeral director must transfer money received from a client who has entered a pre-paid contract to a registered funeral fund within 10 days.
  • A funeral fund  must provide a client with an annual report that details the amount the contributor has paid inot the fund in the previous year and specifies the amount the contributor would be entitled to upon their death, as at the date on the report.

Top of page

Registration 

All pre-paid and contributory funeral funds in NSW must be registered with NSW Fair Trading.

To obtain information on how to register a funeral fund or to find out whether a fund is registered, contact NSW Fair Trading’s Registry Services on 1800 502 042 or download the application for registration of a funeral fund form.

Application for registration of a funeral fund form in PDF format (size: 85kb) 

Top of page

If things go wrong 

If you have a problem, try and resolve it directly with the funeral director or fund.

If you are unsuccessful, contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or lodge a complaint online. We may be able to resolve the issue or refer you to another Government department for assistance.

Remember to keep all your paperwork and notes of everyone you speak to.

Top of page

Get a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader so you can access PDF versions of our information.