Contributory and pre-paid funerals

Some people make pre-payments towards the cost of their funeral. There are two types of pre-paid funeral arrangements.

Contributory funds

Small regular payments go towards part or all of a funeral service with a particular funeral director. 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.

Other funeral products

There are a number of other funeral products available, for more information on these products go to our other funeral products 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. You should still get 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. This ensures that your money is secure if the funeral director goes out of business.
  • A funeral fund provider must give you a 30 day cooling-off period when you enter a pre-paid funeral contract.  You can cancel the contract within the cooling off period without incurring a financial penalty.
  • A funeral director must provide you with information on each component that’s 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.
  • A funeral director must transfer money received to a registered funeral fund within 10 days.
  • A funeral fund must provide you with an annual report that details the amount the contributor has paid into the fund in the previous year and specifies the amount you’ll be entitled to upon your death, as at the date on the report.


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

To register, contact NSW Fair Trading’s Registry Services on 1800 502 042 or download the application for registration of a funeral fund form (PDF, 708.08 KB).

If things go wrong

If you have a problem, try and resolve it directly with the funeral director or fund. If you’re unsuccessful, contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or make a complaint online.  Remember to keep all your paperwork and notes of everyone you speak to.

Next Using a funeral director