Funeral assistance

If you, or relatives or friends, can’t arrange or pay for the funeral of a loved one who has died in Queensland (and their assets can’t cover the cost of a funeral), the Queensland Government may organise a simple burial or cremation.

How to apply

You can apply for funeral assistance if, after getting quotes and talking to family members, you conclude that no one can arrange or pay for the funeral. You can’t apply for funeral assistance before the person has died.

To apply, contact your local courthouse or the Coroners Court. You’ll need to attend an interview to provide information about the deceased person’s financial situation and the deceased’s spouse or parents, if the deceased is a child.

You may need to provide documentation, such as bank account details, bank statements, pension details or a will, and you’ll need to sign a statutory declaration stating the information you provide in the application is correct.

If you provide incomplete or inaccurate information, you may need to pay back all associated costs after the funeral.

Funeral directors

The government department will contact a contracted funeral director in the area where the death occurred. If there is no contracted funeral director, the nearest available funeral director will be used.

The department will determine where the deceased person will be buried or cremated. Please be aware that up to two other deceased persons may be buried in the same plot as your deceased relative or friend.

Family or friends cannot place a headstone or plaque on the burial site.

Services provided

The funeral director:

  • provides a properly made, conventionally shaped, stained and suitably lined coffin
  • conducts the funeral in a proper and respectful manner
  • provides a graveside service for burials
  • provides a service at the crematorium for cremations.

Note: The funeral director is not allowed to provide extra services for additional fees, such as funeral notices, viewings, church services, coffin upgrade, flowers, headstones or plaques.

If you would like a member of the clergy to conduct a graveside service, you must tell the funeral director. You will be responsible for any associated costs.

Burial in home town

Your loved one will be buried or cremated in the place where they died. However, they may be buried at a different location if that place is their residence or ancestral home.

In this case, family or friends must pay the costs of transporting them to that location.

Recovering money from the deceased’s estate

The Queensland Government is entitled to recover monies from the estate, similar to any other debt.

If a relative or friend becomes aware of any monies owing to the estate after the funeral service, they must advise the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

Families of homicide victims

Families of homicide victims are eligible for financial assistance towards funeral costs.

For advice, contact:

For more information, contact your local courthouse or the Coroners Court – Northern Region.

More information