Preparation before death has occurred can make it easier when this time comes

If you or the person you care for want to prepare some things in advance of your death, there are things you can do. This can make the time after death easier for your family and friends. It can also be a way for you to share time together.


Your legacy

You or the person you care for might want to share with loved ones the story of your life and what matters most to you. Your legacy. This might also be useful for your funeral preparations such as eulogy or a slide show to remember your life. There are online templates such as this one from Australian Funeral Directors Association to help you create a legacy booklet. A way for family to remember you and your life.

Digital legacy

After your death your online accounts will remain open unless you or someone else takes care of them. To find out more about this and what to do visit the CareSearch Dying2Learn page on digital legacy.

Arranging and paying for funerals

If your illness is considered terminal, you may want to arrange some or all of your own funeral.

In this way others will know what you would have wanted and won’t have to guess. For example, do you:

  • want to be buried or cremated.
  • want certain flowers or no flowers
  • want people donate to a particular cause
  • want certain music or readings at your funeral, or
  • want a certain type of coffin or ceremony.

Download the Planning your funeral factsheet (1.44MB pdf)

There are different ways that your funeral instructions can be given:

  • in your will,
  • as notes for your family or
  • as a formal plan with a funeral company (may require advanced payment).

When organising a funeral, you don’t have to engage a funeral director, but many people do. The funeral director will take care of many of the arrangements. This includes registering the death with the Registry of births, deaths and marriages in your state so that a Death Certificate can be issued.

Planning and paying for your funeral are things you can do in advance if you wish. Funerals can be expensive. You might want to discuss this with others. Pensioners may be eligible for Centrelink bereavement payments and other government assistance.

Video: Avoid a funeral rip off

This FairTrading Queensland video explains what to consider and different ways to pay in advance for funerals.

End of life wishes

If you are dying you will need to consider how to leave instruction on what you want to happen to your property and finances after your death. CareSearch has information on creating Wills and on organ and tissue donation.

In your Will you can also say what you want for your funeral. But because the Will might not be read until after the funeral it is good to let others know what you would want.


Who to notify

There are people and organisations that you will need to contact after the person has died. Some of this will only happen once you have received the Death Certificate - a legal document providing proof that the person has died. Services Australia has a checklist of who you should notify.

Last updated 02 August 2021