Scrutiny and Transparency in the Funeral Industry

Scrutiny and Transparency in the Funeral Industry

Organising a funeral when you’re going through one of the toughest times in your life – the death of a loved one – can feel like a lot of added stress. To help lessen the burden, it’s best to work with caring, personal funeral directors that have your best interests at heart. Unfortunately, the funeral industry has been under scrutiny for as long as we can remember, thanks to pricing that is often less than transparent from a number of service providers.

This has led to many complaints from grieving people that have ended up paying above their expectations, at a time when they’re most vulnerable. There have been calls to turn this around, so people in Australia can feel confident that they’re choosing a funeral provider they can trust.

Calls for greater transparency in the funeral industry

We’ve seen the operations of a number of other funeral providers in the area. Often, funeral companies won’t provide pricing on their website, over the phone or in writing. Instead, they request that the potential customer comes to visit them in person – making it easier for the provider to lure in an already vulnerable person, at a time when they’re dealing with high levels of grief.

It’s natural for families to make arrangements in a rush; they don’t shop around and they settle for the first price they’re offered, assuming this is the industry norm. The problem is that too many providers are not transparent about their costs, and they add on a disproportionately high service fee to the other essential items such as transfers, certifications and coffins or cremation fees.

In this stressful time, families need support. If they’re not provided with an upfront, itemised bill, then they might not think to ask for one – which is how many funeral providers increase costs unnecessarily. It’s important to remember that you have the right to ask for an itemised bill (a cost breakdown), according to the Australian Consumer Law.

Instant quotes from Affordable Cremations

At Affordable Cremations, we pride ourselves on honesty and transparency. We’re there as a guidance for the people that choose us during this upsetting time, and we offer simple and affordable options for families across New South Wales.

Our direct cremation pricing is available on our website with an instant quote function. We do this to prevent any pressure to commit to a company without knowing your options. You won’t need to visit us in a funeral home or be “sold” to. You can simply get a quote online, email or call us and we’ll talk you through the process and provide a clear breakdown of our costs.

Get in touch

If you’d prefer a family-run funeral provider that offers simple, fuss-free funerals in NSW, get in touch with Affordable Cremations. We make the entire process easier for you, with no surprise costs or the need for you to visit us. Just email Stephanie Kelly and family on info@acnsw.com.au or call 1300 95 95 35 to discuss your options.

How to Determine Who is the Next of Kin

Last Will And Testament With Money And Planning Of Inheritance

A next of kin describes a person’s closest blood relative or someone with a close relationship to a person (for example, a child or a spouse). There are some differences about who should be named next of kin across different states of Australia, and the discussion often arises amongst families that are experiencing the death of someone close to them.

Although the next of kin has no legal rights, they usually take on responsibilities such as registering the death and organising the funeral of the deceased person. The next of kin relationship is especially important when determining complex issues such as inheritance rights, if a person dies and has no will and/or no children.

Who should be named next of kin?

When someone dies without a will, their closest relative is usually referred to as the next of kin. Generally, this is the chosen order of who should be named next of kin:

  1.  Their spouse or civil partner
  2. Their children; this includes legally adopted children, but usually doesn’t include step-children, unless stated otherwise
  3. Parents
  4. Siblings
  5. Any person named as an executor in the will
  6. Any person who was the legal personal representative

What if there is no next of kin?

In the circumstance where a person dies in hospital and has no living relatives or close friends, and no assets, the responsibility falls on the hospital to arrange the funeral using governmental services.

If somebody dies at home and has no next of kin, a burial or cremation will be organised for the “deceased destitute person”. This is carried out by the relevant Director of Public Health, who will arrange the funeral through a government agency, once a doctor has issued a medical certificate containing the cause of death.

A person that does have sufficient assets, but no next of kin, will have their funeral arranged by the NSW Trustee and Guardian, using the person’s own assets.

What is a senior next of kin?

The “senior next of kin” is the person or family member of the person that has passed, who becomes the main point of contact for the Coroner and the primary person in charge of decisions. Establishing the senior next of kin is important, as it provides one singular person for the Coroner to be in touch with, rather than having to contact multiple members of the family.

The senior next of kin is chosen based on the numbered system we have listed above.

Contact Affordable Cremations for support

We understand that this can be a confusing and complicated time. If you’ve been named the senior next of kin for someone close to you that has recently passed, Affordable Cremations offers a personal service for no service, no attendance funerals in New South Wales. We’re available 24 hours a day, so call us anytime on 1300 95 95 35 for a conversation with a member of our team.