When Someone Dies
When suddenly tasked with the overwhelming responsibility of taking care of a deceased love one, the sense of loss and confusion mixed with grief can make everything seem momentous. It feels like a thousand decisions have to be made at a time when most would rather find a comforting shoulder and just cry.
As most people have never arranged a funeral before, knowing what to do does not come naturally. Which is why it is important to find help in sending off your loved one in a manner that respects their final wishes, and expresses your love for them.
“A true friend shows love at all times, And is a brother who is born for times of distress.”
First of all, please find the support of a caring family member or friend. A friendly shoulder to cry on, who will listen to your concerns and be a sounding board for your decisions, is invaluable.
Next, finding an experienced funeral director to help guide you through the steps involved can make this journey a little easier. You are welcome to discuss your wishes with us first, before making any final decisions.
In our multi-cultural society, there are many different ways to say good-bye and often, it’s the smaller details that make the difference. Our staff understand this, and will do their utmost to carry out your requests with the dignity and respect your loved one deserves.
To guide you through the necessary steps, we have compiled a brief list, with further information on the links.
Please select an option from our
Funeral Options & Answers
Transferring Your Loved One
- From Home – we are able to attend once the doctor has signed a life extinct or cause of death certificate for the deceased.
- From Nursing Home – usually, the staff will contact us on your behalf if we are the nominated funeral director.
- From Hospital – once you have contacted us, we will ask you to sign a release form giving us permission to transfer your loved one into our care. We will liaise with the hospital staff on your behalf.
- Cause of Death certificate. This important document needs to be completed and signed by a doctor, before we are able to take any action on your behalf. The certificate provides vital details about the deceased, including the known reasons for their death.
- Coroner. In certain circumstances, a death must be reported to the Coroner. This could mean that the contracted governmental undertaker will be responsible for transferring your loved one from their place of death to the appropriate location, usually the local hospital, for examination by the coroner. This process can take some time, so patience is required. We will organise with the coroner for the release of your loved one back into our care.
Caring For The Deceased
- Once in our care, we will wash and dress your loved one according to your wishes. This is always done respectfully and with dignity.
- Clothing – You are certainly welcome to provide your loved ones favourite clothes, if desired.
- Valuable items such as jewellery can be included. These need to be considered carefully as they will not be returned once cremation or burial has taken place.
- Cultural considerations involving preparation of the deceased can be accommodated. Please discuss your needs with our funeral director.
- Embalming is not generally required, except in special circumstances. If there is a need, we will discuss this with you.
Discussing Funeral Arrangements
- The executor of the deceased’s estate, or the most appropriate family member who is willing and able to perform this duty, will need to meet with the funeral director to discuss your requirements.
- See our how to arrange for a funeral page for a more comprehensive discussion on funeral arrangements.
- Cremation or Burial? This is one of the first questions to be asked. It’s a highly personal question, that needs to be discussed within your family. If you are unsure, please click here for more information on both options.
- Is there a reserved burial plot or Memorial Garden reservation?
- Is there a pre-existing written funeral plan, expressing the wishes of the deceased? Decisions already made by your loved one will lighten the burden on you. It becomes fairly straight forward to carry out their choices.
- Is there any Funeral insurance or policy? If so, do you have the name of the company? If the funeral costs have already been considered, then we can work with you to access those funds. There may be limitations imposed so it is important to know the details before proceeding with arrangements.
- Cultural traditions? What traditions need to be considered as part of the funeral process?
- Do you have all the information required to register the death? Your funeral director will register the death for you, so it’s important this information is accurate.
- Did your loved one have a funeral insurance plan or bond? Do you know the details?
- Other resources could be bank accounts, superannuation funds.
- What are the costs involved in a funeral? These can vary widely depending on your requirements, therefore it is not easy to simply ‘provide a price’. Although you are certainly welcome to ask for a quote after discussing your needs with our staff. Some of the items you can expect to find include the following:
- Professional service fee, which includes coordination between other parties and paperwork.
- Cremation or Cemetery fees
- Coffin or Casket
- Clergy / Celebrant fees
- Newspaper notices
- Floral arrangements if required
- Medical permits (compulsory)
- Order of Service booklets
- Other services as requested by the family
Registering The Death
- Registering with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is arequirement by law.
- We will attend to this for you to ensure you receive a copy of the Death Certificate as soon as possible. The Certificate will normally arrive fourteen days from the date of registration.
- We are legally unable to complete the registration until after the cremation or burial has taken place.
- It is important that details about the deceased are correct, so taking the time to locate the correct information required is vital.
- Organising a plaque for a burial plot. This is generally not something that needs to be addressed straight away, but can be discussed as part of the funeral arrangements if required. Occasionally families prefer to do this while everybody is gathered together. Please be aware that plaques can take from one to three months to be finalised, depending on your choices.
- Garden Memorials or Niche walls can also be organized. Our tranquil Memorial Gardens are accessible at any time for you to wander through.
The following checklist is only intended as a general guide only, to help you sort out the affairs of the person who has died.
- Department of Veteran Affairs
- Banks / Finance Companies
- Superannuation Funds
- Insurance Companies
- Public Trustee
- Australian Tax Office
- Australia Post
- Real Estate
- Local Council for land rates
- Electoral office
- Electricity / Gas Company
- Phone provider
- Home Nursing / Meals on Wheels / Other Assistance Programs
- Email / Social Network Providers