Frequently Asked Questions & Links

May I participate in a funeral service?
Yes. We encourage families to participate in a funeral service. From forming a guard of honour to delivering a eulogy, participating in a funeral allows you to express your feelings and provides a means of personalising the funeral for the deceased.

How long between death and the funeral service?
The length of time between death and the funeral service can vary depending on your instructions but it is generally 2-5 days. Importantly it will take as long as you need. There is no need to feel rushed. Allow enough time for out-of-town guests to make travel arrangements to attend the service. Family and friends should also have enough time to read the death & funeral notice in newspapers and arrange for time off from work. If the death has been referred to the Coroner, it may be necessary to factor in their requirements before a funeral can take place.

How do I get a Death Certificate?
These are issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. A funeral director is responsible for registering the death with this Registry within 7 days of the burial or cremation. Once the death is registered, Births, Deaths and Marriages provide a formal Death Certificate, which is often a necessary document for any legal and estate issues that need to be attended to.

Can funeral services be held anywhere?
The most common sites for holding funerals are at a church or crematorium. Another option is to hold the entire ceremony at a graveside service or at a family residence.

What is embalming?
Embalming is a chemical treatment of a body which disinfects and preserves and must be carried out by a qualified embalmer.

Is embalming always required?
No, a common misconception exists that embalming is required by law. Embalming is required if there is an extended delay between death and the Funeral service, the deceased is being transported over long distances or the deceased is going to be placed in a crypt or a vault. Some religions and cultures prohibit the practice of embalming.

Should we have a viewing?
Viewing the deceased is a very personal decision and it is entirely up to you. It not only helps the bereaved to face the reality of death but it also allows for quiet times of reflection and good-byes. Viewings can be held in Churches,Crematoriums, Chapels and at your home.

Does having a cremation mean there will be no funeral service?
Not at all. There can be a funeral service in exactly the same way as there is with a burial. The only difference is that at the end of the funeral service the remains are cremated rather than buried.

Should children attend the funeral?
The death of a family member can be a very confusing and bewildering experience for children. Attendance at the funeral may be helpful for a child to realise the finality of death, and also allows the child to share in the emotional experience with the family. However, you should not insist that they attend. Let the children express sorrow in their own way and do not force ideas on them, such as grieving or funeral attendance. Talk with younger children. If they want to attend the funeral, prepare them for the experience and answer any questions they may have.

Is it appropriate for a child to attend a family gathering or 'wake'?
It is entirely up to you whether you feel it is appropriate. It is a good idea to ask the child and explain what is happening. We have found that children want to be involved – not left out. Being part of the gathering means they are surrounded by the care and support of family members.

What should I include when writing a eulogy?
As a helpful guide, the following may be of assistance in preparing a eulogy: When and where was the deceased born Nicknames and/or names known to others Parents names – where they met and married Brothers and Sisters Early childhood – localities and interests Schools attended, awards gained Academic or trade qualifications and achievements Some interesting items about childhood days Details of any war or military service if appropriate Details of marriages, divorces, children, significant relationships Details of grandchildren/great grandchildren Details of any Club memberships, position held Details of sporting achievements Details of any hobbies or interests, travel, crafts etc.

Details of historical significance Preferences, likes and dislikes Details of activities e.g. music, theatre etc. Any special stories, sayings, qualities that are significant to others Special readings, music or poetry to be included if you wish. Try and keep the eulogy to around 5-10 minutes in length so this allows enough time for others to speak.

What is the difference between a cemetery and a memorial park?
Typically, a cemetery offers upright monuments and markers or memorials flush to the ground or on stone bases while a memorial park only offers markers flush to the ground or on stone bases.

In Memorial parks, visitors can experience a park-like, tranquil setting while remembering their loved ones. In many memorial parks, benches, pergolas and other garden features have been positioned to provide seating and shade.

Who should I notify?

Of course there are always the family and friends of the deceased to notify. It can help to have a trusted family member or friend act as the point of contact for all these people.But there are others who also need to know, though not necessarily straight away. This list might be of help in taking care of this important detail.

  • The Executor nominated by the deceased
  • Centrelink
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs
  • Superannuation companies
  • Solicitor and/or public trustee
  • Accountant
  • Banks, building societies, credit unions, financial institutions, credit card providers and loan companies
  • Employer/former employer
  • Trade unions or professional associations
  • Australian Tax Office
  • Australian Electoral Office
  • Medicare
  • Insurance companies including life, accident, home and contents, vehicle Friendly Societies
  • Doctor, dentist, specialists, hospitals, chemist, health benefits fund
  • Main roads – car registration Clubs, organisations and associations
  • Church or religious organisation
  • Household help, gardening services or Meals on Wheels
  • Home nursing service
  • Home delivery services – e.g. newspapers and milk
  • Home appliance rental, medical aids rental company
  • Post Office for mail delivery
  • Local Government for Rates, fire levy, etc.
  • Ambulance Service
  • Telephone company, electricity company
  • School or college
  • Companies – e.g. for directorships
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Service organisations – e.g. Rotary, Lions, Apex, Red Cross, Blood bank

Relevant Links

We hope you might also find the following links useful when considering a donation to your loved ones favourite cause :

Please let Ian, David or Chris know if you would like your cause uploaded on our website.


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