Frequently Asked Questions

We have heard thousands of questions, and chosen to provide you with the answers to some of the more common questions relating to a funeral, a funeral service and funeral homes.


COMMON QUESTIONS

The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss.

There is no official set time for when a funeral needs to happen after someone passes away. Although sometimes this also depends on the family’s culture and customs.

The doctor or coroner’s confirmation and issuing the necessary certificates; the availability of a church or crematorium; the availability of a minister or celebrant; and relatives that might be travelling from overseas.

Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a pre-plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.

Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is a celebration of life. We are are happy to discuss all options and ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalised in many unique ways. Contact us at (612) 9888 6222 to explore the possibilities.

It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. A notice can be placed in a local newspaper, or on the Internet.

Funeral planners are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. As caregivers, funeral planners are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral planners are trained to answer questions about grief, recognise when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral planners also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.

We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to us at (612) 9888 6222. If you request immediate assistance, one of our professionals will be there within the hour. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say goodbye, it's acceptable. Then they will come when your time is right.

Your funeral planner can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. Contact your hometown funeral planner of choice immediately. They will assume responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of the deceased person to their community. They may engage the services of a funeral planner in the place of death who will act as their agent.

VIEWING A BODY

There are many reasons to view the deceased. It is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions, and many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process, by helping the bereaved recognise the reality of death. Viewing is even encouraged for children, as long as it is their desire to do so, and the process is explained well.

Viewing the deceased for the final time is an emotional moment. Sometimes the casket is open and family and friends can actually touch or speak directly to the body. Sometimes, the family prefers to have a private viewing for close family members only.

The mortician will dress and prepare the body. With a photo, the mortician can prepare the body more accurately - for example, a particular way the deceased styled his or her hair. Families can choose to dress the deceased in clothing that was worn at a significant life event. Or in some cultures, clothing significant to a custom. The body is then presented in a coffin or casket.

A body can be temporarily preserved. If the body is being transferred overseas, then full embalming is necessary.

Embalming sanitises and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.

No. But, certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported by air to another country where local laws need be observed.

CREMATION QUESTIONS

No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service. We can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral with a cremation following or a memorial service.

Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.

Yes, for a nominal fee. Some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.

Yes. A magnet is used after cremation to pick out any nails and surgical pins. In the end, depending on each person, the ashes weigh about 2kg.

If you wish to keep the jewellery after the funeral service, you need to let your funeral planner know. As jewellery will be burnt with the coffin. Alternatively, you can bury jewellery with the ashes in an urn.

Yes. Cremated remains can be scattered on private land with owners permission. Although access to the site might be difficult if you move home in the future. An alternative is to scatter at sea, or have a place in a memorial garden.

Cremation ashes on their own are harmful when placed around a plant as it does not decompose. The toxic level of sodium in cremation ashes must be diluted before it becomes beneficial to plant life.

If you already have a family grave that contains a coffin, you can use the grave to bury boxed cremations, or use the space provided next to him or her.

In most case, straight after the service. Before cremation takes place, nameplate is checked to ensure correct identity. This identification stays with the coffin until the final disposal of the cremated remains.

BURIAL QUESTIONS

Just like other open spaces, cemeteries are impacted by increased population density in both urban and rural areas. Cemetery spaces are a finite resource, and as such, are at a premium in some regions.

No, embalming is not required for burial. It is always your choice. Your decision may depend on such factors as whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body with an open casket; or to enhance the deceased's appearance for a private family viewing; or if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the burial.

A columbarium, often located within a chapel or in a garden setting, is constructed with numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains

Most people think so. But the answer is no. When you buy a burial plot, you don’t own the land forever. You own the right to be buried there for a set period of time. This period of time is flexible between states in Australia.

Once you have decided on a burial, it is advisable to buy the burial plot first. Plot prices increase in price, so if you are thinking about pre-planning anything, buying a plot early on might save you money. There’s also no costs involved to discuss funeral services with a funeral planner. This is called a pre-arrangement.

A casket is box shape. A coffin is wider at the shoulders, gradually tapering in to the feet.

Graves are filled in on the same day as a burial. Coffins are not left uncovered overnight.

The next of kin will automatically be the legal executor, unless otherwise stated in the deceased’s will. In this case, you must contact the cemetery office. They will arrange for a transfer with due compliance with the law.

You can choose a lawn grave instead. There is an engraved plaque which is laid flush with the earth, or along a concrete strip at the head of the grave. Maintenance is carried out by cemetery staff.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items.

In some respects, funerals are a lot like weddings or birthday celebrations. The type and cost will vary according to the tastes and budget of the consumer. Not only that, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labour-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral planner in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin.