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Organising a Funeral

Families benefit emotionally and socially by organising a funeral to honour their loved ones. A funeral is an important event for a grieving family, although many may find it overwhelming.

It’s difficult to make the funeral the best it can be when planning in such a short amount of time, here is some helpful information to assist you.

Who organises the funeral?

Usually, the next of kin or executor of the last will and testament is responsible for signing off the funeral. However, this is not always the case and you are encouraged to share any concerns you have about this with the nominated funeral director. A delegated family member or close friend of the family can organise the funeral.

Whilst it helps if only one person liaises with the funeral director, we encourage families to work together to share the load and support each other through this difficult time.

Again, QHVSG are here to assist you with any questions you may have.

How do I organise the funeral?

After the post-mortem examination, the Coroner will usually authorise the release of the body. This examination does not usually interfere with the viewing of your loved one at the funeral, however you can discuss with your Funeral Director.

You may use a Funeral Director of your choice and arrange this as soon as you feel able. The Funeral Director will guide you through what is needed.

A brief list of things to remember for funeral planning can be found here. (This list is by no means a full definitive list of what must be done, and a funeral director will help guide and organise everything that needs to be done.)

What to expect

Some Funeral Directors are members of the Queensland Funeral Directors Association, meaning they subscribe to a code of ethics. Irrespective of this, it is reasonable to assume the following treatment from a Funeral Director. Remember, this is your private day, and you are the client, feel free to shop around and find a Funeral Director that you are comfortable with, and who will treat you and your family with dignity and respect:

  • Compassion and empathy
  • Sensitivity
  • Good listener
  • Justifiable charges (we recommend getting a written estimate of charges)
  • Confidentiality
  • Options, and consent to personalise the funeral to meet your needs
  • Professional and respectful staff
  • Respect for any religious or cultural considerations

For more information on funeral directors, or to view the Funeral Directors Code of Ethics, contact the Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA)

How is the funeral paid for?
What will happen on the day?

On the day you may organise for a viewing to take place. Otherwise you will arrive with other guests, taking some time to speak with friends and family if you wish.

Once the service begins, everyone will be seated and the celebrant or minister will invite friends and family to read their personal eulogies. Usually one or two songs are played during the ceremony and these can be your loved one’s favourite songs, or a song that reflects your loved one’s life.

If your loved one is being buried, pallbearers will be asked to carry your loved one either to the gravesite or to the Hurst to be driven to the gravesite, where more words or prayers will be shared, along with scattering of flowers or releasing of balloons or doves in their honour.

Cremations however are usually conducted at the funeral home. It is important to stress that funerals are extremely personal moments, please speak to your Funeral Director about ideas either you or they may have to personalise this day.

Do I get to say goodbye?

Yes. If you wish, you can speak to the Funeral Director about allowing a “viewing” to take place either the day before, or on the day of the funeral. A viewing allows you and family to spend time with and say goodbye to your loved one in private. You may wish to write them a letter or find their favourite toy or CD to place with them inside the casket.

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