Q: How much does a funeral cost?
A: Funeral prices can vary depending on what sort of service is required; the best way to find out a cost is to prearrange your funeral.
Q: Should I be buried or cremated?
This is a question that we cannot answer as it is very much a personal choice. In arriving at your decision we would suggest that you consider the following: Do other family members (spouse, children, parents) wish to be buried beside you? If you are cremated and the ashes are scattered, there is no physical place for family members to come back to. What are the intentions of your spouse? If both of you are to be cremated, do you wish for the ashes to be spread/placed together?
Q: Whom do I notify when someone dies?
If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing home, the staff of that facility will direct you as to whom to contact. Generally they will notify the family doctor and will make initial contact with the funeral director.
You are more than welcome to also make contact with the funeral director to commence the organising of a funeral. If the death occurs at a residence or in a public place, your initial call should always be to your local doctor and/or ambulance. They will then advise you as to the next steps to take. Such steps will include contacting the funeral director and the police if the death was unexpected.
Q: What do I have to organise?
When confronted with the need to make funeral arrangements, it may appear all too overwhelming. It is our role as funeral directors to lead you through the decisions that need to be made so your loved one may receive a farewell which is both personalised and tasteful.
Upon notification of the passing away of a loved one, we will contact the family and arrange a mutually convenient time when decisions can start to be made. At this meeting we will lead you through decisions such as: the type of service you desire, booking venues and liaising with crematoriums, cemeteries, churches and ministers. We will arrange the placing of ads in the necessary media outlets and the ordering of flowers.
Q: Should children come to the service?
There are no rules as to whether children should be present at a funeral as it largely depends on the age and maturity of the child as well as the relationship they had with the deceased. If the parents think that it would be beneficial for the child to be present, they are more than welcome to attend.
Q: What is a memorial service?
A memorial service is one which occurs after the body has either been buried or cremated. There is no set time gap between the disposal of the body and the service, and times can range from immediately following to a period of weeks. It is also not necessary for the memorial service to be held in the same town as the funeral, with access for mourners being the deciding factor.
Q: What refreshment options do I have?
There are usually three options which are available. If the service has been at a church, it is common for ladies of the church to supply finger food accompanied by tea and coffee. If the service has been at the crematorium at Taree, catering facilities are available on site.
At a private residence: This is usually the family home, however it is not unusual for family friends to offer their residences. Catering is offered by the family, although there would be no reason why professional caterers could not be engaged. For this option, the family organises caterers, etc.
At a professional venue: This option takes in facilities such as Club Forster, the bowling clubs, restaurants etc.
Q: Is more than one body cremated at once?
No. The only exceptions permitted to this rule are in the case of a mother and a baby or twin children when some crematoria will accept both in the same coffin if the next of kin request that the two be cremated together.
Q: Does the coffin get cremated as well?
Yes. The whole coffin is cremated including the handles, ornaments etc.
Q: What is not permitted in a coffin when cremated?
Anything which contains a battery will either explode or give off toxic gas when exposed to heat. Such things as mobile phones (with battery), pacemakers, battery-powered toys and clocks are examples of battery-powered items not permitted.
In the case of a pacemaker, we will remove this item prior to the funeral taking place. Items prohibited on the grounds of exposure to heat include cans, bottles and items containing excessive rubber (gumboots).
Q: When is the death certificate issued, and how do I get it?
The formal death certificate is issued by the NSW registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages and will be forwarded by registered post to the nominated residential address usually within 14 working days of when the information is forwarded from our office.