Many people are surprised to learn that there is no law that says the services of a funeral director need to be employed in order to lay the deceased to rest.
If you wish, you, friends or family are all legally able to make arrangements for the body’s final resting place.
That said, there are a number of good reasons why the vast majority of people choose to use a funeral director for some (if not all) of the work involved in a funeral.
Here we take a look at the main advantages a funeral director can bring to an end-of-life ceremony, as well as what to consider if you are thinking of completing some (or all) parts of the process yourself.
Funeral directors know the law regarding end-of-life procedures
Before the body of the deceased can be legally discharged for burial, a death certificate needs to be signed by either a doctor or the coroner, depending on whether the death was expected, or whether there were any unusual circumstances.
In addition, Centrelink also needs to be notified.
There are also legal requirements to be met when transferring the body, preparing the body for burial and the coffin used for example, a coffin needs to be well-constructed (even if it’s made from cardboard to facilitate a green burial or cremation) with a tight-fitting lid.
If you and/or the deceased have opted for burial rather than cremation, there is also paperwork involved in procuring a burial plot.
With so many different procedures to get to grips with, ensuring that funeral arrangements comply with the law can (understandably) be overwhelming for the recently bereaved.
A funeral director has a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of funeral law.
They also have the right equipment and materials to ensure that every aspect of the departed’s progress to their final resting place is conducted with dignity, privacy and respect.
Every detail of the end-of-life ceremony can be customised
Funeral directors have enormous experience in facilitating end-of-life ceremonies.
As such, they ensure that every detail of the funeral is exactly as you (or you, acting on the deceased’s wishes) had envisaged.
From religious services through to secular services, green burials, cremations, scattering ashes at sea, end-of-life ceremonies in unusual locations and any other options for a fitting funeral that you can think of, a funeral director will know how to carry out your wishes in a suitable manner.
Convenience and the reassurance of a job done properly
Losing a loved one is a devastating experience.
In the days following a death, the last thing many relatives, friends or other associates of the deceased feel like doing is taking on the organisation of the important end-of-life ceremony.
Funeral directors are specifically trained and experienced in providing a convenient, sensitive service.
Available 24/7 365 days a year, a funeral director will talk you through every part of the preparations and requirements necessary for a respectful end-of-life departure.
If you’re not sure what the deceased would have wanted, or aren’t clear what choices are necessary to shape the end-of-life ceremony, a funeral director will make sure that all the essentials are covered.
You’ll be informed of the various options available, as well as have the opportunity to make specific requests.
In many ways, a funeral director can act as an advocate for the relatives of the deceased when they are at their most vulnerable.
Providing compassionate support at every stage of the process, they deal with the practicalities surrounding a death when knowledgeable, discreet and efficient attention is absolutely vital.
Assistance with virtual funeral attendance and a book of remembrance
On-going issues with the pandemic mean that it’s not always possible for relatives or friends of the deceased to attend in person.
Funeral directors can ensure that the funeral is discreetly recorded and/or streamed so that those who can’t attend can still pay their respects. An online book of remembrance provides a similar function.
Connections with caterers, florists, wake venues and more
As experts in organising the practical details of a funeral, funeral directors have a wealth of local knowledge and contacts for goods and services relating to end-of-life ceremonies.
Whether it’s organising a funeral at short notice, knowing who to contact for unusual requests or simply being able to recommend (or use) dependable, high-quality services for various aspects of the funeral, an experienced funeral director will have a network of suitable providers.
For the majority of families, a funeral director offers the reliable, discreet and efficient support they value to organise and implement an appropriate end-of-life ceremony.
Able to provide a professional service that’s suitable for any type of funeral, funeral directors are dedicated to making this difficult time as stress-free as possible.
Whilst it’s possible to go it alone, the newly bereaved usually benefit from the expertise, experience, knowledge and compassionate support that a funeral director brings to the end-of-life preparations.
Article by Tim Connolly Funeral Director – Newhaven Funerals
Tim Connolly – Funeral Director
Newhaven Funerals Brisbane & Gold Coast.
Growing up around funerals since the age of six allows Tim a unique understanding of how a family owned funeral business should be.
Since leaving school in 1992 Tim has been deeply involved in all aspects of operating their family owned business, including operating crematoriums, memorial gardens and pet cremation business.
Tim is always available to assist all clients with any request