A: Generally, cremation is cheaper than burial due to the cost of purchasing a new grave. However, you should discuss your wishes with your chosen funeral director who will advise you on the exact cost according to your locality.
Q:Are there any religions which forbid cremation?
A: Yes, Orthodox religions and Muslims forbid cremation. Most Christian denominations, including Catholics allow cremation and it is the usual choice of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Parsees.
Q:Is the coffin cremated with the body?
A: Yes. In addition to NSW Health Regulations requiring that it is, it would be impractical and improper for crematorium staff to remove bodies from coffins prior to cremation.
Q:Is more than one coffin cremated at the same time?
A: No. The only exceptions permitted to this rule are in the case of a mother and baby, or twin children, when some crematoria will accept both in the same coffin if the next of kin requests so.
Q:Are cardboard coffins allowed?
A: Yes, there are a number of companies who produce cardboard coffins which meet the regulatory requirements of the Australian Funeral Industry.
Q:Should children attend a funeral?
A: Whilst it is a very personal decision each family should make, children may feel left out if not included in the death/funeral process. We often underestimate our children's resilience and understanding, their ability to accept and need to grieve.
Q:What is mortuary preparation?
A: Mortuary preparation involves washing and dressing, ensuring that the eyes and mouth are closed, applying makeup when appropriate and requested, styling hair and shaving as required. Embalming is a practice normally reserved for extended viewings, above-ground burials (crypts and vaults) and for those who will be transported interstate or overseas. It is used where preservation, sanitisation and presentation are important and is an additional extra to the standard mortuary fee.
Q:Must I have a coffin?
A: Yes. The only exception is for members of the Muslim religion who have a special dispensation to be buried in certain cemeteries, according to their religion (in a shroud, not a coffin).
Q:Do I have to have a funeral?
A: No. The deceased's body must be buried or cremated within the guidelines set down by the Health Department, however, any additions to a simple disposal are entirely your choice. E.g. The body can be transferred from place of death to a funeral director's mortuary, placed in a coffin and buried or cremated without ceremony or mourners attending.
Q:I am not religious, so what sort of funeral can I have?
A: You could choose to have a funeral service in the crematorium chapel, funeral director's chapel, at the graveside in some cemeteries, or any other special location or venue (subject to approval). A funeral celebrant, who is often an authorized Civil Celebrant, would most likely officiate at the service. If you don't have someone in mind for this role, your funeral director will recommend one for you.
Q:When is an autopsy (post mortem) necessary?
A: If a person dies in suspicious or violent circumstances, as a result of an accident, during or following a surgical procedure, or without having been seen by a doctor within the preceding three months, the death should be referred to a coroner. The deceased's attending medical practitioner has the right to refuse to determine the cause of death, in which case the death would also need to be referred to the coroner.
Q:Is there any financial assistance offered by government departments and organizations?
A: Centrelink & Veterans Affairs often pay a benefit - the amount may vary depending on your circumstances. Some registered clubs will also pay a benefit on the death of a member. If the deceased belonged to a private health fund, you should check the conditions of their membership.
The Funeral Directors' Association of NSW Ltd Toll Free (Australia Only): 1800 613 913 Ph: 02 9746 9366 Fax: 02 8078 3825 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: PO Box 270 Strathfield NSW 2135