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Arrange a funeral

When someone dies they're known as ‘the deceased'. Arranging their funeral is usually the responsibility of the Executor (the person who the deceased nominated, usually in their Will, to carry out their last wishes) or the deceased's nearest surviving relative (their next of kin).

Registering the death

If you're responsible for arranging a funeral, the first thing you'll need to do is register the death. Once registered, you’ll be given copies of the forms you need to arrange a burial or cremation.

Organising the funeral and funeral service

Once you have copies of the relevant forms, you may decide to work with a funeral director. If you do, they’ll be able to help you to organise some, or all, of the funeral and practical side of things, including arranging for:

  • the preparation and storage of the body
  • a casket or coffin
  • a vehicle to collect and transport the coffin
  • people (pallbearers) to carry the coffin into the chapel or to the graveside.

You may also decide to ask a funeral director to help plan the funeral service.

Funeral services are very personal things. Some people choose to have a traditional religious ceremony; some choose to have a secular (non-religious) ceremony; and some choose to have a combination of the two. You may choose to have a full religious service at the cemetery or crematorium; or a service at a separate place of worship, followed by a brief committal (burial) at the cemetery. You may choose to arrange for your own Minister to conduct the service or, if you’re working with a funeral director, ask them to find a suitable Minister on your behalf. There are lots of options.

You can plan the funeral service yourself or work with a funeral director, who’ll be able to help you make the service a very personal occasion.

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