In the event of a death, you should contact the person's doctor immediately as a doctor must certify that death has occurred. Normally funeral arrangements cannot be completed until the doctor has signed and issued a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. While you are waiting for the Doctor, you should contact France Family Funerals and speak with one of our Funeral Consultants. Once the certificate is issued we can then take the deceased into our care.
In Australia the great majority of deaths occur in hospital or other care facilities, in which case those authorities take care of the medical formalities.
In certain instances it may not be legally possible for the doctor to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and it may be necessary for police and coronial involvement.
If the doctor is unable to certify the cause of death it is necessary to contact the police, who then will liaise with coronial staff. This will be necessary in such instances as: death other than by natural causes, including violence, accidental or unusual causes; whilst under anaesthetic (or within 24 hours of the administration of an anaesthetic); unexpected death; death of a person in an institution, a prison or in police custody, drug or alcohol rehabilitation centre; when the cause of death is unknown; and when the deceased had diagnosed dementia.
Coronial staff or a Government appointed Contractor will transfer the deceased to the Coroner. In the instance of the deceased having dementia this may not be deemed necessary following police determinations.
A post mortem examination, also known as autopsy, is a detailed examination externally and of internal organs to establish the cause of death. This examination is conducted by a doctor known as a pathologist.
You can call France Family Funerals as soon as possible. We will then liaise with Coronial staff regarding release of the deceased into our care.
When someone dies at home or aged care facility
When someone dies at home, the first contact should be with the deceased's doctor who, if satisfied with the cause of death, will issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. Immediately after informing the doctor, you should contact us. We will arrange a suitable time, day or night, to visit you and discuss your requirements.
In the case of a nursing home death, the staff at the facility should liaise with the doctor. You can call France Family Funerals as soon as possible. We will then liaise with the nursing home regarding release of the deceased into our care.
When someone dies in hospital
The nursing staff will contact you if death occurs in hospital. They will arrange for a doctor to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. You will need to collect any belongings. If the funeral is to be a cremation, please advise the hospital staff so necessary paperwork can be completed.
Contact our funeral home immediately - we will arrange a suitable time, day or night, to meet with you to discuss the funeral arrangements and bringing the deceased into our care.
You can call France Family Funerals as soon as possible. We will then liaise with hospital staff regarding release of the deceased into our care.
When someone dies unexpectedly
When someone dies unexpectedly, it is normal for the Coroner to be involved. There are many reasons why this can happen. The Coroner is automatically involved in most sudden or unexpected deaths, especially if the deceased has not been under a doctor's care on a regular basis.
Contact France Family Funerals as soon as possible. We can advise on the procedures involved and liaise with the Coroner's office.
Arranging a funeral
If this is the first time that you are arranging a funeral, the task can be quite daunting. At this time the experience, care and professionalism of Funeral Directors Association of NSW member will be most important. Remember, the funeral directors role is one of service. We are here to serve the bereaved, and to be entrusted with all the arrangements as directed by you and at a cost acceptable to you.
France Family Funerals has the expertise and facilities to offer you a full range of options. We will discuss your preferences and requirements, and are fully flexible when it comes to assisting you with the planning of appropriate funeral and burial or cremation arrangements.
You will need to make early decisions about:
- Whether it will be a burial or a cremation
- Where the service will take place (church, funeral chapel, memorial park chapel, graveside, elsewhere)
- We will then liaise with the necessary parties to agree a day, date and time for the service, to meet your requirements.
You will also need to know:
- The full name, address and age of the deceased
- The location of the deceased
- The name and contact details of the doctor of the deceased
- Whether a death certificate has been issued
- Whether the funeral will be a religious or non-religious ceremony. We have experience in arranging funerals across all religions and cultures.
- Full details of your wishes regarding the services of a minister will be needed.
The arrangement meeting
This meeting can take place in our office, your home, or at the hospital - which ever is the most convenient for you.
The Funeral Director will arrange the following with your advice:
- The transfer of the deceased person to the Funeral Home.
- Record the appropriate personal details and funeral arrangements.
- The most suitable time and day for the funeral.
- Contact and confirm the availability of the Minister or Celebrant.
- Confirm and book the venue either Church, Chapel or other significant place.
- Confirm the time and book the cemetery or crematorium.
- Order the floral arrangement for the coffin or casket.
- Prepare and email death and funeral notices to the relevant newspapers.
- Provide envelopes and collection box for Donations to a Charity - if required.
- Contact the local RSL to arrange a service for ex-service personnel and provide red poppies and the Australian flag.
- Notify Centrelink or the Department of Veterans' Affairs of the death of the person concerned.
- Complete and lodge the Death Registration form.
- Complete the cremation forms (as applicable).
- Complete order for burial form (as applicable)
- Order a copy of the Death Certificate as requested.
- Provide an estimate of the funeral cost for the Executor or next of kin.
- Arrange to prepare a photographic presentation of the deceased's life for the day of the funeral (if required).
- Provide a Memorial Book for signatures at the church.
- Arrange for the provision and serving of refreshments to guests at the funeral as required.
- Arrange for those special touches such as balloons or doves
- Prepare Orders of Service or Mass Booklets
After the arrangement meeting
After the initial arrangement meeting, we follow through on the various decisions made.
The many hours of planning and behind the scenes work we carry out is vital to ensuring the funeral is carried out in accordance with your wishes.
A number of follow up phone calls are usually made during this period, to confirm or clarify outstanding issues and details.
Occasionally a further face to face meeting is needed.
On the day of the Funeral
On the day of the funeral, you will meet one of our experienced funeral conductors, who is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the service. This will often be the funeral consultant who assisted you make the arrangements.
Our conductor’s primary focus is to ensure the service runs smoothly and that the day is as comfortable for you and your family as possible.