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Queries & Advice

Who to contact when somebody dies?

Heritage & Heritage FuneralsIn Australia today very few people die at home.  Therefore, the relevant authorities are usually on hand to take care of the formalities.  If a person dies at home then the first person to contact would be the deceased’s doctor so that the death can be verified.  After contacting the doctor you may wish to contact the funeral director of your choice or the deceased choice if the funeral was pre-arranged or pre-paid,  a priest or minister as well as close family.  Once the death has been verified by the doctor the deceased may be transferred into our care.  The funeral director liaises with the doctor regarding the medical death certificate and lodges it with the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages.    Robbie, Gavan, Sandra and the caring staff at Heritage & Heritage are available 24 hours a day to help and advise you on the correct procedure to follow.

Organising a Funeral

There is much to consider when organising a funeral such as whether it is held in a church or chapel, burial or cremation, viewing, flowers, hymns and music, public or private service, newspaper notices and after funeral refreshments.  Careful attention to every detail makes each funeral unique and a very personal tribute to the deceased.  Heritage & Heritage have modern chapel facilities and catering areas providing after funeral refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere.

Pre-Arranged Funerals

Discussing your options with your funeral director in advance will ensure every detail of your funeral is exactly as you would have wanted it and save your family anxiety and stress at a very emotional time.  Your needs are as important to us as they are to you and we try to honour any special preferences or requests that you may have.

Pre-Paid Funerals

Heritage & Heritage FuneralsWhen you pre-pay your funeral you purchase your funeral service at today's prices.  You and your funeral director will determine your funeral requirements which will then be formally documented in a contract.  This can relieve an enormous amount of emotional and financial strain from your family.  As part of a pre-paid funeral arrangement you will receive a funeral contract which lists all the pre-arranged services agreed upon and a copy of your Certificate of Membership confirming the registration of your policy.  We welcome the opportunity to meet personally with you and your family, to discuss the many benefits of our services or to simply answer any questions you may have or you may like to submit your pre-paid / pre-arranged details via the internet. (Link)

Funeral Costs

The amount spent on a funeral is for you or your next of kin to decide.  Funeral costs vary considerably and it is important to understand exactly what is included in the price.  The price quoted would normally cover: • Coffin • Funeral Director's Fee • Catering Fee • Clergy/Celebrant fee • Cemetery/Cremation fee • Organist fee • Notices • Flowers • Death Certificate (Conditions may apply to the above)

Helping Children Cope With Death

Heritage & Heritage FuneralsDying can often be explained to a child by relating the situation to that of a flower. Something is created, it grows to maturity and is very beautiful, it then starts to grow old and its petals fall, it’s time for living is ended and it dies.  This same cycle happens to people, people we love.  They have been here with us, to love and appreciate, just like a flower.  But now their time is ended and we are sad that we can’t see them anymore.   Children should always be told the truth about death, regardless of their age.  Small children particularly will ask many questions in their desire to grasp the concept of death.  The finality does not seem real as they relate death to things they see on television, heroes die and then come back to life.  They need to understand that this just doesn’t happen.  Older children may deal with death in a completely different way.  They may be angry that someone they love has died and not wish to communicate their feelings to anyone.  This is when they need to be included in discussions, for example funeral arrangements, asked for their opinions and not pushed if they do not respond.  Most importantly adults need to show the children that they are grieving too and not always try to be brave.

Heritage & Heritage FuneralsA bereavement in a family is a very emotional time, a time for togetherness, talking about the deceased and “having a good cry together” can be very helpful.  Bring things out into the open and don’t bottle them up and the children will see that being sad is natural.  Children should be encouraged to attend the viewing and the funeral if they wish to do so.  A small duty such as carrying a candle or a flower would make them feel they have not been left out of this important occasion just because they are children and adults feel they need to be protected.

Children also need to grieve and need the funeral experience to say goodbye just as adults do.  Whatever questions children of any age ask about death or funerals, they should be answered honestly and tell them if you don’t know the answer.  They may ask the same question many times because they need reassuring.  Always let them know that they can ask again if they are still confused and you are still there even if someone else they love has gone.

Why have a funeral?

A funeral is for the living.  It is a celebration of life and everyone who has been touched by the life of the deceased needs the opportunity to share in that celebration - to say goodbye.  It is an opportunity to comfort each other in a time of sorrow.

How soon after death should a funeral be?

Heritage & Heritage FuneralsThe time between death and the funeral service can vary depending on family requirements.  A service can be held within two days or delayed for weeks.  A delayed funeral is usually only required if waiting for family members to travel from interstate or overseas.  The average time taken is two full days in between the death occurring and the funeral taking place, during which time the funeral director and family can make the necessary arrangements.

Who makes the funeral arrangements?

If the deceased left a Will it is the responsibility of the executor of the Will.  Usually the executor will convey to the family any special wishes the deceased may have wanted carried out and leave the funeral arrangements to the family.  Authority rests with the next of kin when there is no Will.

What is the difference between a coffin and a casket?

A coffin is shaped to resemble the body form whereas a casket is straight sided with a hinged lid.

Is a viewing necessary?

A viewing is a personal choice.  Although some may find the viewing a painful experience it can often help them to accept death and cope with their loss.  Others may find the last contact with their loved one a great comfort, seeing them at peace, particularly if they suffered in life.

Does a burial and cremation cost the same?

In most circumstances cremation is less costly than burial, depending upon choice of memorialisation.  However, you will need to discuss the matter with one of our Arrangers, who will guide you through the many options and provide you with costings according to your wishes.

Can I pre-arrange my funeral?

Yes.  It is never too early to make these preparations.  Pre-arranging helps to protect families from the distress and emotional turmoil of arranging a funeral at the time of bereavement.  You can make arrangements now, calmly and unemotionally and save your family a lot of additional worry later on.

Can pre-paying a funeral affect my pension?

Pre-paid funerals and pre-paid cemetery plots are exempt from the assets test, regardless of their value.  Funeral Bonds under $11,000 are also exempt from the assets test.

What happens after the funeral?

Every family is different and each have their own thoughts of what happens after the service.  Many families find it is very helpful for all mourners to get together in a social atmosphere after the funeral.  This is the time to offer each other support, to share memories, to laugh and cry together.

Who organises the floral tributes?

Heritage & Heritage FuneralsFamilies may wish to contact their local florist and make their own arrangements in regards to the floral tributes.  Alternatively, the staff at Heritage & Heritage are here to help and advise you and they will order the flowers on your behalf if required.

Who organises newspaper notices?

This matter is discussed with you during your funeral arrangement and assistance given if needed, in composing a death notice.  You may wish to place these notices personally, alternatively the staff at Heritage & Heritage will contact the newspaper on your behalf.  The notice advertising the service details will be placed by staff at Heritage & Heritage.

Burial or Cremation - what choices?

With a burial, consideration needs to be given as to whether a new grave site is to be purchased or an existing site to be used, in the lawn section, monumental or Mausoleum area.  In the case of cremation have arrangements been made for the cremated remains?  Are they to be interred in a garden memorial, scattered or retained at home as a keepsake in a special vessel such as an urn?

Should children attend funerals?

Heritage & Heritage FuneralsThis decision needs to be considered carefully remembering that children often accept death easier than adults and that they too need to say goodbye.  The tendency to try and protect the child may seem to them as if they are being “shut out”.