How to Organise an Honouring Funeral for your Loved One: 6 Steps

Funerals are one of life’s events that are well outside the comfort zone for most people. Add in the heightened emotions of grief, shock and regret, plus some challenging family dynamics. It’s no surprise that the death of a loved one rates #1 on the top five list of ‘Life’s Most Stressful Events’. 

The team at Living Hope Funerals understand this. That’s why we have compassionate, competent and caring funeral organisers to support you through the process of organising an honouring funeral for your family member or friend.

Here is the process we have developed to ensure the best possible care for your loved one and funeral experience for your family and friends. You can follow these six steps to understand what is involved in arranging a funeral, from start to finish.

STEP 1:  Contact Funeral Home
When a loved one passes away and has been seen by a medical doctor, a funeral director needs to be contacted. It makes a very difficult time slightly less stressful if a funeral company has already been decided upon before the death and contact details are at hand. 

Living Hope Funerals are contactable 24/7, and if you leave a message a team member will get back to you as soon as is practicable. We will ask you for the details of who has passed away (full name and date of birth) and the locality where they presently are (home, hospital, nursing home, etc).   

STEP 2:  Sign Authority to Transfer + Provide Medical Certificate
Our priority at that point is to take care of the person who has passed away. We will arrange for our undertakers to come and transfer the person to our mortuary, where they will be looked after until the funeral, burial, or cremation. 

If the person has died at home or in an aged care nursing home, our transfer team would come as soon as possible, often within a few hours of receiving the call. A hospital has its own mortuary and so although it is still important to contact the funeral directors, there is no urgency for us to send the transfer team immediately. 

A Living Hope team member will help you when you initially call because there will be two forms required. The first is a form signed by yourself giving us authority to collect the person, and the other is a medical certificate stating cause of death that the doctor will provide. 

STEP 3:  Plan Funeral
Now that your loved one is being cared for at our mortuary, a Living Hope team member will contact you to arrange a convenient time and place for you to meet with us. We will ask you what kind of funeral, memorial, or farewell service you would like to have; choose the coffin you prefer; make decisions about whether it will be a cremation or burial; plus details like flowers, music and catering. We are very flexible and work towards an event you would like to see happen and is personalised towards the person you love. 

Once you have decided on the arrangements, Living Hope can provide you with a quote and talk through the costings. Some funeral providers use this process as an opportunity to upsell families by recommending premium add-ons or high-end options. This is something that Living Hope Funerals will never do. 

We recognise that funerals are a significant expense, so we work closely with families to balance their desire for an honouring celebration of their loved one’s life with pragmatic financial solutions.

STEP 4:  Personalise the Service
For the service to honour your loved one, all aspects should have a personal touch. This is what makes it unique to your family and the loved one you are saying farewell to. 

It includes things like an e-invite to send to relatives and friends inviting them to the funeral; creating and printing Orders of Service; a photo montage/video presentation; floral tribute; and writing a eulogy (please see “How to write a genuine and heart-felt eulogy in five easy steps” article). The Living Hope Team can help you with these highly personalised aspects of the service.   

STEP 5:  Attend the Memorial
On the day of the memorial service/funeral/burial or cremation, and the farewell gathering (depending on what you have chosen to do), the Living Hope Team will be there on hand for any support you or the family need. 

STEP 6:  Order Death Certificate
It is important to register the death of your loved one. That needs to be done within seven days of a cremation or burial with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in New South Wales. 

Once this is done you will be sent an official document called the Death Certificate. This document is important for legal issues, such as probate and the will. So, a few days after the funeral service, a team member will be in contact to offer support and to go through the details required to complete the application for the death certificate.  

Our team are here to support you every step along the way. If you have any questions regarding the process or simply wish to chat to one of our experienced funeral organisers, you can reach us on 1800 177 166 anytime, day or night.

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