Arranging A Funeral

A Funeral is an Emotional Family Event...

That’s why it is important to choose an experienced and reliable funeral director, who understands the unique needs of your family. Our caring and professionally trained staff will guide you through the many decisions and choices, to ensure your loved one’s funeral is a fitting reflection of their life

When a Death Occurs

At Howard Squires Funerals, we recognise that people generally only need to make funeral arrangements two or three times in their lives. That’s why we’ve developed this overview of what to expect when making funeral arrangements with us.

Our Role

An important and traditional part of a funeral director’s role is to assist with the practical aspects of a funeral, such as care of your loved one, and coordinating when and where the funeral will be held.

These days, families are increasingly seeking guidance and advice on the celebratory aspects of a funeral, such as the style and content of the service, the choice of music, and other touches that reflect the life of your loved one.

At Howard Squires Funerals, we consider our staff to be funeral planners, in much the same way that a wedding planner coordinates and oversees all aspects of a wedding.

Our objective is to be your caring and trusted adviser, and to play a central, but unobtrusive role in planning what is often an important family event or celebration.

Immediate Steps

Death can occur in many different circumstances: at home, overseas, unexpectedly, in a hospital or nursing home.

During our initial discussion with you, we will generally make arrangements to:

Transfer your loved one into our care; and agree on a suitable time/place for us to meet with you, to discuss the funeral arrangements.

Both of these things usually happen within the first 24 hours after a death occurs.

If you require our assistance at this time, please us on 1300 881 691 

We are here to assist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Initial Arrangement Meeting

Our initial face to face meeting with you is called the arrangement meeting.

This meeting can take place at your home, or in one of our conveniently located branches.

During this funeral arrangement meeting, one of our caring Funeral Planners will assist you to decide on all of the many practical and celebratory aspects of the funeral. A number of legal forms will also need to be completed.

The arrangement meeting is generally 1-2 hours in duration.

Examples of some of the decisions that need to be made include:

  • When and where will the funeral be held?
  • Will vehicles be required?
  • Will there be a viewing?
  • Will music be incorporated into the service?
  • Will there be an Order of Service or Life Review presentation?
  • Will the death and funeral be advertised in the newspaper?
  • Will there be a gathering afterwards?

During the meeting, we record the decisions and choices made in a contract, and other documents, and leave you with a detailed estimate of the costs and disbursements associated with the funeral.

Our Funeral Planner will also ask you to supply clothing that your loved one will be dressed in. If you are undecided as to which clothing will be used we can arrange for collection of these garments at another suitable time.

What You Can Do In Advance:

As there is often some time between the death and the arrangement meeting, there are a number of things you can do to prepare for this meeting, such as:

  • Decide whether the funeral will be a burial or cremation
  • Decide on and gather together the clothing you may wish for your loved one to wear
  • Give some thought to the wording of the personal notices you may wish to place in the newspaper

To assist your preparation of a Death or Funeral Notice, you may wish to download suggested Death and Funeral Notice verses and line endings.

It is also helpful to gather the personal details that are required to legally register the death with the office of Births, Deaths & Marriages. You can download the Registration of Death Form here.

Once the death is registered, Births, Deaths & Marriages will send you a formal death certificate, which is often needed in relation to any legal and estate issues that may need to be attended to. This takes 4 - 5 weeks to be sent.

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 preparation is vital in ensuring that 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 planner who assisted you to 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.

After the Funeral

We recognise that losing a loved one can be a life-changing experience, and we invite you to contact us following the funeral, if you feel we can help in any way. Our online Information and Resources are also helpful.

We generally render our account around 10 days after the service.