What is the first thing I do after a death occurs?

  • If the death is from a known illness at home, call the family doctor and let them know that the death has occurred. 
  • If the death occurred at a hospital or nursing home the staff will usually contact the doctor. 
  • If the death was unexpected or sudden, call the police and they will advise next steps. 
  • After that the doctor or police have been contacted you then contact Heaven Funerals to arrange the transfer of the deceased into our care. 
  • We will suggest a time to meet and make all of the necessary arrangements. 

When do the police have to be involved?

  • If the death was sudden and unexpected the Police and Coroner’s office will be involved.  
  • Call them first and follow their instructions and then call family and friends for support. 
  • Be aware that the Coroner’s office and mortuary will need to be involved. 
  • Finally, call Heaven Funerals. We will suggest a time to meet and make all of the necessary arrangements. 
  • Once the Coroner sends an Order to Release, Heaven Funerals staff will go to the mortuary and transfer your loved one into our care. 

How do we deal with a death at a hospital?

  • The Ward senior nursing staff will talk you through the process once the death occurs. Each hospital is a little different so just follow their lead. 
  • Next call family and friends and then call Heaven Funerals. We will suggest a time to meet and make all of the necessary arrangements. 
  • You will need to sign an Authority to Release Form advising the Hospital that Heaven Funerals will be transferring your loved one into our care. 
  • Your loved one will be taken through to the hospital mortuary until the paperwork is done. 
  • Hospital admin will complete most of the formalities as soon as possible including a Cause of Death Certificate (Form 9) necessary for the release of the deceased.  
  • Heaven Funerals will follow up with hospital staff within 24 hours to see when all the papers are ready. Once completed we will go to the hospital mortuary to transfer your loved one into our care. 

What if the death happens in nursing home?

  • If family are not there, the staff will contact next of kin and advise of the passing. 
  • You will need to advise the nursing home staff that Heaven Funerals will be transferring your loved one into our care.  
  • The onsite registered nurse will fill out a life extinct form and call the Heaven Funerals. 
  • As most nursing homes do not have a mortuary they will call Heaven Funerals at the time of death and we will go to transfer your loved one into our care. This may happen in the middle of the night if that is when the death occurred. 
  • The Cause of Death Certificate, (Form 9) will be provided by the nursing home doctor or GP within 48hrs of the death. Heaven Funerals will collect when it is ready. 

Who should I notify after the doctors or Coroners Office?

  • Friends and Family- But there are others who also need to know, though not necessarily straight away. 
  • Executor nominated by the deceased to carry out the terms of their will. 
  • Life or Funeral Plan Insurer’s. 
  • Your Minister or support group. 
  • Centrelink. 
  • Superannuation companies involved. 
  • Employer. 
  • Schools if a younger person. 
  • Australian Tax Office. 
  • Any other legal and financial advisors. 

Do I have to be buried or cremated in Brisbane?

  • No, you have the option to be repatriated (transferred)  to wherever you wish. 
  • Heaven Funerals can arrange either interstate or overseas repatriations. 
  • Embalming is a necessity in these cases, and will take place before repatriation. 
  • All flights, customs clearance and additional preparation are taken care of by us. 
  • Interstate repatriations can either be flown or transferred in refrigerated road vehicles. 

How long does it take to repatriate?

  • This depends on the cause of death and how far away your homeland is. 
  • Death not requiring an autopsy could be repatriated within three days. 
  • Deaths requiring an autopsy (Coroners case) can take between 7-14 days. 

Do I have to be embalmed?

  • No, embalming is only required when there is to be a long term viewing or repatriation. 
  • Embalming is required when the deceased is being repatriated to satisfy the airlines. 
  • Embalming is also required when the deceased is to be viewed in an open casket at home in the days leading up to the funeral. 
  • If neither of these are planned then the deceased are held in a cool room until the service. 

Can we have a viewing in our home here?

Yes, so long as the deceased is embalmed. 

How long can we have our loved one at home?

  • It depends on the condition of the deceased at the time of passing. 
  • In most cases between 3-5 days is recommended.  
  • Longer periods of viewing are possible depending on cause of death and time of the year, i.e. summer versus winter. 

Do I have to register the death before arranging the funeral?

  • No, death registration takes place after the final burial, cremation or repatriation occurs.  
  • Our trained staff will gather all the information required and take care of the death registration within 48 hours of the funeral service completion. 

How do I get a Death Certificate?

  • The Heaven Funerals staff will register the death as soon as possible after the funeral has taken place. The legal requirement is within 7 days following the funeral but we have a 48 hr turnaround promise at Heaven Funerals. 
  • This is done directly with Births, Deaths and Marriages using the information that you will provide during the arrangement meeting. We register all deaths on line. 
  • The Official Death Certificate will be mailed to the home address you elect during the arrangement meeting. 

Can we prepay our funeral?

  • Yes Prepaying your funeral is a possibility.  
  • We will give you a quote at todays prices and lock those in so that you have no future worries about funding your future funeral. 
  • We use a third party trust fund to keep your money safe. 

How can we plan financially?

  • There are a number of different ways to plan ahead. 
  • Buying your own family cemetery plot(s) makes a lot of sense. Plots will continue to increase in cost as the years roll by so buying one now is a good idea. 
  • Check your superannuation to see if there is funeral cover in the plan. 
  • If you don’t have superannuation, you could start a savings account specifically for a funeral. 
  • There are many Funeral Insurance companies who sell funeral packages. Be sure to select wisely, some plans may eventually cost more than the cover if this is not capped. Also some plans are not inflation adjusted so check the fine print. 
  • Life insurance is a different product and can take months to pay out. Check if there is a funeral  payout portion. This is usually the case for life insurance policies. 

What does this all cost?

  • The cost of a funeral is the same as asking the cost of a car. The real answer is, IT DEPENDS. 
  • Funeral costs are dependent on what the family wishes to do. The key variable is the Coffin/Casket selected, additional services (e.g. embalming) and products (e.g. Flowers, Newspaper notices, Service sheets etc) and the size of the deceased.  

As a basic guide the following ranges apply. 

  • No service local cremation are the least expensive- From: $1,500 – $2,500 
  • Grave Side local Burial – From :$2,500 – $4,000 Excluding Plot 
  • Full Service local Cremation – From: $3,500 – $5,000 
  • Full Service local Burial – From: $8,000 – $12,000 
  • Repatriations to New Zealand – From $6,500 – $9,000  

For an accurate quote based on what you really want to have happen. Call us and have a sit down and we will listen, plan and quote for you based on what you really want.