Funeral FAQ

We understand when a loved one dies it can be a time of uncertainty and confusion. So we have prepared the answers to questions families will need to know and are often asked.

What do I need to do when a loved one dies?

If the death is expected and your loved one is in a nursing facility or hospital, the staff will contact the doctor and you will be advised to engage the assistance of a funeral director.

We liaise with the hospital or nursing facility and family members to arrange to have your loved one transferred into our care. Some families choose to spend some time with their loved one if this is convenient to do so, and from our perspective we will bring your loved one into our care when you feel ready for us to do so.

What happens when a death is unexpected?

Depending on the circumstances of the death, the State Coroner’s office may be involved. If the death is the result of an accident or occurs suddenly or unexpectedly at home, the police and coroner will initially be involved and you will be advised to engage the assistance of a funeral director.

We have the experience, care and compassion to support your family throughout this difficult time. We will liaise with the coroner’s office and arrange to bring your loved one into our care as soon as we have permission to do so.

An unexpected death places additional strain on loved ones. We understand it can be confusing and traumatic. It is our pledge as your funeral director to care for you and ensure you are informed each step of the way.

What happens when a loved one dies at home?

Your first contact should be with your doctor who will attend and assess the circumstances of the death. If your family member has been ill and the doctor is satisfied with the cause of death, and is willing to sign a death certificate, you can call us to arrange to bring your loved one into our care.

If the death occurs suddenly or there is not a history of illness, the police and state coroner’s office will be advised and involved in the same manner as we have described above.

You will require our funeral services to assist you at this time, and we will care for you throughout this time and liaise with the authorities in the same manner as described above.

What happens to our loved one in these circumstances?

Your loved one will be in the care of the State Coroner located in South Melbourne while the circumstances or cause of death are ascertained. This is a necessary requirement and an important process and while it is traumatic for families at the time, it often gives relief later when the coroner advises your family on their findings.

A person is required to be formally identified. This is sometimes done at the place of death by a family member or representative. If it is not possible for identification to occur at the place of death, it will be necessary to attend the coroner’s office to identify your loved one where their staff will care for you.

How do we arrange a funeral service? What options do we have?

After contacting Jonathan Hepner Funerals an experienced funeral director will meet with you in the privacy of your home or at a place that is comfortable and convenient to you. We also offer you the use of a private arranging room at our funeral home.

There are two parts to arranging a funeral service.

The first is the gathering of some personal family information about your loved one. i.e. place of birth, history of marriage & children’s names, date of immigration to Australia if appropriate. This is the information required by registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages and also assists us in our work with you also.

The second part of our meeting addresses the Funeral service and the creative elements. You will be offered compassionate support, guidance and a range of choices in a consultative manner to achieve the style of funeral service appropriate to your loved one. We will discuss the location of the service, religious or non religious beliefs, cultural requirements and your family’s needs and circumstances.

We understand that every life has meaning and each family is unique. We will work on your behalf to achieve a farewell that is dignified and honours your loved one just as you would want.

When will the funeral service be held?

This is decided in accordance with your wishes and always in consultation with you. We liaise with your clergy or civil celebrant along with your chosen cemetery or crematorium, and will do our very best to secure your preferences.

How do we get a death certificate?

The doctor or coroner provides an initial death certificate which is required by funeral service providers to authorise a cremation or burial. This certificate is often confused with the certified certificate you require for estate purposes.

We are permitted to register the death to Births, Deaths & Marriages on the day the cremation or burial takes place. A certified copy of the death certificate will be issued to the authorised family member or legal representative. The death certificate will take longer to be issued if the coroner has been involved, however we can apply for an interim death certificate to help you expedite your personal family business matters.

What are the funeral costs?

The cost of a funeral service is determined by the choices that are made at the time of arrangement with the funeral director caring for you.

We understand the pressure of grief and the emotion of arranging a funeral service for someone you love. We believe that service should not be compromised by financial worry and so we will provide you with choices and costs that are appropriate to your needs, so that you will have confidence and clarity about your decisions.
Our service provision fee encompasses the many tasks required to deliver a dignified farewell and incorporates some of the more personal aspects of our work such as providing private time for your family to visit our chapel to either view your loved one or spend time of reflection.  We consider this to be an integral part of our service to your family and we hope that by personalising the elements of our service you will feel that you have honoured your loved one in a special way.

If you require a funeral expense estimate please contact us and we will provide a written quotation at any time.

Do you do pre-arranged funeral services?

By meeting with a funeral director and outlining your choices and wishes we can safely keep your funeral arrangements and you can have confidence that your choices are relayed at the time of passing – there is no cost in pre-planning your funeral requirements at Jonathan Hepner Funerals