Frequently asked questions

What do I do when someone dies?

Call Vincent Funeral Services on any of our numbers. We will make arrangements to bring your loved one into our care and make an appointment suitable to you to meet to arrange the funeral.

At Home - If someone dies at home you should phone the deceased person's general practitioner or regular paliative care nurse who will fill out the necessary paperwork prior to us attending the home. After this is arranged we will come to the deceased person's home at any time day or night to transfer them into our care.

In the event of a medical practitioner being unable to sign the death certificate, this matter is usually deferred to the coroner. We liaise with the coroner's office regarding bringing your loved one into our care as soon as possible once the process has been completed.

Nursing Home - Staff at the nursing home will usually contact the general practitioner and Vincent Funeral Services on your behalf.

Hospital - Staff at the hospital will organise the necessary paperwork, however, it is your responsibility to contact the funeral director. 

Who do I contact when someone dies?

Call Vincent Funeral Services on any of our numbers. We will make arrangements to bring your loved one into our care and make an appointment suitable to you to meet to arrange the funeral.

For more information go to our information on What To Do First.

What are the costs of a funeral?

The cost of a funeral varies greatly with the choices family members make.

The expenses may be made up of:

the coffin or casket

the cost of burial or cremation

hiring a venue, other than one of our chapels

newspaper notices


minister / celebrant

musician / organist


copy of death certificate (if required)

mourning cars (if requested)

professional services (which include the services provided by your Funeral Director)

For more information see our Funeral Prices

When should the funeral account be paid?

The funeral account is sent out within 5 days of the funeral, with up to 60 days settlement. If paid after 30 days a late fee of $250 is applied.

The person who signs the authorisation for the funeral to be conducted is the person legally responsible for the payment of the funeral account. 

Why should I prearrange my funeral?

You will have peace of mind knowing that your wishes are recorded. This can lift much of the burden from your family at a very emotional time.

Pre-arranging your funeral allows you the time to consider all the alternatives available to you, and create a very personal funeral service.

We can discuss various options that may suit you for investing towards a funeral. For more information see our Financial Options.

Refer to our Pre-arranged Funeral page for more information. 

Can I invest money towards my funeral?

Investment towards your funeral makes financial sense and you can invest up to $10,000 without affecting any government benefits you receive.

Money is invested in an independent firm whether it be bonds or prepaid according to the Act. 

What is the best option for me - Prepaid, Bonds or Insurance?

The best option depends on your current financial situation.

Financially the best option is to pay for your funeral now if you have the funds, as you lock the price of the funeral in at today's prices.

The next best option is funeral bonds where you save towards the funeral and when you reach the target it is best to prepay the funeral to lock the price. This option is safe and you can add lump sum payments on top of regular payments.

Insurance may be an option if you don't expect to be paying for more than 12-18 months. If you are fit and well, you may live for another 10 or more years and end up paying 10 times the actual cost of a funeral. Also, if you stop paying the insurance premiums you lose all your money! 

What is the difference between a coffin and a casket?

The basic difference between a coffin and a casket is their shape. Coffins are tapered at the head and foot and are widest at the shoulders. Caskets are rectangular and more rounded at the edges and generally larger.

We have a wide range of coffins and caskets available. 

What clothing should a deceased wear?

This is a very personal choice and there are no rules, it can be casual or formal. Your loved one may have had a favourite outfit, some like to dress their loved one in pyjamas, others feel that a suit is more appropriate.

The family provide the clothing for our staff to prepare and dress the deceased. 

Do we have to have a viewing?

A viewing can assist in the grieving process as it allows people to begin to accept the reality of the death of the loved one. This special time is an opportunity to say "goodbye", and begin to bring some closure to the relationship. Nobody, however, should feel pressured to attend a viewing. 

Should children go to funerals?

Children also need to accept the death and feel their grief. Children need to say goodbye too. They may benefit from being included in the preparation of the funeral. This can assist in their grieving process.

For more information refer to "What do we tell the children" brochure. 

What if my loved one dies interstate or overseas?

If death occurs unexpectedly in another state or country, we can arrange for your loved one to be returned home. Similarly, if a burial or cremation is requested in your native state or country, we will make the necessary arrangements for you. 

What is embalming and when is it performed?

Embalming is performed to preserve the body, maintain natural colouring. Embalming enables the family to prolong their final farewell. If a body is to be transfered interstate or overseas, embalming is a legal requirement. 

What is the difference between a public and a private funeral?

A public funeral is announced in the newspaper and is open for anyone to express their support to the family and pay their last respects to the deceased.

When a private funeral is requested the death notice will appear in the newspaper after the event and only invited people attend the funeral. Some choose a private funeral because they don’t want any "fuss".

Sometimes we forget that the purpose of a funeral is to allow those left behind a chance to say goodbye and accept that the person they care about is gone. Difficulties can occur when people feel "excluded" from the right to acknowledge their feelings towards the deceased, and they may feel uncomfortable approaching family members at a later date. It can also be difficult deciding who should be invited to a private funeral. Ultimately, however, it is the choice of the family in having a private or public service. Private funerals can be very beautiful. 

What is involved with cremation?

Following the funeral service, there are two options; the coffin can stay in place at the front of the chapel and mourners say a personal farewell by placing a petal or sprig on the coffin as they leave the chapel; or carriers process the coffin from the chapel to the hearse which then drives off to the crematorium. These days coffin and casket handles are made of plastic and only appear to be metal. These melt during the cremation process so are not removed.

The ashes are collected by our staff at the conclusion of the cremation and placed in a special box for collection or decanting into another vessel as instructed by the family. 

Can the ashes be separated into several containers?

Certainly. There may have been several special places of to the deceased and ashes could be scattered at each site. Also, various family members may each wish to retain a portion of the ashes of their loved one. 

Can ashes be scattered anywhere?

Yes, provided it is done discretely and is not seen as a public nuisance. 

How do I organise a memorial for my loved one?

Our staff can offer professional advice on a wide selection of styles of headstones and bronze plaques. These can be as individual or as personal as you wish them to be. We can also assist you with the wording to be incorporated on the memorial.