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Frequently Asked Questions

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Before The Burial Can Take Place

It will be necessary for you to follow a number of important steps in order to comply with the relevant State requirements.

1. Obtain a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

A Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is required from the doctor who certified the death. This can be done at the time the doctor certifies, or alternatively by arranging to collect it from his surgery. If the death is subject to a Coronial investigation, a Coroner’s Certificate is issued by the Coroner’s Office.

In the case of a stillborn death, a Medical Certificate of Cause of Stillborn or Neonatal Death replaces the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (available from the hospital where the death occurred).

2. Apply for a Single Funeral Permit

The requirements relating to Single Funeral Permits are generally governed by Cemeteries Acts, Cemetery By- laws and other laws in each State. An application for a Single Funeral Permit must be completed and returned to the managing authority together with the relevant fees. Proof of securing Public Liability insurance to the value of $5,000,000 may also be required.

The application form will outline your responsibilities and the terms and conditions for taking charge of the funeral arrangements as if you were a licensed funeral director.

  • Your responsibilities will include:
  • Identification and preparation of the deceased
  • Planning the funeral
  • Making adequate transport arrangements
  • Conducting the funeral on the day
  • Compliance with the terms and conditions set out in the Single Funeral Permit by the relevant managing authority. Conditions prescribed by the managing authorities in each State may include the following:

The applicant must be over 18 years of age and provide their full given names and surname on all documentation.

Arrangements that meet the required health regulations are made for the safe holding of the body prior to the burial/cremation.

A suitable coffin or casket is obtained for the deceased person named on the permit.

All necessary forms are completed showing the deceased person’s legal surname and given names in full.

Provision of a suitable and respectable vehicle to transport the body and coffin within the cemetery.

Does your application relate to a new grave?

If your application relates to a new grave, you may be required to complete a Digging Requisition form with the details of the deceased and grave details required. It is generally a requirement that the completed, signed and dated form is provided to the cemetery 48 hours prior (or earlier) to the funeral date.

Graves are generally allocated in the current working area of the cemetery unless stated on the Digging Requisition form.

If you wish to select a specific grave site, you will need to liaise with the cemetery beforehand. There is an additional cost for your selection.

Does your application relate to the re-opening of an existing grave?

If your application relates to the re-opening of an existing grave, you will need to advise the cemetery, usually on the Digging Requisition form. A Grant of Right of Burial for the grave to be reopened must be current. If the Grant of Right of Burial has expired, you must contact the relevant cemetery who will be able to advise you of specific requirements to be met.

3. Book the Funeral

Once your application has been approved, it will then be necessary for you to book the day and time of the funeral with the cemetery.

At the time of the booking you will generally be asked to provide the following information:

  • Your name, phone and fax number or email address
  • Confirmation that you have a current Single Funeral Permit
  • Name of the cemetery where you require the booking
  • Date and time you require the funeral to take place (you should have a second choice ready in the event your preferred time may not be available):
  • The deceased’s legal surname and first name/s
  • Date of death and age of the deceased;

4. Obtain a Burial Application Number

A burial application number will then be provided to you by the managing authority. The burial application number is to accompany all paperwork relating to the deceased.

5. Organise the Coffin

A substantial coffin is required for burial bearing the name of the deceased person stamped in legible characters on a metal plate on the lid of the coffin. A lead strip with the name of the deceased must be placed under the name plate on the coffin/casket.

It is recommended that you contact one of the local coffin suppliers or alternatively a Funeral Director found at www.ezifunerals.com.au to purchase a recommended coffin.

You will need to ensure that you have a suitably enclosed transport vehicle, together with a cover for the coffin. Coffins cannot be transported uncovered, on top of a vehicle, in a trailer or open backed vehicle.

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Peter Erceg is the Owner and Founder of eziFunerals. He has had a long history within the funeral industry, and is a published author of ‘What Kind Of Funeral: A self help guide to planning a meaningful funeral’. Prior to eziFunerals, Peter worked in the public sector and health industry for more than 30 years. The views and opinions expressed on posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of eziFunerals and members.

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