Losing a loved one is a devastating event but the ability to say goodbye can often provide comfort at an uneasy time.

A funeral gives an opportunity to celebrate life and for attendees to pay their final respects.

But how do you find out when a funeral is being held in Australia?

Below we take you through some simple steps to help you find out when a funeral is taking place…

How do you find out if someone has died?

The immediate family of the deceased will usually be the first point of contact.

They’ll be able to provide information on when the death happened and any plans for a funeral.

If you’re estranged from the deceased and don’t have contact information for their immediate family, you can contact their wider circle of relatives or friends for information.

Alternatively, you can check death and funeral announcements.

How do I find a death announcement?

Death announcements are a common way to find out about someone’s passing.

If you’re no longer in regular contact with the deceased or their loved ones, you’ll be able to find out information about their passing via a death notice.

Death announcements provide information on who has recently passed away. The information displayed often includes:

  • Name of deceased
  • Date of death
  • Age
  • Place of passing

Death announcements will also often include information about where the funeral service will be held.

So if you haven’t been informed of these details already, this is an easy way to find out where you’ll be able to pay your last respects.

But where do you find these announcements?

Newsletter death notices

Most commonly you can find death notices (or obituaries) in major newspapers, both printed copies and online.

Local newspapers will often contain notices for those who’ve passed away in the local area but national newspapers, also run obituaries.

While announcements printed in physical newspapers will be limited to the most recent deaths, online newspaper obituaries will have an archive of notices.

This will allow you to search for a specific person or a specific date of death if you know this information.

How do I find out someone’s funeral date?

If the details of the person’s funeral aren’t listed in their obituary, you can often find them online.

There are many websites that allow you to search for upcoming funerals by name or by city/town (such as deathandfuneralnotices.com.au).

Some funeral care providers also provide a list of all their upcoming funerals on their website.

How long after death is a funeral?

If you know a friend or relative has passed away you can get an idea of when their funeral will be based on the date of their death.

Generally, a funeral is held around 2 weeks after death.

Often the main factor that will dictate how long after the death the funeral will be is how long it will take to plan the funeral.

If the deceased has left instructions, this could take a minimal amount of time.

In the event that the deceased has a funeral plan in place, funeral arrangements can be actioned with just a simple phone call.

If no information has been left it could take weeks for loved ones to make the arrangements. Payment can also often become an issue that may delay the funeral. If no funds have been left to cover the cost, family members may have to come up with the funds themselves.

Funerals can also be delayed further if there’s an inquest into the death.

How to find out if someone has a funeral plan

If a loved one has recently passed away and you aren’t sure if they have a funeral plan in place or not, there are a number of ways you can find out.

Firstly, you can check to see if the deceased has left any paperwork to suggest a funeral plan has been taken out (such as payment schedules, contracts, terms and conditions etc).

You’ll then be able to contact the provider and the funeral arrangements can commence.

Finding a funeral plan can help to ease the funeral planning process as all arrangements have been organised in advance.

You’ll simply need to let the funeral director know of the death and they’ll be able to advise the next steps and get the arrangements started.

A funeral plan will also relieve the family of the deceased of the financial commitment of paying for the funeral, as the plan will be pre-paid.

How can I find where a relative is buried?

If you and your loved ones are unsure where a relative is buried, there are some simple ways you can find out.

The first place to start is in your home, or relatives homes, as there may be paperwork regarding a burial plot or funeral plan.

If your relative had a funeral plan, you’ll be able to contact the provider to request information about the place of burial.

Similarly, if you find information about a burial plot, you can request more information as to the whereabouts of the place of burial.

Today there are also many online resources you can use to locate the burial place of a loved one.

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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.