Frequently Asked Questions
Do I contact the Doctor, Coroner or the Funeral Director?
In every case leave all of the arrangements to the funeral director because he or she will have the correct contacts. Family getting involved will not assist the process. In the case of a coronial matter it is not unusual for the forensic's social worker to contact the family. Usually this is to inform the family that the autopsy has been completed and the body is ready for release. Whilst this is correct, the documentation by the coroner is usually NOT completed, this part of the process still takes a day or so.
Do I need to contact the coroner for release ?
Once again leave everything to your funeral director.
When can we hold the funeral?
Usually a minimum three day turn around is required for the documentation and preparation. In the case of a coronial matter a minimum of five days would be advisable.
If I am going away can we delay the funeral and for how long?
There is no specific timeframe in which a funeral has to be held. However if a funeral service needs to be delayed for more than four weeks an embalming procedure would be necessary.
When do I pay for the funeral?
At A Gentle Touch Funerals the normal payment plan is an agreed deposit followed by an invoice after the funeral and we do request the balance within seven days. In the case of a disposition funeral or repatriation, payment in full would be required.
Who applies for the death certificate?
The original death certificate will be applied for by us with Births, Deaths and Marriages. This will take three to four weeks to reach the family. We understand that this is required to finalize the estate, superannuation etc. This time frame cannot be sped up by families contacting them and in some cases will only hinder the process.
With cremation how long before the ashes are ready?
Normal turnaround from the crematorium is 48 hours however, in urgent circumstances a 24 hour request can be made to the crematorium.
If I wish to memorialise the ashes who do I contact?
The Gold Coast City Council have a number of cemeteries and all have areas where ashes placement is possible. Their staff will guide you through the process and will arrange for the placement and will organise the plaque to be installed.
If we choose burial who organises the grave plot?
Ordering a grave plot is generally done by the funeral director but family can actually select a particular area and grave. This applies to the Gold Coast City, Brisbane City Council and any regional Councils or private cemeteries. If a family already own's a grave plot, the funeral director will arrange to have this grave opened or re opened to coincide with the funeral time.
Where do I find a monumental mason?
Usually your funeral director can recommend a reliable monumental Mason. However, a private cemetery will request you use their own recommended monumental mason. In the case of a Gold Coast City Council lawn cemetery, they will organise a plaque for you, once you contact them after the burial has been completed.
Who do I call when someone dies ?
Whatever the circumstances, if possible try to think clearly as emotions will take precedence. If someone passes away in a hospital or nursing facility you will need to contact a funeral director of your choice to organize everything for you. Where a death is sudden or in the family home and the deceased has not seen a Doctor for some time, the paramedics will need to be called. In turn the paramedics will call the police who will ascertain if a Doctor will organise a cause of death certificate or whether the Coroner will need to be involved. In most cases a Coroner will authorise an autopsy and so it would be a number of days before the deceased is released into the care of a funeral director.
Who will collect the deceased ?
If the death is due to natural causes or a coronial matter, it is advisable to contact the funeral director of choice as soon as you feel comfortable, so that your requests can be organised. The first question that relatives and friends will be asking is, when will the funeral be? For this reason it is advisable that you have things in place as soon as you are able.