What Happens?

There are a number of important things that need to happen after someone dies.

Immediately after a death occurs

  • Family contacts Funeral Director
  • Funeral Director transfers deceased person

Key decisions to be made during this time:

  • Burial or cremation (affects the immediate paperwork done by doctor)
  • Intended date of service (i.e. if time required for out-of-town family to arrive; affects level of embalming required)
  • Viewing yes/no? (affects the level of presentation required, e.g. hair/makeup, reconstruction)
  • Newspaper notices
  • Family mail – to be sent to funeral directors for collection or direct to family PO Box


  • Family meets with Funeral Director to arrange funeral plans
  • Funeral Director arranges/orders funeral resources (venue, vehicle, casket, crematorium/cemetery staff)
  • Funeral Director engages other service providers (minister/celebrant, florist, caterer, musician(s)/sound tech
  • Obituary/funeral notice placed in newspaper(s)
  • Viewing held (if desired)
  • Images, choice of music, and text for the service sheets are chosen and service sheets designed and printed
  • Route for funeral cortege researched
  • Funeral Director registers the death and orders the Death Certificate

Key decisions to be made during this time:

  • Venue/date/time of funeral
  • Preferred minister/celebrant; style and type of funeral (flowers, casket, etc.)
  • Preferred charity for donations
  • Pallbearers chosen

The Funeral

  • Funeral Director briefs operations manager and support staff
  • Deceased person transported to funeral venue
  • Funeral Director meets and greets family and funeral attendees
  • Funeral Director ensures service runs to plan
  • Deceased person driven to cemetery/crematorium in cortege


  • Funeral Director completes paperwork, including applying for the Death Certificate
  • Funeral Director processes all supplier and subcontractor invoices
  • Account forwarded to family/executor for payment
  • Funeral Director pays follow-up visit to family
  • Any family mail being collected at funeral home is delivered directly to family