Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please browse through our frequently asked question about funeral services.

If you have more enquiries, feel free to call our 24 hour phone line on 1800 940 592.

CONTACT USCALL 1800 940 592

What is a direct cremation?

This low-cost option involves cremating the body shortly after death, without embalming, viewing, or visitation. If a funeral home is used, their fees will include the necessary paperwork, basic services fee, transportation, cremation container, and, in some cases, crematory fee.

What is a full cremation?

A full-service cremation, in most cases, refers to the act of delaying the cremation until the funeral service is completed. Some people, for example, prefer an open-casket visitation during the funeral process. They may want others to be able to see the embalmed body and have the casket present during the traditional service. Instead of going to the cemetery for a graveside service, the deceased is taken to a cremation provider because the deceased’s body is present; some families refer to this as a traditional service.

What is a chapel cremation?

Funeral Directors arrange for a small service to be held in the funeral home chapel. This type of service provides a smaller, more intimate service within the confines of the funeral home chapel for family and friends. All denominations are catered for, and viewing of your loved one is also possible. Following the service, the loved one is transported from the funeral home to the crematorium and cremated. In general, there is no attendance or service at the crematorium. The total cost of this service ranges between $2500 and $4500. This is determined by the type of service and the requirements.

What is a forest memorial?

More people are looking for ways to reduce their impact after death, from tree pod burials to green ceremonies. A forest memorial is one way to accomplish this while also paying lasting and touching tribute to the deceased’s legacy. These forests serve as peaceful final resting places, with trees replacing headstones.

What is a sea farewell?

Our Sea Farewell is a one-of-a-kind and environmentally friendly way to say goodbye. This package starts at $3,300 (including GST) and includes everything you need to hold the perfect memorial for your loved one.

A sea farewell allows you to plan an intimate farewell by the water at a time and location convenient for your family. You can tailor this package to your specific requirements and select from a variety of eco-friendly urns.

Our popular Sea-Pillow will hold your loved one’s ashes in a biodegradable vessel that can be submerged in water to slowly biodegrade and release ashes. This option allows your loved one’s ashes to be gently and dignifiedly released into the water.

What is a graveside service?

Many families choose to hold a graveside service to say goodbye to a loved one. A graveside service can be the sole venue for the entire funeral service, which means that the service will take place at the actual location of the grave. The graveside service may also take place following another service at another location.

A graveside service can be tailored to reflect your values, culture, and spiritual, emotional, or personal preferences. Play special music, release doves or butterflies into the air, or add other special touches as an example.

What is a chapel service?

You can choose a chapel service at the time of death. If you prefer a chapel service, we can arrange one in our Roselands chapel or at a church or chapel of your choice. This type of funeral includes a brief service in your chosen chapel or church before proceeding to the burial site.

Who do I have to notify if someone has died?

To ensure that a person’s estate is effectively closed, you should contact a number of institutions and people. Our team is here to assist you, and we can help you navigate the estate administration process.

What do I do after my loved one has passed?

The first step is to call our Customer Care team at 1800 071 176. When you call your dedicated support person, they will take some basic information and walk you through the process, answering any questions you may have. Their job is to make sure everything is in order so you don’t have to. From there, we will begin to arrange for the collection and transportation of your loved one by our service partners, as well as the necessary paperwork.

Do I need a Funeral Director?

Cremations can only be arranged by a licensed funeral director in some states. However, most states allow private citizens to obtain the necessary death certificate as well as transit and disposition permits. Check first to ensure that the crematory will accept the body directly from the family, as some crematories only work with funeral homes.

Which religions allow cremation?

The majority of religions do. Cremation is now permitted for Roman Catholics under Canon Law, but the remains must be buried or entombed rather than scattered or kept. Cremation has previously been prohibited by the Muslim, Greek, and Jewish Orthodox faiths, as well as by some fundamentalist Protestant groups. However, in recent years, these religions have recognised the rising cost of burials and have relaxed church laws to allow cremations and, in many cases, recommended cremations.

How can I be confident that I will receive the correct ashes?

We take this obligation extremely seriously, and the procedures in place to ensure it are strictly followed. Prior to cremation, all the paperwork is correctly allocated and an ID number is assigned and imprinted on the urn which travels with your loved one, ensuring that we always know who is who.

What happens once the ashes have been returned?

This varies by state, however in most metropolitan areas, we will personally deliver the ashes to your family. If you choose, we can ship the ashes to you or you can pick them up from the crematorium. Please bear in mind that all ashes returns require a signature to ensure effective delivery.

Can I refuse to have the ashes returned to us?

You have the option of not having the ashes returned after the cremation. If that is your preference, we will need your signature as confirmation. The ashes can then be scattered or disposed of on your behalf.

What is a death information form? (DIF)

This form is a requirement for the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages to issue the registered death certificate. Following the burial or cremation, our staff will file this along with other pertinent documents, and the registered death certificate will be issued within 21 days. More information about the death information form can be found here.

What is the purpose of a death certificate?

Each state in Australia has its own set of rules that govern how to register a death. A death certificate is usually required to cancel bills, bank accounts, and utilities, as well as to administer other aspects of the estate.

Are you available to collect at any time?

Yes, we can collect at any time of day or night. We are sometimes constrained by the location of collection; for example, certain hospitals may have set collection times that we must adhere to. Needless to say, we will always collect as soon as possible.

Can I call or have someone call me to go over the process?

Absolutely. Your enquiries are our top priority. Arrangers are on hand to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Even if Sydney Memorial Cremations is not the right fit for you, please contact us; we’d be happy to recommend a great funeral director who can assist you with a more traditional service.

What documentation is required to perform the service?

The paperwork requirements differ from state to state. We will provide all necessary documentation to the family or next of kin. We also allow you to complete these documents online, eliminating the need for you to locate a printer. The documents are used for authorisation to cremate, transferring a person into our care from an institution (such as a hospital), and registering the death.

Where is the ashes of the deceased scattered?

Unless otherwise specified, cremation takes place at a crematorium in the same state where the death occurred.

What happened to the deceased?

We take care of the deceased after we collect them. This is usually our service provider’s mortuary. They are treated with dignity and prepared for cremation.

How long does it take for the collection to take place?

The collection time is determined by where the passing occurs. If your loved one has died at home, we will try to arrive within 2 hours. If they died in an aged care facility or hospital, we will collect them as soon as possible, subject to the availability of the hospital or age care home. If your loved one is taken to the Coroner, we will collect them after the Coroner’s investigation is completed, which can take up to a week.

How popular are cremations in Sydney?

Cremations in Sydney have steadily increased from about 15% of deaths in the mid-1990s to nearly 70% in 2023. Cremation is frequently chosen over traditional earth burial because it is more simple and economical, allows for greater flexibility in funeral and memorial services and because Sydney’s cemeteries are expected to be full within the next decade. Due to a lack of cemetery space, burials have become more expensive and less popular, making cremations a much more cost effective choice for grieving families.

Must I buy an urn?

No. Some funeral homes will advise you to buy a decorative urn, but you can simply use the plain container in which the cremated ashes are returned. The cardboard or plastic container is suitable for burial, shipping, storing, or storing in a columbarium.