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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I do in the event of a loved one’s death?

When a loved one dies, most people contact their close family members and friends. If you are responsible for arranging the funeral or cremation, you could contact the deceased’s doctor. There will need to be an official death certificate issued before the funeral director can begin caring for the deceased.

Q: How do I get a Death Certificate?

These are issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your state. Finlayson & McKenzie is responsible for registering the death with this Registry within 7 days of the burial or cremation. Once the death is registered, Births, Deaths and Marriages provide a formal Death Certificate, which is open a necessary document for any legal and estate issues that need to be ended to. This will be posted by mail to the Next of Kin.

Q: Where do funeral services take place?

Funeral ceremonies can take place in churches, funeral homes, graveyards, public parks, or anywhere else that may have been special to the deceased. Loved ones are encouraged to select music, flowers, poetry, scripture readings and other details to honour the deceased and make the ceremony more memorable to the survivors.

Q: What are pallbearers?

Pallbearers are the people who carry a casket between different phases of a funeral. They typically carry the casket from the church or funeral home to the grave-site. It is an honourable task and allows the pallbearers to show a final act of love and kindness to the deceased.

Q: What decisions will I have to make to plan a loved one’s funeral or cremation?

There are various aspects of a funeral or cremation to consider including when and where you would like the funeral to be held and the type of service you desire. You’ll need to consider and the deceased’s religious and cultural beliefs, as well as family traditions. Other considerations include the casket you want, whether to have a public viewing, the Minister or Celebrant you choose, and floral arrangements.

Q: What is the role of the funeral director?

The funeral director is responsible for various services that help to ensure the wishes of the deceased’s loved ones. Some key roles of a funeral director include:

Q: What factors contribute to a funeral’s overall costs?

Various expenses can contribute to the overall cost of a funeral including professional service fees, certified copies of the death certificate, physician’s cremation certificate, florist fees, organist fees, cemetery or crematorium fees, costs of the casket or urn, offerings for clergy, the cost of transporting the deceased, administration fees, sundries, ash placement fee and the costs of press notices.

Q: Should children attend a funeral?

The death of a loved one affects everyone in the family, including the children. With a loving explanation of what it’s about and what will happen, they should be encouraged — though not forced — to share the funeral experience with the rest of the family and friends.

Children can gain comfort from taking part in the families mourning, knowing that they are included in the event and not left our because they are ‘too young to understand’. Children need to say goodbye too!

Q: What is the difference between a casket and a coffin?

The differences between caskets and coffins are of design, craftsmanship and price. Coffins have six sides and are typically tapered at the foot and head and broader at the shoulders. Caskets have four sides and are rectangular. Caskets are typically manufactured with higher-quality materials and higher standards of craftsmanship, which makes them cost considerably more than coffins.


Q: How do we know we are getting the right ashes?

Our in house cremator is completely cleared after every cremation so only the ashes of one person are present at anytime and these always have identification details with them.

Q: What happens to the coffin?

The coffin is cremated too. The adornments on the coffin such as handles are combustible. Any metal that remains is removed magnetically. The Name Plate is always removed for positive identification throughout the cremation process.

Q: What is a direct cremation?

A direct cremation is a delivery of your loved one to our in house cremator without a service or gathering of people to farewell them. This is a cost-effective option and families open have a memorial service with the ashes at a later date.

Q: What are the ashes?

After the cremation process only the heavy bones of the deceased are left. They are processed to provide “the ashes”.


Q: Is a burial more expensive than a cremation?

Generally speaking, yes, a burial is a more expensive option than cremation.

Q: What is a burial?

A burial — or interment — is the human ritual of placing the deceased into burial plot in the ground. The coffin or casket is lowered into a burial plot of the family’s choice, and the grave site is covered with soil once the funeral service is over.

Funeral Planning

Q: How do I plan my funeral?

It’s a great idea to have a family sit-down to discuss these arrangements. You can talk about the style of casket you prefer, the details of the funeral service, and the budget to allocate for the funeral products and services. Such a conversation makes everyone aware of your wishes. It also takes away the worry involved with making these decisions after you pass away.

Q: What are the benefits of pre-planning your funeral?

Pre-arranging your funeral while you’re alive has multiple benefits. You get to choose which style of casket and type of service you want. Your family benefits greatly by not having to hustle to make those decisions after you have passed on. It also allows family members and other survivors the peace of mind in knowing that you chose the casket and service that appealed most to you.

Q: What are the payment options available for funeral services?

Most funeral directors accept both lump-sum payments and instalment payments over time. Preplanning your funeral allows you to choose the type of service, casket and other details relevant to the ceremony.

Q: What happens if Finlayson & McKenzie goes out of business?

The payments made into a Pre-paid Funeral Plan are protected as the monies held in the Funeral Fund are in your name and there is provision in the contract for the service to be conducted by another funeral director. Funds will only be released to your funeral director for payment of your funeral expenses, upon evidence that the service has been provided, and cannot be used for other purposes.

Q: Is there a cooling off period?

If for any reason you change your mind and decide to return your confirmation of membership within 14 days, Foresters guarantees to refund all monies contributed.

Q: Can I transfer my pre-paid contract to another funeral director?

Yes, if for any reason you wish to change your preferred funeral director Finlayson & McKenzie are happy to transfer your contract to another funeral home. However, we cannot guarantee the price will remain the same.

Q: Can I take out a pre-paid contract in joint names?

You can enter into the Plan in joint names, however in such circumstances, upon the death of the first of the joint investors, your investment will be paid out in full and the surviving member will then have to enter into a new pre-paid funeral contract in order to meet their future funeral expenses.