What to do if your loved one has passed away
We are all individuals and we react in different ways when someone we love passes away. Take your time and when you are ready you can call us. We are available 24 hours, 365 days. Our phone number is (02) 49 511 166.
The Initial Call
When you call we will need to ask you some questions - we understand that you may find this difficult and we will do our best not to rush you. The questions we ask will enable us to help as best we can:
- What is your name and your relationship to the deceased and a contact phone number
- What is their full name and where have they passed away at
- Their date of birth and their address
- Who is the next of kin and/or the Executor
- Will it be a burial or cremation
Once we have these details we will make an appointment where the Arranger will guide you through the process of making the funeral arrangements. We can come to the family home or we can meet at one of our offices (Wallsend, Belmont or Newcastle). This meeting will take about one and a half hours and although it is very important, it doesn't need to take place until you are ready - for some families this will be immediately for others they may want to wait a day to gather their thoughts. (These arrangements can take place after business hours although a fee will be charge to cover the overtime for the staff.)
The meeting can be attended by as many family members as needed although it is best if one person is designated to make final decisions. The details covered in this meeting can be exhausting so it is best if a quiet and comfortable area is chosen - it can also be a good thing to take the phone off the hook and turn the mobile off to ensure there are no interruptions.
Here is a list of what will be covered in the meeting:
- The Funeral - when, where, style and who will conduct the service
- The Legalities - information required by Births, Deaths and Marriages including
- Full name
- Date and town of birth
- Parents full names including mother’s maiden name
- Marriage details
- Children’s names and their date of birth
- Choosing the coffin and floral tributes
- The funeral notice
- Music, service sheets (handout) and photo presentation (DVD) as well as catering.
You will be provided with a written estimate price of what we are providing so you are fully aware of what the funeral will cost. This will need to be signed by 2 people - the person responsible for the account and one other as guarantor.
Your loved one coming into our care
Once we have the necessary paperwork (medical certificate and cremation certificate provided by the attending doctor) we will bring your loved one into our care. Our mortuary facility is located at Williams Street, Wallsend. Your love one will remain here until the service takes place. They will be prepared and dressed in clothing provided by the family before being laid to rest in the coffin. If family and friends would like to say a personal farewell (a viewing) this will take place at our Private Chapel which is located in the same building using the Charles Street entrance. You may want personal items placed in the coffin with your loved one such as photos, children’s drawings, or a note of farewell.
Once we have the necessary information we will organise the service according to your wishes. The arranger will provide you with a Pack which contains information you may find helpful including
- The Details At A Glance – an overview of the service
- Information For Your Family – an explanation of what we do on your behalf
- Things To Be Done – a list of tasks you need to do
- Who To Notify – a reminder of organisations you may need to contact eg Medicare
- Assorted Pamphlets – containing information you may find helpful
- Service Sheet Workbook – a helpful guide to creating a personalised handout
- DVD Envelope – to be used if we are creating the photo presentation
- Making Your Own DVD – important information if you are creating the DVD
We also attend to the following on your behalf….
- Registration of Death with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages
- The Death Certificate
- Notification of Death to Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs
Most importantly though…
We are here to guide you through the coming days. We understand the grieving process and know only too well how daunting it can be for families to face organising such a major event in only days. We seem to ask so many questions and it can be overwhelming to take it all in…..please remember you can call us as many times as need be. If your Arranger is not available when you call please explain your request to our reception staff – on most occasions they will be able to help you but if they are unable to, they will email the Arranger an overview of the phone call and they will attend to the matter as soon as possible.
Thank you for entrusting our family with the care of your loved one.