The Complete 5 Steps Guide to Plan The Perfect Funeral In Singapore

Planning a funeral in Singapore might be challenging, especially if you’ve never had to. There are many things to think about and prepare for, from the logistics of getting the death certificate and reporting the death to planning the wake and deciding whether to be buried or cremated.

A step-by-step approach for organising a funeral in Singapore is provided below.

The Process of Funeral Planning

Before we get into the specifics, we should go over all funeral preparation processes, from the moment of death to the final send-off. When we get into the specifics, it’ll seem less intimidating after you clearly know what to anticipate.

Anyone interested in learning how to arrange a funeral without a funeral director should read the steps below.

Step 1: Verify any prior arrangements.

Step 2: Obtain the CCOD(Certificate of Cause of Death)

Step 3: File a death report

Step 4: Organise the funeral

Step 5: Bury or cremate the Deceased Person

Step 1: Determine If Any Advance Arrangements Have Been Made

A lot of the preparation would have already been done if the deceased had made advance arrangements with a funeral home. You must contact the funeral director or service provider to start the meetings.

Making funeral arrangements in advance can eliminate questions and doubts about organising a funeral. The deceased’s wishes should have been known to close family members in advance.

By expressing funeral preferences in advance, the person can ensure that their funeral is organised and carried out according to their preferences.

  • If Prior Plans Weren’t Made

There are four areas where family members will need to make decisions if pre-arrangements have yet to be made.

  1. Choose the faith for the funeral.
  2. Choose between cremation and burial.
  3. Choose a place for the funeral.
  4. Define the location of the afterlife.

The funeral planning process can be started by contacting the funeral director or selected funeral service provider after the family has discussed and decided on its options.

Step 2: Acquire the CCOD (Certificate of Cause of Death)

A Certificate of Cause of Death is required before planning a funeral (CCOD).

Death can occasionally come as a surprise. There are various protocols depending on where a person has gone away because there is no way of knowing where or when it will happen.

  • If A Patient Dies in A Hospital

While waiting to pass away in a hospital is arguably the hardest on the soul, it is also the most precise cut legally. The attending physician for the deceased will certify the cause of death and complete the required paperwork. Using the dead’s ID card, you can obtain the CCOD from the ward nurse.

Sometimes the physician is unable to determine the cause of death. The police will arrange for the body to be sent to Mortuary@HSA if the doctor is unsure of the cause of death.

The State Coroner will assess the situation once the body is delivered to the mortuary and determine whether the additional inquiry is necessary. You must bring relevant medical records for the dead and any medications they may have been taking. Additionally, you will need to show proof of identification for both you and the deceased.

They will let you know when you may pick up the body and the CCOD if all goes as planned.

  • When Someone Dies At Home

The procedure is very similar to that at a hospital. You could phone your family doctor straight if you were anticipating the death, i.e. if the person was ill or elderly. He will immediately ascertain the cause of death and issue the CCOD.

Call your favourite funeral director, who can arrange for a doctor to come over for the CCOD to be issued if you don’t have a doctor. The funeral director will start making funeral arrangements after the doctor provides the CCOD. The police will need to be contacted if the doctor cannot determine the cause of death.

In the event of an unexpected death, dial 995 right away.

  • If Someone Passes Away Abroad

The hospital or the police will get in touch with the relatives as soon as someone dies. Both domestically and internationally, this is true.

When someone passes away abroad, you can have the body returned immediately or have it cremated and manually taken back home after reporting the death to the local authorities.

A coffin (import) permit is necessary to bring a body back into Singapore from abroad.

The following offices accept coffin permission applications:

  • Port Health Office
  • Airport Health Office

The best course of action would be to contact a funeral director who will guide you through the procedure and even assist you in gathering the required paperwork, as it may be very stressful and complicated.

Step 3: File a Death Report

The death should be reported as quickly as feasible, typically done immediately after getting the CCOD.

It’s best to make this decision early because you will be asked whether the body will be buried or cremated. The government-run Mandai Crematorium is the most popular location for cremations in Singapore.

Neighbourhood Police Centre, Neighbourhood Police Post, Police Divisional Headquarters, or the Registry of Births and Deaths are just a few places where you can file a death report.

Regarding the paperwork, all you need to bring is the CCOD and a piece of identification, such as a passport, NRIC, or birth certificate for both you and the deceased.

  • Digital Death Certificates

Physical death certificates will no longer be issued starting on May 29, 2022, and digital death certificates will take their place.

The death can be certified by a physician online, and the ICA system will record it instantly. The family can download the digital death certificate from the MyLegacy Website after the doctor gives them the death certificate number.

  • Composing An Obituary(Optional)

Although writing an obituary is not strictly essential, it is an excellent method to inform others of death and provide information on the wake and funeral.

You can send an obituary to local newspapers rather than contacting each of the deceased’s friends and acquaintances individually. You can post an online obituary in its place or forego it entirely because it can be pricey.

Step 4: Plan the Funeral

Funeral arrangements can be made in a variety of ways. Every religion has its customs, and every family also holds its unique beliefs. The departed person may also have specific funeral preferences.

Different religions coexist in harmony in Singapore. For the family to appropriately convey their loved one into the afterlife, it is crucial that the funeral home they choose is knowledgeable about what to suggest and do for each religion.

Additionally, every family deserves to be treated with kindness and respect, and the deceased are treated the same way.

Depending on the style of funeral rites you like, funeral homes provide packages. The most popular funeral services include Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, and Catholic funerals and nonreligious/freethinker funerals.

ICareFuneral provides all the above mentioned services. Feel free to contact us if you require any assistance.

  • Casket Selection

You would need to select a casket for the deceased if it was decided to have a burial rather than cremation.

In Singapore, caskets are made of wood. While burial caskets are often made of solid wood, cremation caskets are typically plywood. The type of material, the wood’s solidity, and the design of the caskets are what set them apart.

Metal caskets are a less common option for coffins. The most durable caskets are usually more expensive but have the advantage of being made of metal.

Metal coffins are less common in Singapore than elsewhere, especially since the Chinese prefer wooden coffins. Because cremation is not permitted here, they are also hardly used. 

Paper or cardboard coffins would be the third choice. Even though they are not as attractive, they are typically purchased by families who care more about the environment. Due to the exceedingly low demand, cardboard caskets are likewise not widely accessible in Singapore.

Paper coffins can be less expensive than metal ones, but not always. Some wooden caskets would still be less expensive.

As a result, wooden caskets are most prevalent in Singapore, and the cost can vary depending on the type of wood used.

  • Choose The Venue for The Wake or Funeral.

The choice of where to hold the wake or funeral typically depends on available funds and the expected attendance. If the wake carries on for several days, finding a site where you can lock up without paying extra for night staff or staying up late yourself is a crucial consideration.

The most popular choice is HDB void decks. To hold a funeral at void decks, you must obtain specific authorisation from the Town Council. In general, void deck funerals are one of the less expensive choices.

If there is enough room, holding the funeral at home might be another reasonably priced choice. You will want a permit from the Traffic Police or URA if you need to use a portion of the road for the event (Urban Redevelopment Authority).

Funerals may also be held in funeral homes. In general, choosing this is more expensive. The advantage is that you may not have to spend the entire night at the wake because you are paying for more excellent facilities. This is because certain funeral homes can lock the doors at night, allowing you to obtain some much-needed rest during this trying time.

  • Other Funeral-related Considerations

There are a few things to consider regarding the ceremony itself.

You can select the person who will perform the burial rites based on religion. This generally entails engaging a priest or monk to officiate the ceremony.

The funeral rites and schedule may need extensive planning and organisation and may be tailored to the family’s preferences. You can coordinate this with the aid of a funeral director.

The funeral’s floral arrangements and other decorations are also up to you.

You can arrange for meal catering if you wish to provide guests with food and beverages.

These are optional and determined by personal taste or the deceased’s wishes.

Step 5: Bury/Cremate the Deceased Person

Your loved one’s ultimate resting place will need you to make a significant decision.

  • Crematorium

The majority of Singaporeans decide to cremate the remains of their loved ones.

One of Singapore’s columbaria is the most popular option for a final resting place. The choice of a marble plaque, an urn, and a niche must be made by the deceased’s family.

Some families also elect to have the body cremated; the ashes and urn are then sent home. Additionally, it has become more common for people to use ashes to make jewellery and ornaments.

  • Regular Burial

The Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex is the only cemetery in Singapore that is still accepting burials, according to the NEA.

You can make reservations over the phone or in person at the reservation office. To reserve a burial time, the applicant’s and the next-of-NRICs kin and the original Death Certificate—which includes the Permit to Bury—are needed. You can get help with this from your funeral director.

  • Sea Burial

Spreading your loved one’s ashes into the sea may be a tranquil and spiritual activity in addition to being environmentally friendly. There are two ways to do this: either place the cremated remains in a biodegradable urn and cast them into the water or wrap them in a sacred cloth.

  • Onland Ash Dispersion

The Garden of Peace, which is situated at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery, is one of the rare government-owned facilities that offer an open garden for the dispersion of cremated remains.

This is an excellent choice for those who don’t want to be buried in a columbarium yet enjoy the land and are terrified of the sea. The Garden of Peace is an excellent location for dispersing ashes in the interior because it is so tranquil and beautiful.

Engagement of a Funeral Director

It can be challenging to arrange a funeral for a loved one or oneself.

Having a dependable funeral director at your side is essential when arranging a funeral. A funeral director will help you at every stage, including selecting the coffin and organising the funeral service and send-off.

Don’t hesitate to ask the experienced funeral directors at ICareFuneral for assistance with funeral planning if you’re unsure how to proceed. Thanks to our knowledge and empathy, you can rely on us to make the funeral preparation process simple and smooth.

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