While cremations may not be the traditional method of funeral service, they have now overtaken burials as Australia’s preferred option for final disposition. They have also become the leading option across other western countries like the US and the UK.

In Australia about 75% of funerals are cremations, while 22% of the nation’s deaths result in direct cremation (a cremation without an accompanying funeral service). And those trends are growing quickly each year. 

Despite the shift away from burials, many people are unsure about the cremation process and what happens with the ashes afterwards. This Complete Guide to Cremation is a step-by-step explanation of the process. It answers the common questions about cremations to help you and your family make the decision that’s right for you when it comes to planning a cremation.

This guide is broken down into the following sections:

  1. Why do people choose cremation?
  2. How much does a cremation cost?
  3. What is a cremation?
  4. What is the process when someone passes away?
  5. What is a death certificate and how to apply for one?
  6. Cremated remains and ashes
  7. Types of memorials after a cremation
  8. How do I prepay my cremation?
  9. Frequently Asked Questions about cremations

________________________________________

PART 1 : WHY DO PEOPLE CHOOSE CREMATION?

People have a choice of either burial or cremation when someone dies, and ultimately, this decision is a matter of personal preference. 

Today about 75% of deaths result in cremation and the rate is increasing by an estimated half a per cent each year. While there is some variance between states and territories, and metropolitan and regional areas, cremations are much more predominant in city areas, according to funeral industry figures. 

Land is less available and more expensive in metropolitan areas, placing limitations on burials as an option. This is a major reason cremations are outpacing burials, however the primary driver is a generational shift in the “consumer” of funeral services. People today are increasingly price-conscious, less religious and less traditional and so, more than ever, many are saying farewell to traditional funerals and, by extension, burials. There are a number of influences behind that trend. 

Shift away from religious traditions

The Christian religion used to be a major influence on the rituals of death in Australia, but by turn of the 20th century there was a noticeable decline in the practice of Christianity.  While family and religious traditions are still important to some people, there is a gradual move away from traditionalism in modern culture. As the nation shifts toward secularism, Aussies are now choosing new traditions in place of rituals that have long stemmed from religion. So when it comes to death, many are turning to cremation over the traditional burial. 

cremation memorials popular over cemetery burial
Aussies are turning to cremation over burial as we gradually move away from traditionalism.

Economic benefits of cremation

Another key factor in the popularity of cremations is affordability as cremation can be as much as four times cheaper than a burial. This surprises many, but the average cost of a funeral in Australia is around $8,000 and it’s increasing significantly every year. Private funerals typically cost between $4,000 for a basic cremation and up to $15,000 for a more elaborate burial, according to the government’s Moneysmart website, 

Moreover, in a number of states in Australia, terms of grave interments are only for 25 or 50 years. This means that a family member will be given the opportunity to renew the licence for a further term – at a cost. Cremations do not carry the same level of cost, and so they are much more economically accessible for many families. 

Freedom to ‘go your own way’

Creative and personalised memorialisation is a growing trend where families are looking at innovative send-offs that are more fitting to celebrate their loved one’s life than the traditional graveside service and burial. Cremation allows families the freedom and flexibility to personalise a loved one’s memorial and ashes scattering ceremonies later on, to match their unique personality. We talk more about this later on. 

Remaining close to loved ones

Family members may be spread across the country, living in various cities, so it is becoming more difficult for many to visit family burial plots. Parents often struggle to decide if they should be buried near their own parents or their children when the time comes. As the popularity of cremation grows, the need for fixed physical placement of remains seems less important.

Cremation allows the remains to either be buried near other loved ones and family members, or scattered someplace more meaningful to your loved one than a cemetery. They can also be kept in an urn providing family members a permanent memorial of their dearly departed. 

Environmental benefits of cremation 

The ecological impact of death is becoming more of a consideration too, as people are becoming more aware of the need to conserve nature for generations to come. 

Carbon footprint: While cremation creates about four times as much carbon dioxide than a burial, the process actually has a lower carbon footprint than burials due to cemetery maintenance including watering and fertilisation, according to Gatheredhere.com.au. It is estimated that cremations are anywhere between 10-50% better for the environment due to the associated impacts of burial.

Coffin production: The sheer amount of wood needed to create caskets every year is staggering, with more than 1.6 million hectares of forest cut down for this each year. The manufacturing process of casket production also brings pollution. In recent years, cardboard coffins have become an eco-friendly alternative designed for cremation.

Pollution: Embalming fluid is another factor when it comes to pollution. When the chemicals are buried in the ground they don’t just disappear – they gradually work their way into the soil and underground waterways. An average 4 hectare cemetery holds enough embalming fluid to fill a small swimming pool, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.

Land availability: Space crunch is becoming a major problem, particularly in cities. Those concerned about land availability are opting for cremation as a way to preserve land, rather than contribute to the problem with a cemetery burial. A UK study estimated London’s cemeteries will be completely full within the next 20-30 years, according to The Guardian.  Many suspect Australia won’t be far behind. 

________________________________________

PART 2: HOW MUCH DOES A CREMATION COST? 

Cost of a funeral by state

The cost of a funeral varies depending from state to state and the location of the service. Prices can differ due to the cost of crematorium use, transportation and required paperwork being different in each state. The price is generally higher in regional areas due to some of these factors as well. 

The below explains the average cost of a traditional funeral service in each state according to Finder.com.au.

Please note that these figures average out the price of both burials and cremations, so they are skewed by high-cost burials. We will explain the cost of cremations specifically in the next section to follow.

Average cost of a funeral (burial and cremation) according to Finder.com.au:

  • Average cost of a funeral Sydney: $8,357
  • Average cost of a funeral Brisbane: $7,505
  • Average cost of a funeral Perth: $7,584
  • Average cost of a funeral Adelaide: $7,114
  • Average cost of a funeral Hobart: $6,832

*The average cost of a funeral in Melbourne, Canberra and Darwin were left out of the analysis because of a lack of data.

cremation cost by state
The average cost of a cremation in Australia by state.

Cost of a cremation by state

The figures above are the average cost of funerals by state.  The average figures are somewhat skewed by very high cost burials, with the average cost of a cremation being much cheaper.

Below is an estimated cost range for a simple cremation in each capital city, (including a funeral director’s fees and use of a chapel) according to Gatheredhere.com.au. Please note: prices will differ between. individual funeral providers: 

  • Melbourne: $4,400-$7,900
  • Sydney: $5,440-$9,230
  • ACT: $6,600-$8,600
  • Brisbane: $4,380-$7,690
  • Perth: $4,600-$6,300
  • Adelaide: $3,000-$7,800

What are you paying for?

The cost of a funeral service encompasses a few distinct components.

First, when engaging a funeral home for a traditional funeral, the most substantial cost is the funeral director’s professional service fee, according to a University of Wollongong study of transparency in the funeral industry. This usually includes liaison with service providers, vehicles and general business overheads like labour costs.

Second, is the amount charged for a coffin, which includes a significant mark-up that can sometimes exceed 100% of the actual price, according to the study.

The third component is for general disbursements. These are fixed and variable costs for added elements like flowers, death certificates and cemetery or crematorium fees, which are all passed on to the customer. 

Direct Cremation – a low-cost option

Alternatively, a direct cremation is a significantly cheaper option. As there is no ceremony or funeral director you’re generally only paying for use of a crematorium. A simple coffin is usually used instead of an expensive wooden casket, which also keeps costs down. You’re also not paying for a celebrant, catering, flowers and multiple transportations, which can be costly.

In Australia, the average price of a direct cremation – a cremation without an attended ceremony – costs around $4000. But there is usually extra fees for after-hours callouts and other services. As the nation’s low-cost cremation service, the average Bare Cremation is just $1,967. The cost differs by state and location, but with Bare, there are no extra fees for 24/7 collection or after-hours customer care and support.

 ________________________________________

PART 3: WHAT IS A CREMATION?

As an alternative to burial after someone dies, cremation is the process of burning the body to reduce the human remains to very fine bone fragments often called ashes or “cremated remains”.

The decision to opt for a cremation rather than burial is usually made by the deceased’s family or Next of Kin. Often the decision is made well before death and the deceased may have advised their family of their wishes for when the time comes. In some cases arrangements may even be in place, including pre-paying services. 

Your funeral provider will be able to arrange all aspects of the cremation services. This includes bringing the deceased into their care and storing and preparing the body; processing the necessary paperwork; arranging the cremation; supplying the coffin and organising the return of the ashes. A funeral director can also arrange a chapel service for a memorial or committal service, unless a direct cremation is requested. 

For the most part, the actual cremation happens largely the same way, but there are variations of the cremation service available:

Traditional cremation

A traditional cremation is organised by a funeral director and involves a formal ceremony preceding the actual cremation and can include a viewing of the deceased before the funeral service.

Direct cremation 

A direct cremation, also known as a bare cremation, is a cremation without an accompanying formal funeral ceremony. The no-frills cremation doesn’t require a funeral director to be involved in a service, happens without a viewing and allows families to create a personalised memorial service after the cremation occurs.

Private cremation 

A private cremation or “cremation only” is another term used to describe a direct cremation or no-service cremation. Most commonly, the family arranges a private get-together or memorial after the cremation when the ashes have been received.

presonalised direct cremation memorial funeral service
A direct cremation allows the freedom to arrange a memorial that’s fitting to their loved one, rather than a traditional service set out by a funeral director.

Direct cremation vs traditional cremation

Direct cremation is the fastest-growing funeral trend in Australia as it’s a low-cost alternative to a traditional funeral. Research conducted by Gatheredhere.com.au suggests that direct cremation makes up about 23% of total funerals – up from an estimated 5% just 10 years ago.  There are many reasons for this sudden increase in popularity, including cost, personalisation and convenience. 

Here are three key differences between direct cremation and traditional cremation:

a. The memorial service

With a traditional cremation, a funeral service usually takes place at the crematorium before the actual cremation. This ceremony will be arranged by a funeral director.  

With direct cremation however, the memorial service happens without a body present, usually after the ashes have been returned to the family. The memorial, celebration of life, or ashes scattering ceremony is usually arranged by the family of the deceased and can take place anywhere from your home, to the pub, to a favourite restaurant or place in nature.

b. Cremation fees

A cremation without ceremony allows families to simply, and affordably, arrange the cremation of a loved one without the cost or administration of involving a funeral director. As a result, direct cremations can be significantly cheaper than traditional funerals. As a price comparison, Bare Cremation offers services starting at $1,099 compared with the $4,000 associated with traditional cremations. 

The main reason for this price difference is because a traditional cremation requires a funeral director, so families will pay a premium for things like the coffin, urn, flowers and a wake if one is being organised through the funeral parlour.

c. A personal farewell

When arranging a traditional cremation with a funeral home, the family is usually given options to personalise components of the service, like the coffin, urn, flowers, music and readings. The ceremony itself will need to take place at the crematorium.

Arranging a direct cremation comes with little choice, but the personalisation comes after the ashes have been received. The family then has the freedom to arrange a memorial that’s fitting to their loved one, rather than a service that’s set out by a funeral director.
________________________________________

PART 4: WHAT IS THE PROCESS WHEN SOMEONE PASSES AWAY?

The initial cremation process usually depends on where the person passes away. 

If death happened in a hospital or other institution, a staff member will usually call a funeral provider directly to advise of the passing of the person, and provide the funeral director the Next of Kin’s details. From there, the funeral provider will make contact with the Next of Kin to discuss the process and answer any questions they may have. The funeral provider will then liaise with the hospital or institution about bringing the deceased into their care. 

If your loved one died at home, you will need to contact a funeral provider directly after a medical person has verified their passing. The funeral director will then arrange to take your loved one into their care and have them transported to the mortuary while all necessary documents are gathered and completed correctly. There are slight differences between states, but generally the Next of Kin is required to complete an Application for Cremation as well as a Registration of Death Information form. The funeral director also gathers necessary medical paperwork. Once the paperwork has been processed, the body is transferred to the crematorium.

cremation memorial
Arranging a direct cremation comes with little choice, but the personalisation comes after the ashes have been received

If you are planning a formal committal service, your funeral director will liaise with you and your family to help plan the ceremony. 

Following the funeral service, most crematoriums will wait until mourners have left to begin the cremation. In Australia, cremations are legally required to occur within 48 hours of the funeral service, however they usually take place on the day of the service.

If a direct cremation is requested, the body is taken straight to the crematorium and cremated before any memorial service. Your funeral provider should contact you to advise the cremation date, unless this is something you have specifically asked not to know. With a direct cremation, the family or close friends are responsible for organising their own memorial or celebration of life at a later time and place that is best suited to the family.  

How long is a cremation funeral service?

A traditional funeral service for a cremation is similar to a burial, but naturally without the graveside service component. How long a cremation service goes for will vary depending on what is chosen to take place in the service, but most last about 30-60 minutes. Speak to your funeral director if you want to arrange a longer service, however, this often comes with an additional fee.

What is a funeral order of service?

The order of services is the components that make up the funeral. The order of service is usually explained in a booklet form which will tell mourners what will happen during the service. It usually includes the details of any songs, prayers and readings.

The funeral service generally includes a eulogy, poems or readings, music, and more recently the inclusion of photos or videos of the deceased, as elements that celebrate their life. The service will end with a committal – the formal farewell of the deceased before being buried or moving to be cremated. 

If the deceased is present at the service, the coffin is usually placed either on a trolley or a platform, called a catafalque, before mourners arrive.

Following the committal service, the coffin is removed. Each crematorium does this differently – sometimes the coffin may be obscured from view by curtains closing around it, or it is lowered from sight or taken through a gateway. Sometimes at the end of a service the family may want to carry or wheel the coffin out to the hearse and watch it drive off. After the coffin is away from view, the mourners leave the chapel.

The funeral director will arrange for transportation of the coffin to the crematorium. This will either be directly from the funeral director’s mortuary facility or the chapel or church where the service was held.

What can you put in a coffin for cremation?

You can put anything in a coffin for cremation, except glass or a battery-operated device – like a phone, radio, or pacemaker. Sometimes families like to place flowers, soft toys and written messages on paper and cards inside their loved one’s coffin for cremation and that’s OK. 

However, it’s best not to leave jewellery, rings or watches on the deceased as they won’t be part of the ashes returned to the family and can’t be retrieved following the cremation process. If an item of jewellery is sentimental, it’s better to keep it yourself. 

Can people with pacemakers be cremated?

Yes, people with pacemakers can be cremated. However pacemakers and any other mechanical devices with batteries must be removed beforehand as they contain combustible chemicals that could explode when exposed to extreme heat. Items such as pins, screws and joints remain in place.

It’s important to let your funeral planner know if the deceased has a pacemaker, prosthetic, or any other medical device.

Are organs removed before cremation? 

Generally, organs are not removed before cremation unless for purposes of an organ donation.

Your loved one may have already decided to donate their organs or you may be asked to donate their organs for eligible organ transplant patients. If this is the case, the Next of Kin must give their consent before any procedure goes ahead. This is a decision you may need to make immediately after they die.

Organ and tissue donation does not affect funeral arrangements, Australia’s organ donation registry Donate Life has confirmed. A cremation can still happen without having to make any changes to the service. You can find out more about organ and body donation in this article.

How is the body prepared for cremation?

To prepare a body for cremation, items that could affect the cremation procedure (like pacemakers, as mentioned above) are removed. The deceased is then placed in a coffin which remains sealed for the cremation process.

What happens at a cremation?

When the cremation process is ready to begin, the coffin’s nameplate is checked with the cremation order to ensure the correct identity. The coffin is accompanied by a card that provides all the relevant information, which will remain with it until the ashes are returned to the family.

The cremator is a cubicle that will only allow for one standard sized coffin to fit inside. Its chamber is heated to a temperature between 800-1000 degrees. It’s built with heat-resistant bricks and the heat from the bricks is what causes the cremation to occur.

If the casket has any metal parts attached, like handles, they are removed. The coffin is then inserted with the deceased placed into the cremator feet-first. Once the body and coffin has been completely cremated the remnants are then placed in a cooling tray. Any metallic contents like coffin nails are removed and the remains are left to cool.

cremation tree planting memorial with ashes
Following a cremation, growing a beautiful memory tree, plant, or flowers from a loved one’s ashes can help carry on their memory.

Finally, larger particles of the cremated remains are ground into a fine, sand-like consistency. These ashes are put into a sealed container, or into an urn pre-purchased by the deceased’s family. You can find out more about various urn options on the Bare Cremation website.

How long does a cremation take? 

The time taken to cremate will depend on many factors including body mass, bone density and the materials from which the coffin is manufactured. Generally it takes about two hours for an adult body to be reduced to ashes, however the entire cremation process, including preparation, takes about three hours.

Return of ashes

Following the cremation, your funeral provider will organise the most suitable means of returning your loved one’s ashes to the person who lodged the application for the cremation. Usually ashes can either be collected in person or delivered.

________________________________________

PART 5: WHAT IS A DEATH CERTIFICATE AND HOW TO APPLY FOR ONE

Your loved one’s passing needs to be registered and an official death certificate from The office of Births Deaths and Marriages will be issued. Each state in Australia has its own guidelines that instruct the Next of Kin on how to go about registering a death, however your funeral service provider will generally organise this for you.

Once the death has been registered you can apply for a death certificate. This will be issued to who is nominated as the informant, generally the executor or senior Next of Kin. 

Why do I need a death certificate?

The death certificate is required before administration of a will can take place. Typically you’ll also need a death certificate to cancel bills, bank accounts, utilities and administer other parts of the estate.

When and how do I receive a death certificate? 

Certificates are delivered by registered post. From the time of cremation, we typically advise a wait time of about two to three weeks. At times it can take longer if there is a. delay in. processing by the state authority. 

________________________________________

PART 6: CREMATED REMAINS AND ASHES

What is a crematorium?

Cremations are performed at crematoriums that are usually located within cemeteries. There are a number of crematoriums, both public and privately owned, across the country. The price of a cremation at each crematorium varies dramatically depending on the location and funeral provider.

When will the family receive the ashes?

As a general rule, allow one week from the date of the cremation for the cremated remains, or ashes to be returned to the Next of Kin. 

Cremation sea scattering ashes memorial
Scattering by sea is a lovely way to send off your loved one after a cremation.

How are the ashes returned?

After the cremation takes place, the ashes may be collected from the crematorium. With a Bare Cremation, families can either collect the remains in person if they wish, otherwise they will be delivered.

If specified, a crematorium may hold the cremated remains. If they have not been claimed within a reasonable time, usually within 12 months, the crematorium may dispose of the cremated remains in any way that it considers appropriate – usually interred in the cemetery grounds.

How can I be certain I will get the correct ashes back?

The responsibility is taken very seriously and the process to ensure this happens is closely regulated by the Australian Government. Only one coffin is ever cremated at any one time.

Before cremation, an ID number is assigned and stamped on a metal plate – this then accompanies your loved one throughout the cremation process, so we always know who is who. 

What happens to the remains after cremation?

Once the remains have been returned, there are a few options. Ashes can be:

  • buried in a cemetery, in a small plot or placement in columbarium or niche wall; 
  • preserved in a decorative urn and kept at home or some other favourite spot; or
  • scattered someplace that was significant to the deceased and families. Most commonly this is on private land, or at a beach, river, public park or sea.

When thinking about what to do with the cremated remains of your loved one, you will want to consider the future in a way that keeps their uniqueness alive with you. Think about whether you want a permanent memorial place where you and other family members can visit, or if scattering at a special place is more fitting to your loved one’s legacy. 

Once scattered, the ashes cannot be collected, so take your time in making the right decision for you now and also in the future. Think about future access to the site which may become restricted for some reason in the future. If scattering in the backyard, consider what might happen if the property is sold or vacated in years to come. 

Also consider if other family members want to keep some of the ashes. There is no obligation for remains to be kept together and they can be divided for different people and purposes.

Cemeteries and memorial parks

Memorial parks offer a number of options for cremated remains. 

You may choose to purchase a cremation memorial, which could be a niche in a wall, or garden bed. Each cemetery has various options available and you will need to contact the cemetery involved for their options and pricing. Scattering of ashes can be done in cemetery gardens, but you will need to contact the cemetery for their options and pricing.

Do you need any special permission to scatter the ashes?

Each state and territory has different regulations, so you will need to find out what applies in your region. Scattering of ashes may contravene the terms of air or water pollution of the environmental act in your state. As a general rule it is wise to get permission from the owners of private land; or local council for parks, beaches and playing fields. 

Councils and other government authorities may even set a time and place when these activities can be undertaken and can impose other conditions. Disposal of ashes without consent from appropriate authorities may result in legal proceedings to be initiated against the person disposing the ashes, so it’s important to check if restrictions apply in your state.

Cremated remains in sea cremation memorial
Cremated remains can be placed in a biodegradable Eco Water Urn that will float away with the natural tide.

General tips for scattering

If scattering remains be mindful of the following, which will help make the experience a little easier and more pleasant for everyone:

Consider the container the remains are in. Containers from the crematorium are difficult to open (often with a plug that needs a flat screwdriver to lift it off) and often not easy to scatter from. Ensure you know how to open the receptacle before the moment comes to scatter. Alternatively consider transferring the remains into a receptacle specifically designed for easily scattering remains, such as the Eco Scattering Urn.

Be aware of the direction of the wind when scattering remains. Have guests stand upwind to avoid any airborne remains blowing into family or friends.

Consider other people. If scattering in a public place remember other people have every right to be there also. Be respectful and if needed, discreet. Choose a time and a place that avoids large numbers of members of the public.

Scattering ashes by sea 

If scattering at sea by boat, you must get permission from the master of the vessel or boat before scattering the ashes. Vessels can be chartered specifically to scatter ashes. 

If you’re scattering remains at sea, there are some additional precautions to observe.

  • Pre-loosen the lid of the container or pre-drill large holes to make it easier to remove the lid or scatter the ashes when on board a vessel;
  • Be aware of the wind direction and scatter close to the water if possible; and
  • Never just throw the container overboard as it will float. Always empty the container’s contents into the sea.

Traveling with ashes

After a cremation has taken place you may wish to travel to another state or overseas with the cremated remains. You may be taking your loved one back home for a special memorial service, or wish to scatter them in a special holiday spot.  

Traveling with ashes is definitely allowed. There are no legislative requirements in relation to taking cremated remains outside Australia. Our Traveling with ashes guide offers tips for making your journey hassle free.

________________________________________

PART 7: TYPES OF MEMORIALS AFTER A CREMATION

Cremations still allow families to hold a traditional funeral service beforehand if they wish, but there are also endless options to celebrate your loved one’s life after the cremation has taken place.

Celebration of life

An end-of-life service is your way of saying thank you to someone special for their unique life. It is one of the last physical acts you can do for someone to ensure their life is recognised and remembered. Instead of a traditional service, families and close friends might like to hold a celebration-of-life by gathering at their loved one’s favourite restaurant for dinner, or getting together for a backyard BBQ. You might instead plan a gathering at your loved one’s favourite place in nature – like a BBQ by the beach, a memorial at a park, or some other special spot that meant a lot to your loved one. 

There’s also the option to make ashes-scattering ceremonies part of the memorial, too. At Bare, we’ve seen families get together for sunset ashes-scattering ceremonies at picturesque places like the mountains, at sea or by lakeside. We’ve even had a Viking send-off! You might even like to consider scattering ashes from a hot air balloon. 

You can also read our article on memorials with ashes for more suggestions. We’ve also included some music suggestions in this article on songs you might like to include in your loved one’s memorial service. And below is a Spotify playlist we’ve put together.

Here are some other options for personalising your loved one’s farewell following cremation: 

Grow a living memory

Growing a beautiful memory tree, plant, or flowers from the cremated remains of a loved one can help carry on their memory. Following the memorial service, a biodegradable Living Urn may be placed in the ground with the roots or seeds so that a special tree or shrub may grow in memory of your dearly departed.

Seaside send-off

Another option is to farewell your loved one with a water-based cremation ceremony by the beach or lake. A biodegradable Eco Water Urn can be placed in any body of water and it will float away with the natural tide, letting you craft the perfect ceremony in nature. 

________________________________________

PART 8: HOW DO I PREPAY MY CREMATION?

If you think you’d like to be cremated when the time comes, you might want to consider prepaying your cremation. Pre-planned funerals give you a say in what happens after you have passed and can help to ease the emotional and financial pressure off families later.

At Bare, we focus on exceptional customer service at an affordable price, with no hidden fees. You can rest easy knowing your money is held in a trust with Australian Friendly Society (backed by Bendigo Bank) and give your family peace of mind.

See our complete guide to preplanning a funeral for more information on arranging a prepaid cremation service. You can request a free quote or arrange for a cremation in just minutes online at our website barecremation.com.au

To learn more about our service or to speak with a customer service representative, call 1800 202 901. 

________________________________________

PART 9: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CREMATIONS

What do I do after my loved one has died?

The first thing to do after someone has died is to contact a funeral provider. The Bare Customer Care team is available 24/7 on 1800 071 176. 

Your dedicated support person will take some brief details, talk you through the process and answer any questions you have. From there, your funeral provider will start to arrange collection and transportation of your loved one and commence the required paperwork.

Who do I have to notify that someone has passed away?

There are a number of institutions and people you should contact to ensure a person’s estate is effectively closed. Please see our Estate Planning Guide for Victoria or Estate Planning Guide for NSW to get started. 

How long does it take for collection to happen?

The timing of collection depends on where the passing occurs. If your loved one has passed away at home, we will endeavour to be there within two hours. If they passed away at an aged care facility or hospital, we will collect as soon as possible, pending the hospital or aged care home’s availability. If your loved one is taken to the Coroner, we will collect after the Coroner enquiry has been completed which can take more than a week. 

Where is the deceased taken? 

Once taken into the care of the funeral provider, the deceased is typically transferred to a mortuary. 

How long does the process take from collection to return of ashes?

We generally advise families that the timing from collection to return of ashes is 10 days. However it can vary depending on how quickly documentation is returned from the family, along with appropriate clearances from institutions (hospitals, coroners etc.). Delivery or return of ashes can also impact the timing depending on the method of return that is selected. 

How are the ashes returned?

Ashes are returned in different ways depending on your location. They may be hand-delivered, available for collection or sent via registered post or a courier. Your funeral provider will advise of your delivery options.

Can I choose to not have the ashes returned?

You may elect not to have the ashes returned. Your funeral provider can organise ashes to be scattered in a cemetery on your behalf, however, this will require written authority and in many instances the cemetery charges a fee for this service. 

How can I be certain I will get the correct ashes back?

We take this responsibility very seriously, and the process to ensure this happens is closely regulated by the Australian Government. Before cremation, an ID number is assigned and stamped on a metal disk – this then accompanies your loved one throughout the cremation process, so we always know who is who.

We hope this guide to planning a cremation has provided you a better understanding of the process.

If you have any further questions or to get a quote for a cremation visit the Bare Cremation website or call 1800 202 901.

About Bare Cremation

Bare Cremation is Australia’s best direct cremation service. Our mission is to ensure every Australian has the option of an affordable, seamless and stress-free funeral service that can be arranged online or over the phone in minutes, at a fraction of the price of traditional funeral homes. We’ve cut out the need to go to a funeral home and made a complicated process simple by offering an affordable, transparent and easy alternative. Find out more by visiting the Bare Cremation website.