FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This can be a very emotional time, so sometimes it’s best to call someone close to you first. Following this, give the doctor of your loved one a call. If the death has occurred in a hospital or nursing home, the staff can do this on your behalf.
Once the doctor has been and confirmed the death, you can then contact a funeral home such as Millingtons, and we’ll transfer your loved one into our care. If you’d like some private time, this does not have to be done immediately. You can call us any time of day or night on 6211 4888.
If your loved one dies in a public hospital, the staff will likely complete the paperwork required for issuing a Death Certificate. It is up to the family, however, to choose and contact a funeral home who will then transport your loved one into their care. If the death occurs in a nursing home or private hospital, staff will typically make contact with next of kin once the death has been confirmed. As with public hospitals, it is then up to your family to select a funeral home and make contact.
A Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is issued by a doctor. This document allows the funeral to proceed and is used by the funeral director to register the death with the Department of Births Deaths and Marriages. The registrar can then issue a Certificate of Death registration. It is the Certificate of Death Registration that will be required for legal and estate proceedings. To receive this an application must be made and a fee from the department is applied. The funeral director can apply on your behalf and add this to your funeral invoice, or it can be done by the next of kin at any Service Tasmania office.
The length of time varies, depending on circumstances around the death and what instructions are given. There is no right or wrong. It’s important to take as long as you need and Millingtons can help you through this timing process.
Millingtons can help you, regardless of whether your loved one has died locally in Tasmania, interstate or overseas. We can assist with bringing your loved one back to their country of origin by working closely with Australian Government Departments and the Consulate General of the country where death occurred.
In certain instances, a doctor may not be able to ascertain the cause of death and must refer the death to the coroner. It is not possible to object to this process, however if you have religious or other objections to a post mortem, it’s important to let the coroner know this.
Examples of when a coroner is required include death other than by natural causes including violence, accidental or unusual causes.
The funeral must be arranged by the Senior Next of Kin. This is a legal requirement. If the Senior Next of Kin does not wish to arrange the funeral they can sign over their authority to another person that is generally the next in line by definition of next of kin. The definitions are listed in the Burial and Cremation Act (2015). Once we enter into an agreement with a next of kin we are unable to change any decisions or arrangements without their approval.
Embalming is a chemical treatment used to sanitise and preserve the body. Millingtons have qualified embalmers onsite, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have about the process. Embalming is often required when there is a longer period between death and a funeral, when the deceased needs to be transferred interstate or overseas, or to improve the appearance of the deceased for a viewing.
Choosing to view your loved one is a personal decision. Viewings are typically held at our Mornington or Moonah Chapels where our staff are available to support you through this. A viewing is an opportunity for final goodbyes and is recognised by professionals to be an important part of the grieving process.
In Australian terms, a coffin is typically made of wood and reflects the shape of a body with broader width at the shoulders and narrower dimensions at the feet. Coffins usually have a lid that can be fully removed. In contrast, a casket is made from wood or metal, and is rectangular in shape with a hinged lid.
A pre-paid funeral is the option to arrange and pay for a funeral service in advance. This provides the opportunity to personalise a service and celebrate in a way that reflects your own wishes. It also relieves the decision making and financial burden from your family. The funeral can be paid upfront or in regular instalments. Some people like to discuss funeral arrangements with their spouse or family, while others might choose to talk confidentially with Millingtons.
The cost of a funeral can vary depending on the type of funeral service, whether a burial or cremation is preferred, the style of coffin or casket, the cost of the grave or urn, and fees for professionals and other service providers involved in the funeral (ie. flowers, newspaper notices or celebrant). Millingtons are happy to discuss options relating to costs during your initial meeting with us.
At a funeral service, the deceased is in attendance and for a memorial service this is not the case. A memorial service is often chosen when a body is not recoverable, a loved one dies away from home or a burial/cremation has already taken place.