Frequently Asked Questions

How is my loved one cared for while in the hands of Graham Family Funerals?

Graham Family’s staff will treat every person in their care with reverence and respect. They are treated as if the family were present at all times. The staff at Graham Family treat your loved one as part of our family when you entrust a loved one into our care.

What clothing should I provide for my loved one?

The decision of the type of clothing you may like to see your loved one placed in can be based on a lot of different ideas. What did they like to wear? Was there something they wore particularly a lot of the time? What were they comfortable in? At Graham Family if the family choose not to provide clothing we will use an appropriate shroud.

What is the difference between a coffin and a casket?

The difference is basically one of design. Coffins are tapered at the head and foot and wide at the shoulders. Caskets are rectangular in shape and are usually constructed of better quality timbers and feature higher standards of workmanship. The decision to select a coffin or casket is made by the family according to their personal preference. Many people regard the coffin or casket as an important tribute to the deceased and select these with care.

In cremation, what happens to the coffin or casket?

At Graham Family the only thing removed from the coffin or casket prior to a cremation is the nameplate. This stays with the remains to ensure correct identification. The coffin and its hardware are cremated entirely and any metals or screws are removed from the ash by use of a magnet after the cremation is concluded.

What happens with jewellery?

It is the families choice whether jewellery items be removed as a keepsake or left on their loved one. If a cremation is chosen and the choice is made to leave jewellery on your loved one, given its soft compound it will disintegrate in the cremation process.

Embalming, is it necessary and who carries this out?

Embalming is essential if the deceased is to be transferred overseas, placed into an aboveground vault or there is going to be a considerable delay before a funeral can be held. Some funeral directors regard embalming as essential in all cases because it fulfils the dual function of hygienic preservation and maintains the natural appearance of the deceased. Our policy at Graham Family Funerals is to prepare every person irrespective of a viewing being undertaken by the family or not. Should the circumstances warrant it, we do have the facilities to undertake complete embalming. This is carried out by our qualified staff who are members of the Australian Institute of Embalmers. This ensures the highest standards of care for your loved one are strictly maintained.

What are funeral costs made up of?

Our professional service fees cover the arrangement and conducting of the funeral service from use of our facilities, preparation of documents, collection of certificates, allocation of required staff, vehicles, transfer of the deceased, mortuary care preparation and viewing.

Another funeral cost is the coffin or casket selected by the family. In the case of a burial, the cost of the grave plus the interment fee (opening and preparing the grave for burial) is included. If a cremation is chosen, the cremation certificates and the cremation fee are included.

Other items such as newspaper funeral notices, flowers, refreshments, orders of service, thank you and condolence cards are all extras that all become part of the overall funeral account presented to a family.

All funeral costs are disclosed clearly to families as an estimate prior to the funeral service. This means that fixed funeral costs are disclosed and held at that price but estimates are given for funeral notices and some other variable costings that can only be given at the conclusion of the service.

Should young children attend funerals?

There are no set guidelines. Generally children, in the company of their parents and other family members, are comfortable participating in this family occasion and may even be curious. Use the funeral to help the child learn about the impact of death and the rituals we use to help us respond to bereavement. Children can often contribute creatively to a funeral, perhaps by placing a special flower on the coffin or casket, or reading or writing something that can be incorporated into the service.

Graham Family’s extensive loan library can assist further with explaining death and funerals to children.

How soon after a cremation are the ashes available?

Usually within a day after cremation, however arrangements can be made for the ashes to be collected on the same day as the cremation if requested.

What is the difference between a traditional and a lawn type grave?

A traditional grave is one that may have monumental work and kerbing over the area within the boundaries of the grave site. A lawn grave, which cannot be enclosed with kerbing, is located within a grassed area with only a headstone made of natural stone placed at the head of the grave.

When is the Death Certificate issued?

It may take up to three weeks for the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to process the information and send the Death Certificate. In some cases, such as coronial inquiries, it can take longer. An application for a registered death certificate can be made at Service Tasmania. A certificate is not automatically issued, it must be applied for with Service Tasmania by the family or it will not be issued.

If required, a ‘Priority Certificate’ can be requested from Service Tasmania. This service will incur a charge but means that the certificate will be provided within 24 hours.

Is money ‘frozen’ after someone dies?

Bank accounts in joint names should not be affected by the death of one of the owners. Accounts held solely by the deceased may still be able to be accessed, and presentation of a funeral account is often all that is required to release funeral funds to pay for the funeral out of the deceased person's estate.