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Do You Have to Have a Funeral Service?

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    Celebrations of the deceased person's life are customarily held at funerals as a way to honour and pay tribute to their lives. But in the recent years, there has been an increasing amount of discussion regarding the necessity of funerals and memorial services.

    At this point, some people's grief may be so overwhelming that they are unable to concentrate on anything other than their own loss.

    Some people don't want to wait for an appropriate time because the passing of their loved one was unexpected, sudden, or violent. Others don't want to wait.

    Funerals aren't for everyone. You might despise the concept and have no interest in getting one for yourself, or you might be at a loss as to what to do for someone you care deeply about.

    So, do you have to have a funeral? Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funeral Directors are here to help make the funeral process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones.

    Summary of Australian Funeral Laws

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    In Australia, there is no law that mandates the use of a funeral director or minister when arranging a funeral. If they so choose, a member of their family or close circle of friends can take care of the arrangements.

    On the other hand, hiring a director to help pull together the arrangements and ensure that all of the laws are followed appropriately is a significantly easier course of action to take.

    When someone dies in Australia and is buried in their home country, there are a few fundamental laws and procedures that need to be followed. These can be found below.

    The Death Certificate Is an Absolute Requirement by Law.

    When a person passes away, their passing must be certified by a medical examiner or coroner, who also records the reason for their passing.

    In most cases, when someone passes away peacefully at home, the family physician is notified and is responsible for filling out the necessary paperwork.

    If there was some kind of accident or the circumstances surrounding the death were otherwise unusual, the body will be turned over to a coroner so that they can make a determination. When a body needs to be examined by a coroner, there is sometimes a delay before the body can be returned to the family.

    The body is then either handed over to the funeral director or to the person who has been tasked with supervising the burial after it has been examined by a doctor or a coroner, whichever comes first.

    No matter which option is selected, a request for a death certificate and the accompanying paperwork must be submitted to the appropriate governmental offices in the territory in which the decedent passed away. The same department that maintains records of births and marriages also handles the processing and handling of this information.

    It is also necessary to notify Centrelink, which is the government agency that is in charge of regulating social security benefits.

    In most cases, the funeral director is the one who takes care of all the necessary paperwork and notices. In any other case, the necessary paperwork is made available as downloadable forms that can be filled out, then either mailed or brought into the appropriate office.

    Arrangements for Transportation to Burial or Cremation.

    A funeral director can help save a lot of hassle and time by assisting with the amount of paperwork and requirements regarding proper etiquette in handling, containing, and transporting the deceased. This is another area in which a funeral director can be of assistance.

    After the body has been prepared for burial or cremation, it must first be moved to a temporary location so that funeral services can be held there, and then it must be moved on to its ultimate resting place.

    The casket or coffin that the deceased person is placed in is required by law to be of sufficient construction to prevent the deceased person's body and any potential emissions from decaying tissue from escaping. If the body of the deceased is going to be cremated, the container that holds them must also be able to be burned.

    It is possible to construct a coffin at home so long as it satisfies the fundamental requirements that are imposed by the law.

    Any vehicle that is transporting a body cannot make it visible to anyone outside of the vehicle while it is in motion.

    The most common and effective methods of satisfying this requirement are vehicles with curved windows or panel-sided bodies.

    It is against the law to transport a deceased person in any other manner, including when they are plainly visible in the bed of a truck.

    Burial, Cremation, or at Sea.

    The law does not call for any kind of ritual or service to be performed by a representative of a particular religious tradition. As a bare minimum, the cremation or burial can be performed the same day or the day after once the deceased has been cleared by medical personnel and released to the family. This can be done the following day as well.

    When it comes to being laid to rest in a cemetery, there is a certain amount of documentation that must be completed in order to acquire a burial plot and receive authorisation for the interment.

    The essential legal requirement is that cremation must be approved by the examining medical party, and burial must take place in a cemetery that has been granted permission to perform the ceremony. These regulations may vary from state to state.

    Those who choose to have their bodies cremated have the option of having their remains interred in a cemetery, having their ashes kept at home by a loved one or a friend, or having the ashes scattered in an appropriate location.

    There are times when people want their ashes to be scattered in a specific location, and they express this desire when they pass away. It is the responsibility of the person who scatters the ashes of the deceased to make sure that they are not violating any of the local laws or ordinances that have been established by the Clean Air Act.

    It is possible to make the necessary arrangements, but in accordance with the Sea Dumping Act, a permit will be required before the burial can take place at sea.

    Before a permit can be issued, it is necessary to demonstrate that the deceased individual had a significant connection to the ocean.

    If the family of the deceased wished to make preparations in advance, this could be done either after or before the person's passing.

    It is not necessary to obtain a permit to scatter cremated remains at sea if the deceased person was cremated.

    The Laws Regarding Internment of the Deceased Can Be Quite Strict.

    In spite of the fact that some states' local requirements for interning the deceased differ from one another in relatively insignificant ways, the majority of laws regarding this topic are quite strict.

    Heavy fines may be imposed if required paperwork is not submitted in a timely manner or all regulations are not adhered to.

    Either making preparations in advance or retaining the services of an experienced funeral director is one of the most straightforward ways to circumvent the potential repercussions of this situation. If you are looking for funeral directors in Melbourne, Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals is able to assist you in personalising and individualising each funeral service to make it a truly memorable experience and a fitting tribute. 

    Do You Have to Have a Funeral?

    The law does not require that you hold a funeral, but it does require that you "dispose of the body of the person who has died by burial, cremation, or any other means." There is no requirement in the law that you hold a funeral (Births and Deaths Registration). In general, you have the following choices:

    Traditional Funeral: Cremation/burial

    Cremation is chosen as the final disposition method for approximately 75 percent of people. There are a few stipulations that must be met in order to remain in compliance with the law.

    The majority of people find that the logistical challenges and emotional strain of carrying out a funeral without support are too much for them, and as a result, they hire a funeral director.

    Using our totally free search tool, you'll be able to look up local funeral directors in your area.

    Direct Cremation

    A direct cremation makes it possible to separate the disposal of the body and the memorial or funeral service from one another. There is also the possibility that some people will choose not to have a memorial.

    It is typically the option with the lower total cost, although most of the time, people pick it for reasons other than the total cost savings.

    The cremation will be arranged with the crematorium by the funeral director, and the ashes will be delivered to the family within a few days after that.

    Natural Burial 

    A natural burial site or a burial site in the woods can be used for a burial. Because of this, there is more leeway regarding the timing of the funeral and the ceremonies.

    Additionally, natural burial grounds offer families and friends a tranquil location in which to pay their respects during subsequent visits.

    DIY Funerals

    Using a funeral director is not a legal requirement. It is possible that you would prefer to handle the arrangements on your own.

    You are able to do everything for the deceased person, including collecting them from the mortuary, providing care for them at home, transporting them to the funeral, and even arranging for them to be buried or cremated after the funeral.

    It's possible that you'll run into resistance from industry professionals who insist that you have no choice but to work with a funeral director. This is not the case at all.

    Funeral Alternatives

    People's perspectives on what happens after death have been shifting, and as a result, there are now more alternatives to conventional funerals than there have ever been before.

    Here are some funeral alternatives to consider if you don't feel comfortable with the conventional funeral service followed by a burial or cremation, or if you want to organise something a little bit different for a loved one who has passed away.

    A Direct Funeral

    It's possible that you know someone (or that you are this person yourself) who dislikes fuss and attention and would rather have a funeral that's less publicised and more low-key.

    If this is the case, then a direct cremation or burial might be a better option than a traditional funeral service.

    Even if you have chosen to honour the memory of a departed loved one by having them laid to rest in a cemetery, there is no requirement that a funeral or memorial service be held first.

    Direct burial is an option that is offered by many registered cemeteries. This means that a person's body can be buried there without any sort of religious ceremony or memorial service to mark their passing.

    In a similar vein, one can choose to have a funeral or memorial service that does not include a service beforehand. This type of funeral or memorial service is known as a direct cremation.

    A direct cremation occurs in place of a funeral service or ceremony that may include readings, songs, and other traditional components of a funeral. This type of cremation also does not take place before a funeral service or with any mourners present.

    One of the advantages of choosing a direct funeral is the opportunity to save a significant amount of money when compared to the cost of organising a traditional burial. However, the most important benefit that a direct funeral offers to many families is the flexibility that it provides. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals will always find innovative ways to bring costs in line with your budget in order to fulfil their obligation to their customers.

    A Celebration of Life

    Alternatives to the conventional funeral service, such as a party in honour of the deceased's life, are gaining in popularity.

    Before the funeral or memorial service, many families who choose to hold a celebration of life (also known as a memorial service) also make arrangements for the immediate cremation or burial of their deceased loved ones.

    When life celebrations are held in addition to funerals, it opens up a lot of opportunities for people to say goodbye in more meaningful ways.

    A celebration of life is an event that, in contrast to a funeral service, which is typically a more solemn occasion, will frequently centre on the joyful occasions that occurred throughout a person's life and the joy that they brought to the lives of others.

    Despite the fact that dealing with death can be difficult and that it is often a time when happiness is difficult to find, maintaining a positive outlook can help create memories that will remain with you for a longer period of time. Because, when it comes down to it, people have a pretty good ability to forget the bad times and remember the good ones.

    Another option is to choose to have a funeral party instead of staying awake during the wake of the deceased person.

    Many people today are opting to have their lives end on a more upbeat note, forgoing traditional funerals in favour of celebrations that prioritise joy and lightheartedness over sombre commemoration of the deceased.

    Even though wakes are frequently held after funerals, a funeral party typically skips the ceremony entirely and moves right on to celebrating the life of the deceased. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a full range of funeral services to help make this difficult time a little bit easier for you and your family. 

    An atmosphere that is more like a family gathering is becoming a popular option when people are deciding how they want their funeral to look. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including providing a variety of delicious food and beverages as well as playing some of the deceased person's favourite songs.

    Eco-Friendly (or Green) Funerals

    Over the course of the last few decades, there has been a steady increase in the number of funerals that are conscious of their impact on the natural world.

    The most common choice is a burial in an environmentally responsible manner, which typically takes place in a natural setting or a wooded area.

    To cut down on the amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere, the deceased is entombed in a biodegradable casket (or shroud), and the grave is not deeper than two feet from the top of the casket.

    A natural burial not only has a smaller impact on the surrounding ecosystem, but it also provides a more authentic and unspoilt natural setting for a funeral or memorial service.

    Because the places that provide this kind of funeral are typically a lot more flexible than the locations that have stringent rules about the process surrounding the service and the burial itself, you are able to arrange a small service or mourners are able to say a few words.

    If you are thinking about going with this alternative, you should be aware that some places that offer environmentally friendly funeral services do not permit memorials or headstones of any kind because they do not want any trace of the deceased to be left on the land.

    It is also possible to bury or scatter the cremated remains of a loved one in natural burial grounds after the cremation process has been completed.

    Burial at Sea

    Although it is not very common, a burial at sea is yet another option in place of a conventional funeral.

    People who have spent their entire lives at sea or who like the idea of being returned to the earth in a way that is different from being buried on land or being cremated are typically the ones who are eligible for burial at sea.

    If this is the option that has been decided upon, then you will be required to obtain a licence in order to perform a burial at sea, and the associated costs can be significantly higher; consequently, additional planning and discussion may be necessary.

    This choice is not as user-friendly as some of the other possibilities that we have presented.

    Charitable Donation

    Many people would prefer that you donated the money that you would have spent on a funeral with a service to a worthy cause rather than using it to pay for a funeral with a service. This is because funeral services can be expensive.

    People are becoming more aware of the high costs associated with having a complete funeral ceremony. As a result, many individuals are coming to the conclusion that a much simpler, low-cost direct cremation or burial is an excellent and frequently selfless option.

    You will be able to ensure that the money that would have been spent on a conventional funeral service is instead used to assist those who are in need.

    What to Do If You Don't Want a Funeral When You Die

    You've been putting together an end-of-life plan, and you've reached the part where you discuss the memorial service.

    It is possible that you already understand that a traditional service is not the kind of memorial that you would like to have. To make a definite choice, you should probably think about the various other options that are available.

    What options do you have, then, if you don't want a funeral when you pass away? It is entirely up to you to decide how you would like your loved ones to honour your memory after your passing.

    Consider Funeral Alternatives

    You might choose to go with one of the well-known alternatives to funerals that are outlined below:

    • Scattering ashes. If you decide to have your body cremated rather than buried, you can ask your loved ones to say some words while they scatter your ashes after the service. Be sure to give some serious thought to the location of where you want them to put your ashes.
    • Virtual funeral. It is possible for an in-person funeral to be delayed for a variety of reasons, including travel restrictions, illness (or pandemics), and other problems. A funeral service may be held online for those who are unable to attend in the physical world.
    • Home funeral. It is possible to ask for a funeral to be held at your home rather than at a funeral home if you would prefer a more personal and intimate service. Because this kind of service requires your family members to be much more involved, and because they might not be comfortable with it, it is essential to check in with them first.
    • You are planting a tree. The practise of planting trees as part of a memorial service is one alternative to traditional funerals that has gained traction in recent years. If you had a deep connection to the outdoors, having a tree planted in your memory after you pass away might be the most fitting way to honour your life and legacy. If you decide to have your body cremated rather than buried, you might ask your loved ones to put some of your ashes in a BioUrn or to mix some of your ashes with the soil that will be used to plant a tree in your memory.
    • Memorial service and dinner.Even if you don't want a traditional funeral that takes place in a funeral home, it's possible that you'd still like certain aspects of a funeral to take place. In the event that this is the case, you have the option of requesting that your loved ones and friends organise a memorial service. You have complete control over how closely it resembles or deviates from the normative practise of a funeral. The loved ones of the deceased may or may not choose to deliver eulogies, and after the funeral service, they may choose to share a meal together.

    In addition to the few alternatives to traditional funerals that have been mentioned above, there are many more options available.

    You can come up with a unique alternative to conventional funeral services that is in keeping with your character and the way you've lived your life if you just put some thought into it.

    Think About Other End-Of-Life Decisions

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    The first thing you should do when making preparations for your own end-of-life care is to visualise how you would like your funeral to unfold.

    However, you should also make sure that your family has the information they require in order to make other decisions concerning end-of-life care.

    Many of these choices will either make it simpler or more difficult for your family to carry out your wishes regarding your funeral.

    The following are some considerations to make:

    • Burial vs. cremation. Whether you choose burial or cremation can have a significant impact on the funeral service that you choose for your loved one. If you decide to have your body cremated, one possible alternative to a traditional funeral is to have your ashes scattered in a meaningful location. In a similar vein, if you select the option of burial, your loved ones and friends may gather at the actual funeral service to pay their respects and share their thoughts.
    • Finances. Your state of financial health will also have an impact on the funeral or memorial service you choose. It is recommended that you put some money aside for the service if at all possible. Once you have decided what kind of funeral alternative you want to go with, you should do some research on how much it will cost and then put that amount aside for your family to use.
    • Notifications.Consider who you would like to be there to pay tribute to your loved one at the memorial service. You could even make a list of the people who have been invited along with their respective contact information. Your friends and family will be able to notify the people who are important to you with this information.

    Make Your Wishes Known

    In conclusion, it is pointless to make elaborate preparations for a memorial service if no one is aware that it is taking place.

    Have a discussion with your loved ones about what you would like to take place after your passing. Although approaching the topic can be difficult at times, doing so will ultimately result in a significant reduction of stress.

    Make a written copy of your wishes and store it in a location that members of your family will easily be able to locate it.

    Make sure that at least one person is aware of the location in your home where the written copy of your funeral wishes has been kept.

    In addition, you have the option of creating a Cake profile for yourself, which makes it simple for you to communicate your final wishes to loved ones. It is still a good idea to have a conversation with your loved ones about your goals in person to ensure that they are on board with what you want to accomplish.

    What to Do If a Loved One Opted Out of a Funeral

    If someone you cared about passed away and you knew they wouldn't have wanted a conventional funeral, you might be at a loss for what to do in this situation.

    It's possible that they left some instructions regarding their final care and memorial service, or it's also possible that they didn't leave anything at all.

    If your deceased loved one decided against having a funeral, the following are some of the steps you can take to honour their wishes.

    Look at the Rest of Their Wishes

    After the passing of a loved one, it is important to compile as much information as possible concerning their last wishes.

    This may be in the form of official documents, such as a will and final testament, or it may be a letter that they wrote and left behind for others to read.

    It's possible that the person's wishes will include information about non-traditional funeral practises, such as scattering ashes or planting trees.

    In the event that it does not, there may be information about the deceased person's wishes regarding burial or cremation.

    When it comes to making preparations for an alternative memorial service, one of the most important factors to consider is the individual's preference regarding cremation or burial. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals provides professional burial services in Melbourne. We understand that the death of a loved one is a difficult time, and our team is here to help you through every step of the process.

    Carefully go over the person's requests, and if you want to get really organised, you can even make a checklist with all of those things on it.

    When you are planning a memorial service in the future, this will be helpful in ensuring that you have honoured their wishes.

    Notify Friends and Family

    After that, you will need to let the family and friends of the deceased person know that they have passed away. You may choose to carry this out via telephone, electronic mail, or traditional mail.

    When deciding how to notify everyone, it is important to take into account their level of familiarity with your cherished one.

    In more intimate relationships, a phone call might be more appropriate. You might be able to communicate with acquaintances who are further away by writing them an email or sending them a letter in the mail.

    You should let those who have been invited know when and where the memorial service for your loved one will take place, if you have that information.

    Inform them of the time and place where they should be to pay their respects to your loved one.

    Write an Obituary or Death Announcement, If Applicable

    You can also let the general public know by writing an obituary or death announcement and publishing it in a newspaper. This is another option.

    It is recommended that you send this out after you have already informed close friends and family members about the passing of the loved one.

    You have the option of including information about the alternative funeral in the obituary or not doing so. As an illustration, you could say something along the lines of "Mary's ashes will be scattered in Lake Park Forest."

    Honour the Rest of Their Wishes

    As was just mentioned, the memorial service can be significantly influenced by other end-of-life wishes that the deceased held.

    For instance, the person you loved may have provided you with a sum of money to cover their final expenses when they passed away.

    In addition, it's possible that they had specific requests regarding how they wanted to be memorialised, such as whether they should be cremated or buried.

    In the event that your deceased loved one did not leave specific instructions regarding the manner in which they would like you to carry out a memorial service, you may find hints regarding their preferences within these other expressions of wish.

    Is it Ok to Not Have a Funeral? 

    People are opting out of the traditional funeral service held in a funeral home in increasing numbers.

    It is perfectly reasonable to not want a funeral, whether it be in order to avoid the high cost of caskets and body preparation, to get around religious ideologies and traditions, or for any number of other reasons.

    Consider how you would like to be honoured after your passing as you make your plans for the end of your life. If you are going to leave instructions for your memorial service, it is best to make sure that they are not overly complicated or difficult to carry out. You're looking for funeral services in Melbourne, aren't you? Stop looking; Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals is right around the corner.

    First and foremost, you need to make sure that your loved ones are on board with your end-of-life plans and that they can easily access them whenever they are required to do so.

    FAQs About Funerals

    No is the short and simple answer. When someone you care about passes away, you don't even have to pay for the services of a funeral director or a religious leader. In spite of the widespread belief among Australians, there are no rules, laws, or regulations in the country that stipulate a funeral must take place right away after a person has passed away.

    If you are unable to pay for a burial, you do not necessarily need to be concerned about what will happen to your body after you pass away. By completing and signing a form at the office of the county coroner, you can give permission for your body to be released to the state or county for burial or cremation. If your family would like your ashes after you've passed away, it's possible that they can be recovered for a fee.

    In most cases, the absence of a funeral is made up for by a "celebration of life," which refers to a more upbeat occasion such as a beach party or a social gathering. This gathering may take place several weeks or even months after the cremation has taken place. On the other hand, some families choose a direct cremation because it is more cost-effective.

    Even if you don't want a traditional funeral that takes place in a funeral home, it's possible that you'd still like certain aspects of a funeral to take place. In the event that this is the case, you have the option of requesting that your loved ones and friends organise a memorial service. You have complete control over how closely it resembles or deviates from the normative practise of a funeral.

    A humanist funeral service is a type of nonreligious ceremony that celebrates the life of a person who has passed away. The service is held in memory of the deceased. You may choose to have a humanist celebrant preside over this, or you may simply organise your own nonreligious memorial service in which the ashes of your loved one are present.

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