Anyone who has experienced the passing of a loved one will understand just how emotionally charged this time can be. Navigating the highs and lows of loss and grief is challenging enough on its own, particularly when it comes to our nearest and dearest. The last thing many wish to tackle are legal, administrative, and organisational tasks needed to put a loved one to rest.
As with all of life’s significant moments, honouring a loved one should be considered and well thought through. There are important choices around the final resting place through to by the minute details of a ceremony. Managing these affairs independently is certainly an option, particularly with the assistance of family and friends.
The other option is to enlist the helping hands of a funeral director. Their role is to plan and coordinate funeral arrangements in accordance with the wishes of the deceased or their relatives. This can include any number of elements, from practical and legal requirements through to personal wishes.
Whilst engaging a funeral director it is not a legal requirement, their expertise may mean that arrangements flow more smoothy. They do so by simplify proceedings, making them that little bit easier in what can be a highly sensitive time.
Regardless of whether you have recently lost a loved one or are pre-planning, finding the right funeral provider is important. Doing so can be challenging as most know little about funerals, interacting with them infrequently and whilst grieving.
It is worth taking a step back, seeking out accurate information, and ensuring we are properly informed to make the right decisions. If you are looking to engage a funeral director our suggestions below may assist. Always be sure to consider your own personal situation and gain independent professional advice to ensure your needs are met.
What makes a great funeral or cremation service?
Great funeral or cremation services respectively honour wishes to create a memorable and personalised farewell. While considering your options it may be helpful to keep the following in mind:
- Reputable. Whilst the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2020 is in place, there are no licensing requirements or national standards for funeral directors. In unregulated industries such as this, assessing a provider’s reputation is a great way to shortlist options. The best funeral services are often the most reputable. They come with positive past client reviews and are often recommended by family and friends. Reputable funeral and cremation services are also likely to have been in business for many decades, bringing a wealth of experience and practical insight to the table. Many are also members of peak industry body the Australian Funeral Directors Association.
- Compassionate care. In such a sensitive time the best funeral and cremation services provide considered and compassionate care. Often, the best way to assess this is to see for yourself and meet with a few potential providers. Reflect on their connection, natural ability to build rapport, and whether they instinctively put you at ease. Ultimately the right service will make you feel the most comfortable of all.
- Personalised options. While hosting a funeral or memorial service is certainly not mandatory, many of us choose to do so. Whether it is to honour wishes or celebrate life’s journey, taking the time to plan this acknowledgement is important. The best funeral or cremation services appreciate the need for tailored options and devise personalised solutions for clients. Consider your needs and ensure prospective providers are well adept at meeting them.
- Flexible approach. From time to time our needs may change and flexibility here is key. Indeed, selecting a provider with a rigid approach may even be counterintuitive to the entire grieving process. The best providers understand that an element of flexibility is needed and are more than happy to provide this. Whether it means additional viewings, tweaks to finer details, or a change of time, each request should be met gracefully. Finally, be sure to understand your consumer and contract rights and how these impact any changes.
- Itemised fees & charges. Any funeral or cremation brings with it a host of associated fees and charges. From professional fees and services costs through to disbursements and product charges there is much to consider. The best providers will work with you to devise a plan that befits your budget and desired inclusions. In doing so they will also be transparent with costs, providing clear breakdowns with each inclusion individually itemised. They will also have transparent contractual terms and conditions supported by various payment options to make things easier. Given the investment, this is an area that is worth researching and comparing so be sure to do your homework. And as always, be sure to seek some professional advice.
The best funeral and cremation services in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Since first opening their doors in 1990, this family-run business has built a reputation for their compassionate and thoughtful approach to funerals. William Cole Funerals are all about delivering highly personalised services which reflect the lives of their clients.
Services include end-to-end funeral planning and execution, from flowers and eco conscious options through to burial and cremation. For everything you need to celebrate and farewell your loved one look to William Cole Funerals.
Mick shared this review on Google, “A great local family run business. Convenient office location and fantastic team…. incredibly understanding to a sensitive situation and accommodating from the first call to the last thank you and goodbye.”
Tobin Brothers, a Guardian Funeral Provider, have been caring for families in the local community for over 75 years. With funeral homes in Belconnen, Kingston, and Tuggeranong, this established and well-respected provider offers a comprehensive range of services to simplify and support in a time of need.
For a helping hand to arrange a funeral service that celebrates and honours a loved one look to Tobin Brothers Funerals.
Gena Loggie shared this sentiment on Google, “Nothing was too much trouble. Victoria was kind, thoughtful and professional. She made our experience extremely easy. Mum would have loved her.”
Grantly Perry & Sons are an independent, family-owned, funeral home who have been serving the Canberra community since 1992.
Known for providing a professional service with a personalised touch they offer services for all situations, nationalities, and religious denominations. For years of experience, understanding, and a respect of traditional values, consider Grantly Perry & Sons.
Ramona Faaitiit shared her experience on Google, “We received the most professional and caring services from Grantley Perry & Sons for my sister’s funeral. The staff were accommodating, considerate and knowledgeable - ensuring that the most difficult time for our family was also the least stressful. The funeral and burial services were run perfectly, and we appreciated how personal her day felt.”
White Lady Funerals have been providing care and compassion to families from all cultures and religions in Australia since 1987. What sets them apart is their approach, which centres on adopting a woman’s understanding to help families reflect and celebrate the life of a loved one.
Their range of services include a no service crematorium through to a dual funeral service and can be tailored to reflect the individual needs of clients. Located in Belconnen, Kingston, and Tuggeranong, they are a wonderful choice.
Rick Yeend shared his experience with the team on Google, “A special thanks to Cindy and her team at Belconnen ACT. Cindy and her team did an outstanding job from beginning to end. All went like clockwork. Well done Cindy and White Lady Funerals.”
Simple Goodbyes are one of the regions newest funeral and cremation providers who are all about offering quality services without the expensive price tag. Owner-operators Peter Dinn and Mark Copley bring over thirty years combined experience in the funeral industry and pride themselves on providing simple, unique, and dignified solutions to farewell loved ones.
Offering cremation services at Norwood Park, burials, or non-attendance private ceremonies they have already established a reputation for care and consideration.
Tamzin Nugent shared this sentiment on Google, "I was struck by the incredible respect, care and attention to detail that Simple Goodbyes shared. During an emotional and difficult time it is important to surround yourself with people who have the knowledge and ability to ensure things run smoothly."
For some extra help to take care of the finer details take a look at our articles on the best florists and the best catering services in Canberra. Should you require assistance managing the affairs of a loved on check out our articles on the best wills and estate lawyers and the best probate services.
If you or a loved one need help with grief and loss contact The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement on 1800 642 066. For round the clock support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.
Your experience with the best funeral and cremation services in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the funeral and cremation services listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of funeral services are available?
Common funeral service options include a direct committal, single service, or dual service. In a direct committal a funeral director carries out all arrangements without a service or family attendance. In a single service, arrangements are generally made for mourners to attend either a committal or a funeral service. A dual service on the other hand typically includes both a committal and a funeral service. For further details on each contact your local cemetery, crematorium, or funeral director.
Where can funeral or memorial services take place?
There are numerous ways to conduct a funeral or memorial service each honouring Canberra’s diverse cultural practises and religious customs. Funeral services can be held at a place of worship, a dedicated funeral home, cemetery, or crematorium amongst others. Memorial services on the other hand can be held anywhere, often in the home. For a helping hand to explore options contact your funeral service.
What is a funeral director and what do they do?
Funeral directors plan and coordinate arrangements funeral arrangements in accordance with the wishes of the deceased or their relatives. Their role usually entails organising a venue for the service, liaising with celebrants or clergy; completion and lodgement of legal procedures and administration; placement of any press notices; transport and care for the deceased; preparation and viewing; and cremation or burial. Services and costs do vary between services so be sure to do your research.
How much does a funeral cost?
Generally, funeral costs will depend on the nature of service and selected inclusions. Variables typically include things like service or wake, funeral director fess, transport and coffin, death certificates and permits, burial or cremation and a cemetery plot. Other expenses can include utilising a celebrant or clergy, floral arrangements, and public notices. A cremation services start from about $4,000 to upwards of $15,000 for a more elaborate burial. For further details be sure to research further to see which providers work best for you.
Can I pay for funeral my costs upfront?
There are a few options for those wishing to cover funeral costs by paying in advance. The simplest way to cover funeral costs upfront is to save for it. Another option is a funeral bond, which involves an initial deposit and regular payments over time to a life insurer or funeral director. Moreover, funeral insurance, which is effectively buying cover to meet future funeral costs, could also be an option.