Arranging a funeral

Arranging a Funeral

A Step-By-Step Guide

Sound decisions are based on good information. We sincerely hope the information will answer many questions, stimulate you to ask others and enable you to make wise choices regarding funeral services. Below, you can find a basic outline of what typically is involved in arranging a funeral service.

Before Death Occurs

The NT Government has a great tool to ensure your wishes are heard and planned for:


Plan for a future where your health, financial and lifestyle wishes and opinions are heard and respected.

When Death Occurs.

Call Happier Endings ASAP, we are prepared to respond to your needs quickly and competently, and to guide you through the array of choices that need to be made. A funeral director is one of your most important contacts during this process, so feel free to ask any questions or make special requests that will add meaning to the funeral service.

No matter what your funeral preferences, we can help you with every aspect of the funeral process. Among other things, we can:

Arrange the funeral plans

Help notify friends and family

Secure necessary permits and death certificates

Take care of the body

Coordinate all details with necessary officials.

Help in the arranging for burial or cremation

Help secure any benefits to which you may be entitled


Contact Others For Help

If possible, try to involve other family members or very close friends in your planning. Working together can sometimes decrease stress and further enable the healing process. Many of the decisions listed below can be best made by several people, with consideration of the deceased's wishes.

Inform Family and Friends

You may provide a list of friends, family and associates you would like the funeral director to contact to inform them of the death and the arrangements. It also is acceptable for you to ask friends, family and associates to contact others to inform them of the death and funeral plans.

The Ceremony

A funeral represents an opportunity to reflect on the life of a loved one, and to honor the memory of that life for family and friends.

Final Disposition

You choices for disposition include burial, interment, scattering of cremated remains and other forms of placement.

Reading of the Will

Following the funeral, family members or legal executor will meet with the deceased's attorney or with the funeral director for the reading of the will. It is usual for the executor of the will to schedule the reading and to invite the participants.

Understanding Your Ceremony Options

There is no "single" way—it's your choice

A funeral represents an opportunity to reflect on the life of a loved one, and to honour the memory of that life for family and friends. There is no single proper funeral service. Funerals provide a time for human sharing in its deepest sense. You and your loved ones are at the very centre of this process, and the choices you make will determine a funeral's significance for you. By participating in the planning of the service, you will help create a meaningful experience for everyone.

But there are many people who just want to do the whole funeral as simple as possible and just have a wake at a venue of your choice.

Choosing Whether Or Not To Have The Body Present

A gathering with the body present is a funeral service. If the body is not present, the gathering is referred to as a memorial service. We can talk you through the best choice for you. Whatever method you choose, you may arrange either a memorial or funeral service.


The place you choose to hold the ceremony will depend on many factors including the number of people expected, the weather, and what will happen in the service. For many people, their own church or temple is the most appropriate place, and many faith communities prefer this choice for the formal part of the funeral service. We can organise a chapel service at the Thorak  Regional Cemetery.


Many options exist for personalizing the visitation, funeral, or memorial service. A video, photo collage, meaningful music, memorabilia (like pieces from a doll or book collection), and favorite scripture, or fishing gear are just a few of the many ways to make the ceremony more meaningful. We can help you make choices that honour your loved one's life and provide support for family and friends.

During the visitation the casket may be present and either open or closed, according to the family's preferences. Some families opt to receive friends at their home or other location.


Understanding Your Disposition Options

The word disposition refers to the manner in which human remains are finally handled. The most common methods of disposition are listed below, and we can help answer any questions and help you make the choice that is right for you.

Earth Burial

Earth burial refers to ground placement of your loved one's body, generally in a casket—some cemeteries allow bodies to be buried without caskets, often to meet the requirements of a specific religious or cultural group. This form of interment may or may not involve embalming the body of the deceased. Monuments or markers—available in a variety of materials, styles and prices—typically are placed at the grave as a memorial. Earth burial requires a cemetery plot and usually includes additional fees for opening and closing the grave and perpetual graveside care.


Cremation is the process of reducing the body to bone fragments through the application of intense heat. This procedure usually takes from two to three hours and occurs in a special type of furnace known as a cremation chamber or retort. The remains are then processed into a finer substance and placed in a temporary container. Before the remains are returned to the family, they usually are transferred to an urn for permanent containment. Family members have many options for what to do with the cremated remains.

Not Always Without Ceremony

Many people believe that at the time of death, only two basic choices exist: immediate cremation of the body or a complete funeral, including viewing, followed by burial. In fact, several options are available for those who prefer cremation. Cremation and burial both are defined as methods of caring for the body, and are just one part of a funeral.

Just like burial, cremation can occur after a funeral where the casket is present at a place of worship or funeral chapel. Likewise, cremation can occur after a memorial service. The urn may be present for the memorial service, depending on the family's wishes.

 After cremation, a public or private service may be arranged for the final placement of the cremated remains.

Pre-Arranging Your Choices

Many people choose pre-arrangement in order to help their families and avoid questions and confusion later on. Pre-arrangement is not a preoccupation with death; it is a personal tool for preparation.

The first step toward pre-arranging is to get together with your loved ones. Offer your thoughts and then listen carefully. Give their ideas special attention. Since your funeral will most directly affect your family, it is essential to include their suggestions in your plans (and also to make sure they're aware of your final choices).

Next, arrange a conference with your funeral director and family members. Use this opportunity to ask as many questions as necessary, and to discuss the choices that will help to create a tribute that is appropriate and meaningful for you.

arranged funeral service. We will be able to give you helpful information and thoughtful guidance.