Planning a funeral

Arranging a Funeral

You can engage a funeral director to help you with the funeral. A list of funeral directors is given here. Depending on your religion, the funeral ceremonial rites and costs may vary widely. A funeral can be as simple or as elaborate in accordance with the wishes of the deceased or family. The following are some points to consider:

Funeral Wake

Decide the location and the duration of the funeral wake e.g. at the funeral parlour, void deck or house.

If you are holding the wake at the void deck, you will need to get a permit from your Town Council. If you are holding the wake in your landed property and need to use part of the road outside your house, you will need to get a permit from Land Transport Authority (LTA). Your funeral director will assist you on this.

Please note that if the funeral wake extends more than 7 days after death, prior written permission will have to be sought from the National Environment Agency.

Please write to:

National Environment Agency

Environmental Health Department

40 Scotts Road,

Environment Building, #21-00

Singapore 228231

Burial/Cremation

Your funeral director can help you with the booking of the date and time for cremation or burial. Otherwise, you can do the bookings through phone, online or at the relevant booking office.  The NRIC of the applicant and next-of-kin, as well as the original Death Certificate, which contains the Permit to Bury/Cremate is needed when booking for burial or cremation.

Please note that if the deceased is to be cremated, any valuables placed in the coffin will not be recoverable after the high heat of cremation.

Placing An Obituary

If you wish to place an obituary, please contact the local newspapers.

Storage of Ashes / Scattering The Ashes At Sea

After cremation, the ashes of the deceased can be stored at home or in a columbarium. Niches are available at the 3 government-managed columbaria and many other private columbaria. You will need to bring your NRIC and the original Death Certificate to book for a niche.  Booking of niches in government-managed columbaria can also be done online.

Ashes may also be scattered at sea. The scattering of small amounts of ashes can be carried out at the designated site located about 1.5 nautical miles (2.8 km) south of Pulau Semakau. The scattering of ashes can be conducted daily, from 0700 hrs-1900 hours. For further information on scattering of ashes, please call the Port Marine Safety Control Centre at telephone number: 6325 2488.

::

When death occurs …

Scenario A: If the death occurs in a hospital

Step 1: Obtain Certificate of Cause of Death (CCOD)

When a death occurs, a doctor at the hospital can certify the cause of death if the cause of death is known AND the cause is natural. He will then fill up the CCOD and hand it to the ward nurse. The family can obtain the CCOD from the ward nurse by producing the identity card of the deceased.

If the doctor is unable to determine the cause of death, or a death has been the result of or has been contributed by an unnatural event (e.g. surgical complication, a fall prior to admission), the doctor is under the requirement of the law (Criminal Procedures Code) to refer the case to the Police / Coroner. In such cases, the body will be sent to Mortuary@HSA (located at Block 9 Singapore General Hospital) in a Police Hearse. The hospital will arrange for this to be done. The family will be told by the Police when to go down to the Mortuary@HSA (this is usually on the next day).

What to Bring to Mortuary@HSA:

• All medical documents relating to the deceased

• All medicine consumed by the deceased

• Identification papers of the deceased and informant e.g. NRIC/Passport/Certificate of Registration of Birth/ FIN card

At the Mortuary@HSA

• The Police Investigator will arrange for the family to view and identify the deceased’s body in the presence of the Coroner.

• The Coroner will review the case and determine if an autopsy is required.

• The family will be informed of the Coroner’s decision and the time to claim the body for the funeral.

If the autopsy reveals that the death is unnatural, the Police will need to conduct further investigations into the cause of death and the family will need to assist. Once the investigation is completed, the family will be told by the Police to attend a Coroner Inquiry at the Subordinate Courts.

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Step 2: Engage a Funeral Director

After the Certificate of Cause of Death has been obtained, the family may engage a funeral director who will

(i) collect the body from the home/hospital mortuary

(ii) send the body for embalming (if required), and

(iii) deliver the body to the location of the wake

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Step 3: Register The Death (this could be done simultaneously with Step 2)

Prior to registration, the family should decide whether the body will be cremated or buried as this information is required when registering the death.

The family will have to register the death at

•any Police Divisional Headquarters, Neighbourhood Police Centre,

Neighbourhood Police Post or

• the Registry of Births & Deaths

3rd floor, ICA Building

10 Kallang Road S(208718)

Tel: 6391 6100

Working hours:   8am – 5pm (Mon – Fri)

8am – 1pm (Sat)

What to Bring to Register a Death:

• Certificate of Cause of Death

• Identification papers of deceased and informant e.g. NRIC/ Passport/ Certificate of Registration of Birth/ FIN card

If the body is referred to the Mortuary@HSA,           the death will be registered at the Mortuary@HSA.

You may refer to Arranging a Funeral for more information.

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Scenario B: If the death occurs at home

STEP 1: Obtain Certificate of Cause of Death

Contact your family doctor who has been attending to the deceased. If you do not have a family doctor or if the family doctor is not available, contact any of the neighbourhood doctor who is willing to make a house call.

If the doctor is able to certify the death, he will issue the CCOD on the spot. If he is unable to certify the death, call the Police for the body to be sent to Mortuary@HSA (located at Block 9 Singapore General Hospital) in a Police Hearse. The family will be told by the Police when to go down to the Mortuary@HSA (usually the next day).

If you are unable to contact a doctor, call the Police. The body will be sent to the Mortuary@HSA in a Police Hearse. The family will be told by the Police when to go down to the Mortuary@HSA (usually on the next day).

What to Bring to Mortuary@HSA:

• All medical documents relating to the deceased

• All medicine consumed by the deceased

• Identification papers of the deceased and informant e.g. NRIC/Passport/Certificate of Registration of Birth/ FIN card

Mortuary@HSA operating hours:

Monday to Friday – 8:00am to 4:30pm

Sat, Sun and Public Holidays – 8:00am to 12:30pm

At the Mortuary@HSA

• The Police Investigator will arrange for the family to view and identify the deceased’s body in the presence of the Coroner.

• The Coroner will review the case and determine if an autopsy is required.

• The family will be informed of the Coroner’s decision and the time to claim the body for the funeral.

If the autopsy reveals that the death is unnatural, the Police will need to conduct further investigations into the cause of death and the family will need to assist. Once the investigation is completed, the family will be told by the Police to attend a Coroner Inquiry at the Subordinate Courts.

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STEP 2: Engage A Funeral Director

After the Certificate of Cause of Death has been obtained, the family may engage a funeral director who will:

(i) collect the body from the home/hospital mortuary

(ii) send the body for embalming (if required), and

(iii) deliver the body to the location of the wake

STEP 3: Register the Death (this could be done simultaneously with Step 2)

The family will have to register the death at

•any Police Divisional Headquarters, Neighbourhood Police Centre,

Neighbourhood Police Post or

• the Registry of Births & Deaths

3rd floor, ICA Building

10 Kallang Road S(208718)

Tel: 6391 6100

Working hours:   8am – 5pm (Mon – Fri)

8am – 1pm (Sat)

What to Bring to Register a Death:

• Certificate of Cause of Death

• Identification papers of deceased and informant e.g. NRIC/ Passport/ Certificate of Registration of Birth/ FIN card

If the body is referred to the Mortuary@HSA, the death will be registered at the Mortuary@HSA.

You may refer to Arranging a Funeral for more information.

Scenario C: If the death occurs overseas

If death had occurred overseas, it should be registered with the relevant foreign authorities where the death occurred.

A.           Singapore Citizens / Permanent Residents

For Cremation or Burial

The body of a Singapore Citizen/Permanent Resident may be brought back to Singapore for cremation or burial. However, a Coffin (Import) Permit is required to import a body into Singapore. A funeral director should be able to assist you in the procedures.

•  Application of Coffin (Import) Permit

a) You may apply for a coffin permit at any time from the following offices:

I.  Port Health Office

4545 Jalan Bukit Merah

Singapore 159466

Tel: 6222 2585   Fax: 6222 8543

II. Airport Health Office

Singapore Changi Airport

Tel: 6543 2515   Fax: 6543 1973

b) Documents required for the issuance of the coffin permit:

I.   Death Certificate issued by the country where death occurred (copy of English

translation is required if the death certificate is in ethnic languages),

Cause of Death Certificate or a Statutory Declaration

II.  Sealing Certificate for the coffin

III. Embalming Certificate, where applicable

IV. Coffin Export Permit from the country exporting the body

V. Air Waybill (Air Consignment Note) if by air

If the application is by the funeral director, the Permit to Cremate/Bury will be granted provided the next-of-kin gives a letter of authorization for the funeral director to apply for the permit.

c) The coffin permit costs $10. The Permit to Bury/Cremate will be issued with the coffin permit at no extra charge.

Note: Prior written approval has to be obtained from the National Environment Agency, Environmental Health Department for the import of a body of an HIV-infected Singapore Citizen

Death Registration

The death will also have to be reported to Singapore ‘s Registry of Births & Deaths , Citizen Centre, 3rd Storey, ICA Building personally by the next-of-kin of the deceased. If the next-of-kin is unable to report the death personally at ICA Building , a letter of authorization will be required.

Documents Required

I.   Death Certificate issued by the foreign authorities (copy of English

translation is required if the death certificate is in ethnic languages)

II.  Coffin (Import/Export) permit

III. Permit to Bury/Cremate

IV. Deceased’s Singapore identity card, passport, Citizenship Certificate (if any), and

V.  Informant’s identification documents

:::

Cremation

There are three crematoria in Singapore – one government-managed crematorium and two private crematoria.

1.  Government Crematorium

Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex

300 Mandai Road

Singapore 779393

Telephone : 655 45 655

Fax              : 645 95 228

Please click here for location map

Please read the terms and conditions/rules and regulations of the Mandai Crematorium before making a booking.

i) Bookings for cremation can be made by telephone, online or in person at the booking office.

Booking hours:

Mondays to Sundays       8:30 am – 4:30 pm

ii) Payment is to be made at the booking office before the cremation.

iii) Documents required for verification before the cremation:

•  Death Certificate (original)

•  Permit to Cremate (original)

•  Identification papers of next-of-kin and applicant e.g. NRIC, Passport etc

•  Letter of authorization (if applicant is not a next-of-kin)

iv) Payment modes:

•  NETS (preferred)

•  Cash Card

•  Cash

•  Cheque (crossed and made payable to National Environment Agency)

Cremation Fee

Adult

$100

Child under 10 years old

$  50

v) All cancellations and change of confirmed bookings have to be made by the applicant or next-of-kin of the deceased in person at the booking office, together with all the relevant documents

Government columbaria niches are available at:

1.  Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex

2.  Yishun Columbarium

3.  Choa Chu Kang Columbarium

Please read the terms and conditions/rules and regulations of the government columbaria before making a booking.

i) Booking hours for government columbaria:

Monday to Fridays  8:30 am –   4:30 pm

Saturdays                8:30 am – 12:30 pm

ii) No advance booking of niches is allowed.

iii) Payment is to be made when the niche is confirmed.

iv) Documents Required:

•  Death Certificate (original)

•  Identification papers of next-of-kin e.g. NRIC, Passport etc.

•  Letter of authorization (if applicant is not a next-of-kin)

v) Payment modes:

•  NETS (preferred)

•  Cash Card

•  Cash

•  Cheque (crossed and made payable to National Environment Agency)

NICHE FEES (FOR ALL GOVERNMENT COLUMBARIA)

Niche (standard)

$500*

Niche (family)

$900*

* Niches at government columbaria are allocated sequentially. There will be a $250 selection fee should you wish to choose a different location from that allocated.

Placing of Obituary

A notice of death or an obituary may be placed in the local papers in memory of the deceased.

A) Types of newspapers

1. English: The Straits Times and The Sunday Times, Today

2. Chinese: Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News

3. Malay: Berita Harian and Berita Minggu

4. Tamil: Tamil Murasu

B) Documents Required

1. Original Death Certificate

2. Identity Card of person placing the notice

C) Mode of payment

1. Credit card

2. NETS

3. Cash (during office hours only)

D) Location

Placement of obituaries during office hours

Please call 1800-289 9988 during office hours for more information

::

See Funeral Scams

Prepare nice funeral clothes http://forums.sgcafe.com/complaints/57369-funeral-costs-scams.html

Coffin accessories

Did we want a big brass cross put on the coffin? How about special clothes to dress the body? A satin shroud, since our ‘cheap’ coffin didn’t have a nice lining? To the first, we felt it was already bloody obvious my grandmother was Christian, since there was a giant wall-hanging, the church was holding a service etc. To the second, I suggested to the maid to prepare a set of my grandma’s nice clothes  We agreed to the last.

A few metres of cloth should not cost $90, but my mother insisted and I thought she was too upset for me to leave alone and rush to Bugis.

6. Embalming

Did we want her embalmed? This might seem like an obvious yes, but think again. All coffins in Singapore, even the cheapest, comply with health regulations that prevent unpleasant smells and liquids from coming out of them. If the body is kept in a cold, dry environment (like an aircon room), if the body cannot be seen, or the funeral is only a few days at most, its not actually needed by law. Even Singapore Casket *asked* if we wanted Grandma emblamed, and did not assumed it. But since everyone assumes its needed, my mother nodded a vigorous ‘yes’.

Another two hundred dollars.

Emblaming uses very toxic chemicals pumped into the body in order to give a rosy, lifelike look. When put in a crematorium, the fumes cause a lot of air pollution; if buried, the chemicals pollute the soil. Embalmers will also use makeup and sometimes liquid injections to make a body look good…sometimes the results are unexpected. They will do the makeup and hair first and then ask you to inspect.

Flowers.

For three times the cost of an outside florist (since the forms now prohibited it) you need to pay separately for flowers to put *on* the coffin, the sides of the coffin, or around the photograph attached to the coffin. This is not the same as flowers given by guests. We had roses around the photo frame, and when they arrived they dripped so much water that I had to rush and get a plate so there wouldn’t be a slippery puddle on the floor.

8. Cremation or burial after the funeral?

Obviously, we picked cremation. This still costs money, but then crematoriums are not cheap to run, and actually I felt this was the best priced item. For a fairly low price (I don’t remember now, but definitely less than a few hundred), we had a cremation viewing, a rented chapel for a service, and a bus to bring mourners to Mandai.

9. Coffin transport

Did we want a Toyota hearse? A Volvo hearse? Or a Mercedes hearse? Yes, they are different priced! How about flowers to decorate the vehicle…?>< (Because obviously more are needed, flowers for vehicles cost more than flowers for coffins)

No seriously, a Toyota looks *fine*. Thank you very much.

By the way…there IS NO LAW IN SINGAPORE that says you cannot use your own van or lorry either.

We didn’t have one, and neither did the aged, overseas relatives. The church had one we could use, but it was offered a bit too late ><

10. Snacks

Since we were locked into a contract, this meant $5 bags of those ‘thumbs up’ brand of peanuts, and other things like overpriced melon seeds, sweets and packet drinks. We were able to save by placing a fixed amount of each food at tables and asking what drink a guest wanted as soon as they arrived and we passed it to them; so people could not grab a huge amount and leave with it.

Predictably, the company also has a menu of expensive alcoholic drinks, and will charge ‘service fees’ if you bring in your own.

11. Catering

We had an evening service on Saturday, so dinner had to be catered for the guests. Again, the contract prevents us from getting our own caterer…we have to use the marked up price from the company (which surely gets a commission from this). The food was so-so in the end and cost about 50% more than outside. It also arrived with no one to help light the burners under the trays (and no lighters)…and no forks…which AFTER the dinner, we found had been put on a hidden shelf under the trays and forgotten when they took the spoons and knives out.

Watching twenty old folks fumble with knives in place of forks while they glare at you is NOT pleasant.

12. Others

There was a fee to hire microphones and speakers for the pastor to conduct the service. Luckily I didn’t have to know what it was because the church brought its own equipment.

Memorials

Once her ashes were collected, how did we want them memorialised? A hole in the wall of a columbarium cost a few hundred dollars, not counting the cost of an urn. It would also cost hundreds of dollars to attach the deceased picture, and if we wanted the engraved name to be lined with gold paint, it would be another $50 more…

Urns also cost $$$. A simple marble urn is still more than a hundred dollars. The porcelain or soapstone urns cost a lot more…the most expensive urns are carved out of green soapstone resembling jade and have gold sutras carved into the sides…they can cost even more than the rest of funeral itself O_O

Places in columbariums are allocated randomly, and if we didn’t specify and paid the base cost for a single niche, it would likely be HIGH off the ground, far away from the entrance, and difficult to reach. To pick your niche…its another few hundred dollars.

Niches can be made for couples or singles. A couple’s niche costs less than a two singles; but in the end, you will also need to pay another several hundred dollars to *unseal* the niche when the second person dies (my grandfather), pay for a second urn, and pay for a second name engraving.

After some calculation we settled on a random location couple’s niche. My mother is the LAST relative left in singapore able to physically travel up the long flight of steps to the columbarium, much less the aged ones overseas. I am now in Australia. So it didn’t matter that the niche had to be near the ground for many people to see.

14. Alternatives

By the way….I only learnt later you *don’t* actually need an urn or memorial! Scattering of ashes at sea, or even keeping the urn at home, is common and perfectly legal! A boat can be hired for several passengers for less than $200, including a customary $50 tip for the boatman (according to Singapore casket, who will do ALL the organising for you…)

Altogether, my grandmother’s death cost us between $5000 to $6000. Through careful management I had actually shaved off at least half the cost, and donations actually slightly exceeded expenditure…

We donated the surplus to the church.

:::

Christian funeral package solutions: http://www.funeralsolutions.com.sg/package/christan.htm

Photo Enlargement

–             1 10’ by 12’ photo, 6 passport size photo. See

3days $5000.00 5days $6000.00 ( No GST, No Service Charge)

1. Tentage Setup

–             Standard canvas Setup @ HDB or

–             Funeral Parlour @ Sin Ming Drive

2. Tables & Chairs

–             10 round tables, 15 square tables,

120 Chairs, 6 fans and full lightings.

3. Curtains and Carpet

–             Grand set decoration.

4. Christian Setup

–             Christian decoration.

5. Floral Frame

–             10’ by 12’.

6. Floral

–             1 on casket and 1 on table.

7. Photo Enlargement

–             1 10’ by 12’ photo, 6 passport size photo.

8. Casket

–             HALF GLASS casket

9. Cremation Fees

–             Mandai Cremation Service

10. Make up and embalming

–             By professionals

11. Transportation

–             From Hospital for makeup then back to home.

12. Hearse

–             Standard glass hearse

13. Manpower

–             1 team of pall bearers

14. Bus Transportation

–             45 seater bus 2 way to cremation centre.

15. Reception Table

16. Mobile Toilet.

17. Fridge Supply

18. Food Buffet

–             5 course, 50 people

Other post-death matters

Banks
Please notify the deceased person’s bank, especially for receipts and cheques deposited automatically, or if mortgage payments and other transactions (e.g. GIRO deductions) are carried out directly from the account.
Insurance Companies
Inform the deceased person’s insurance companies. Beneficiaries may receive payouts from insurance policies, credit and trade unions or fraternal organisations, etc.
Bills & Miscellaneous Items
Check for any outstanding debts, such as credit-card bills.  For bills where payment is made automatically via GIRO, inform the companies to cancel the GIRO.
Where appropriate, contact the deceased person’s landlord, cancel utilities such as electricity and telephone connections, and other items such as safety deposit boxes etc. Give the post office a forwarding address for the deceased person’s mail.
Lawyers/Solicitors
Obtain the deceased person’s will and inform his lawyer and/or executor.
Estate Duty
An estate duty is payable on the value of a deceased person’s net assets above a specified threshold amount. More information on estate duties is available.

You can also contact:
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
Ruling and Estate Duty Branch
Tel: 6351 3380
Email: ed@iras.gov.sg

Public Trustee
The Public Trustee administers the estates of deceased persons if the value does not exceed $50,000.

The Public Trustee will:

1. Administer the assets of the deceased (for example bank and other financial
institutions deposits, undrawn salaries, CPF savings and New Singapore Shares).

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