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Arranging a Funeral

A funeral is an emotional family event so it is important to choose an experienced and reliable funeral director, who understands the special requirements of your family.

What to do

In the event of a death it is important to call us as soon as possible so we can guide you through what needs to be done.

First contact with Durdin & Forgie Family Funeral Directors is usually by phone, where upon the deceased person will be collected from the place of death by our staff and transferred to our facilities with due regard for the legal requirement to do this. Usually within 24 hours, the next of kin or spokesperson will make an appointment to arrange the details of the funeral.

Participation in the service by family members can be considered and a service and eulogy organised with the officiating person at their convenience. The coffin / casket may be chosen at this meeting, funeral notices organised, and registrar of births, deaths and marriages form can be completed. Flowers, after-service gatherings, clothes, and any further details relating to the funeral can be worked out at this meeting if convenient.

This can take place at our office or in your home if preferred. At that meeting, the attending family members or friends will arrange for the time and place of the funeral, whether cremation or burial is preferred, whether a service will be with clergy or a celebrant officiating, and what wording and or songs / music is to be played.

If the family wish to have a photographic tribute to help celebrate the loved one’s life, the photos can be brought to us as soon as possible for editing. Another important consideration will be to decide whether to have a viewing.

Call us at any hour our caring and professionally trained staff will guide you through the many decisions and choices, to ensure your loved one’s funeral is a fitting reflection of their life.


When a Death Occurs

At Durdin & Forgie Family Funeral Directors, we appreciate that people generally only need to make funeral arrangements two or three times in their lives. That’s why we’ve developed this overview of what to expect when arranging a funeral with us.


Our Role

An important and traditional part of a funeral director’s role is to assist with the practical aspects of a funeral, such as care of your loved one, and coordinating when and where the funeral will be held.

These days, families are increasingly seeking guidance and advice on the celebratory aspects of a funeral, such as the style and content of the service, the choice of music, and other touches that reflect the life of your loved one.

At Durdin & Forgie Family Funeral Directors, our experienced funeral directors can help you plan everything, in much the same way that a wedding planner coordinates and oversees all aspects of a wedding.

Our objective is to be your caring and trusted adviser, and to play a central, but unobtrusive role in planning what is often an important family event or celebration.


Immediate Steps

Death can occur in many different circumstances: at home, at work, overseas, unexpectedly, in a hospital or nursing home.

During our initial discussion with you, we will generally make arrangements to:

  • Transfer your loved one into our care; and
  • Agree on a suitable time/place for us to meet with you, to discuss the funeral arrangements.

Both of these things usually happen within the first 24 hours after a death occurs.

If you require our assistance at this time, please telephone our office on (08) 8862 2101.

We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Initial Arrangement Meeting

Our initial face to face meeting would usually take place in our office at Balaklava. If necessary we can also visit you at home to start the process. Remember there is no rush, take your time and gather the support of family and friends before making any decisions.

During this arrangement meeting, one of our caring Funeral Directors will assist you to decide on all of the practical and celebratory aspects of the funeral. A number of legal forms will also need to be completed.

The arrangement meeting will generally take 1-2 hours.

Examples of some of the decisions that need to be made include:

  • When and where will the funeral be held?
  • Will vehicles be required?
  • When can I see my loved one?
  • Decide who you would like to officiate at the service – Clergy or Celebrant
  • Will music or an audio-visual presentation be incorporated into the service?
  • Will there be an Order of Service?
  • Will the death and funeral be advertised in the newspaper?
  • Will there be a gathering afterwards?
  • Would you like to use our catered facilities to gather with friends and family after the service?

We record the decisions and choices made, prepare the documents and leave you with a detailed estimate of the costs and disbursements associated with the funeral.

Our Funeral Director will also ask you to supply clothing that your loved one will be dressed in. If you are undecided as to which clothing will be used feel free to discuss options with our staff and have someone drop them in at a time that suits.


Service Options

People can choose cremation or burial services. These can be held at a church of your choice or in our beautiful Balaklava chapel.

A complete service in a church or chapel is an option for either burial or cremation. Alternatively, there can be a graveside gathering following the church or chapel service.

A complete graveside service is also an option.

If desired Durdin & Forgie Family Funeral Directors can also arrange for memorial services to be held at other locations like parks, sports & service clubs, schools, beaches, private homes or anywhere special to you.


What You Can You Do In Advance?

As there is often some time between the death and the arrangement meeting, there are a number of things you can do to prepare for this meeting, such as:

  • Decide whether the funeral will be a burial or cremation
  • Decide on and gather together the clothing you may wish for your loved one to wear
  • Give some thought to the wording of the personal notices you may wish to place in the newspaper
  • Collect photos for a DVD presentation or for a memorial card
  • Think about what type of music or specific songs you may like to play at the service.

It is also helpful to gather the personal details that are required to arrange the funeral and legally register the death with the office of Births, Deaths & Marriages. You can use this online form to record this information and it will speed up the process for your meeting.

Once the death is registered, Births, Deaths & Marriages will send you a formal death certificate, which is often needed in relation to any legal and estate issues that may need to be attended to. This can take up to 3 weeks to be sent.


After the Arrangement Meeting

After the initial arrangement meeting, we follow through on the various decisions made.

The many hours of planning and behind the scenes preparation is vital in ensuring that the funeral is carried out in accordance with your wishes. A number of follow up phone calls are usually made during this period, to confirm or clarify any uncertain issues and details.

Occasionally a further face to face meeting is needed.


On the Day of the Funeral

We aim to ensure that for nearly all funerals, your funeral director is there on the day to facilitate the ceremony. If this cannot be done for any reason, you be notified prior to the service and who will be there for you on the day.

Our funeral directors primary focus now is to ensure the service runs smoothly and that the day is as comfortable for you and your family as possible.


After the Funeral

If you have any concerns at all following the funeral, please feel free to contact your funeral director.

If there has been a cremation, the ashes will be ready to collect with 7 days of the funeral. If you would like to discuss the options for memorialisation or urns, feel free to talk to any of our staff.

We recognise that losing a loved one is a life-changing experience, and we invite you to contact us following the funeral, if you feel we can help in any way.


Registration of death

It is a legal requirement that every death that occurs in South Australia has to be registered with the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Once the death is registered, a formal death certificate, which is needed in relation to any legal and estate issues, can be issued upon application.

During our initial meeting with you, we will ask you to provide the personal information required to register the death on your behalf.

To make the process easier at the time, you may wish to record this information in advance, and bring it along to your initial meeting.

Funeral Costs & Options

Durdin & Forgie Family Funeral Directors offer all aspects of funeral services in Balaklava, South Australia. Whether your need is immediate or you’re just planning ahead, our friendly staff are here to help.