Clarke Family Funerals

(24 Hours) 1800 68 69 85

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Beginners guide to arranging a funeral

We have tried to make arranging a funeral a little bit easier with this very simple step by step guide.

This guide deals mainly with cremation but could be adapted for burial (just add cemetery fees).

This page outlines all the information required and offers two basic service options to make planning easier.

Step 1 - Burial or Cremation

The biggest decision first.

Burial or


Which do you prefer.  What would your loved ones want?


Step 2 - Service or No Service

There is a requirement by law to have an identification done to say that the person in a coffin is the person on the nameplate and paperwork. This is required for burial and cremation.  It can be very simple or can turn into something more formal, generally a funeral service.

We have provided two low cost options to show that the two choices don't need to be too expensive.

Direct Cremation

Package One  $1,800 No Fuss No Frills No Formal Service 

Designed as a no frills simple and affordable service. 


  • Professional services fee
  • Cremation fee and permit 
  • Essential 1.8m Basic Coffin
  • Mortuary care (basic)
  • Certified copy of death certificate
  • Transfer from place of death all hours / metro region

or something more formal with a service  ......

Mawson Chapel Essential Service $3,500

  • Professional services fee
  • Cremation fee and permit 
  • Limited 1.8m Satin Coffin
  • Mortuary care 
  • Certified copy of death certificate
  • CD music as requested
  • Transfer from an Public Hospital or Coroner
  • Doctors Medical Certificates
  • 12 Line Funeral Notice - Adelaide Advertiser
  • Small Floral Sheaf
  • Funeral Celebrant
  • Chapel and Lounge service 

Mawson Chapel is a 40+ seat chapel.

We have provided the Mawson as a typical example but your can hold a simple Church Service, Enfield Chapel Service or Funeral Home Service for $3500 also.


Step 4 - Time and Location

The time of a service varies depending on the location and the needs of family and close friends.

Some families choose the morning then go and have a lunch to remember and celebrate a loved ones life.  Some choose the afternoon and then follow with a wake in a hotel or family members home.

If there are many flying in from afar then early afternoon works well.

There are also many locations in Adelaide to hold a funeral.

The choices fall into the following categories :

  • A church
  • A funeral home chapel
  • Centennial Park Chapels
  • Enfield Memorial Park Chapels
  • Partridge House Glenelg
  • A family home
  • Belair National Park 
  • Graveside
  • No service at all
  • Anywhere else where appropriate and with approval

We are always ready to help you with making these arrangements.


Step 5 - Planning a funeral

There are a lot of questions that need to be asked to arrange a funeral.  Most of which relate to the Certified Copy of Death Certificate.  This is the legal government certificate we arrange for you one a funeral in completed.

To see the main questions that need to be answered please visit our online planning form here.

A final message

When the time comes to arrange a funeral the most important thing is not to rush. Stop and think about what is most important to you and your family.  

The little bit of information on this page will hopefully make the basics of arranging a funeral a little bit clearer.

We are always here for you on 1800 686 985 if you have any questions, anytime of the day or night.

When someone we love passes away

The first 24 hours - What to do

The following is designed to guide you through the initial stages of a death from the time the death occurs until we meet with you. Of all the suggestions we make the most important thing to remember is that help is only a phone call away and we have people available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to respond to your needs and guide you through the funeral process.

Step One: Contact the next of kin and family members.

Being with those closest to you following a death provides a valuable emotional support network. It is also helpful to start working out when all those to be involved in making the funeral arrangement can be together, especially when different family members are out of town, or immediately unavailable.

Step Two: Contact the family doctor or attending physician to advise of the death.

Before we can transfer your loved one a doctor is required to attend and certify that life is extinct.  If a death occurs in the middle of the night a Locum Doctor is acceptable.  The doctor is responsible for issuing documentation required before a cremation or burial can take place. In the course of arranging the funeral we will obtain these documents from the doctor for you. In some situations they are unable to issue these forms and the Coroner will need to be involved. If the death has occurred in a hospital or nursing home the duty nurse or other responsible staff member will often do this task for you.

Step Three: Phone us at Clarke Family Funerals on 1800 686 985.

Firstly, we'll answer any questions you have. Then we'll do things like organising the transfer from the place where the death has occurred, and arrange a time and place to meet with you and those to be involved in making the funeral arrangements.  Do not feel in a rush to start making preparations.  Take a breath and do things at a pace you are comfortable with.


Death In Hospital

The treating doctor will prepare the relevant paperwork to enable us to commence funeral arrangements.

Death In An Aged Care Facility

The treating doctor will prepare the relevant paperwork to enable us to commence funeral arrangements. As most nursing homes do not have the facilities required to hold the deceased for an extended period of time, we will need to be notified promptly so that we can transfer the deceased to our funeral home.

Death In The Home

Firstly, contact the treating doctor who will issue a death certificate, if the cause of death can be confirmed. Then call us so we can transfer the deceased to our funeral home and commence funeral arrangements.

Please see below if a death in the home is unexpected and cause of death cannot be confirmed.

Unexpected Death

When a death is sudden or accidental, or the cause of death cannot be confirmed, the police will be notified. They will arrange for the person who has died to be transferred to the Coroner’s Mortuary.

When a post mortem is involved, funeral arrangements may be slightly delayed until the Coroner has completed their examination.

Please phone us and we will liaise with the Coroner on your behalf, whilst planning the funeral arrangements.