Funeral Planning In Singapore: What To Do When A Loved One Dies

What do we do when a loved one passes?
The passing of our loved one is always a confusing time. It leaves us with a flurry of emotions and questions. We often find ourselves in a tug-of-war between staying in an operational mode (where we try to sort out the logistics of ensuring that our loved one has a dignified send off) and the grief that creeps up on us when the loss sinks in.

Arranging for a wake and funeral
Where do we begin in planning for a funeral? To start off, you would need to engage a funeral company. There are many companies in Singapore to choose from. Deciding on one that is able to meet your needs, whether financial or logistical, is key. As you select the funeral company of your choice, you will also need to obtain a digital copy of the Death Certificate.

You’ll need to decide on whether you would like a closed or open casket. This decision would determine whether or not embalming is required – closed caskets allow the body of your loved one to remain untouched by embalming while open caskets require your loved one to be embalmed. A wake location also needs to be decided upon. Here in Singapore, we have the option of holding the wake at void decks, funeral parlours or if you reside in a landed housing, within the compounds of your home.

Finally, you’ll need to prepare a full set of clothing (inclusive of shoes, socks and undergarments) for your loved one. You’ll also need to have a photo of your loved one for the funeral home to enlarge. If the wake is to be of Catholic or Christian faith, you’ll need to inform the church to book the pastor or priest for funeral service/Mass.

We’ve curated the information into a printable guide for you here.

What happens when death occurs abroad?
Death isn’t bound to a geographic location. What happens if death occurs overseas?

The family first engages an undertaker from where they currently are at & provide the details of a funeral company in Singapore as a consignee. Simultaneously, details of the deceased will have to be provided to the consigned funeral company.

These details include:
1. Deceased’s passport
2. Deceased’s IC
3. Embalming & sealing document
4. Letter indicating that the deceased is Covid-19 negative
5. Export permit
6. Airway bill (flight details)
7. Death certificate
8. Letter of Authorization to apply for cremation in Singapore

This is followed with the preparations by our local funeral company which includes the application of an import permit, transportation for the deceased, execution of funeral in accordance to the family’s requests.

For those interested, check out our bite sized infographic for more details.


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