Planning a funeral is no easy feat, especially when it happens unexpectedly. To save yourself the stress and emotional distress of planning one at the last minute, consider making a checklist beforehand.
We know how hard it is to put a loved one’s affairs in order. So, we hope to make it a little bit easier for you with this quick checklist of final funeral arrangements in Singapore.
First things first, you need to sort out your loved one’s legal affairs before making funeral arrangements. That includes obtaining a death certificate, informing necessary institutions, among many other things, as detailed below:
- Certificate of Cause of Death (CCOD)
A CCOD is a document that certifies that your loved one passed away due to natural causes, which we explained in this guide. You’ll need this document in order to obtain a death certificate.
- Death Certificate
Once you’ve obtained a CCOD, you can apply for your loved one’s death certificate at the designated areas, also detailed in this guide. You’ll need your loved one’s death certificate before you can start making funeral arrangements.
- CPF Board
You’ll need to report your loved one’s passing to the CPF Board so they can release the funds to the rightful beneficiaries or nominees.
Only the person named as the executor in your loved one’s will (if any) can collect the money from the bank accounts. An executor may be a trusted family member, friend, or a probate lawyer.
- Insurance Companies
If your loved one took out a life insurance policy, be sure to contact the insurance company so you can make a death claim. The beneficiaries may only get the amount through the provision of a Grant of Probate, which is given to the executor of the will.
Once you’ve obtained the death certificate, you can start making funeral arrangements. While this will ultimately depend on your family’s religious beliefs and personal preferences, here are the most common funeral arrangements to consider:
- How your loved one’s remains will be managed (i.e. burial or cremation)
- For cremated remains, choose how your loved one’s ashes will be handled (e.g. columbarium, scattered at sea, etc.)
- Preferred funeral home specialising in religious rites (i.e. Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, and Hindu)
- How you wish to hold memorial services and the religious officiants involved
- Date and location of the wake and funeral
- Your choice of casket or urn
- Guest list of the wake and funeral
- The marker or tombstone to memorialise your loved one
- How you wish to notify guests, such as obituary ads
- Music during the wake/funeral
- Food and beverages (only limited to family members for now due to COVID-19)
- Decorations including flowers and religious paraphernalia