Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ page. Many people have come to us asking many questions about the services we offer, how to arrange a funeral, why the Police is involved in the death of their loved one, whether autopsy is necessary and many other related things including organ donation.

In order to better serve bereaved families, Academy Funerals is providing this Frequently Asked Questions area in the hope that you will find answers to your questions to ease your burden.

Question 1: What does it mean when the Police attend the death of a person?

Answer: The Police are called in the case of a sudden or unexpected death to rule out criminality. This is simply a routine task when someone dies unexpectedly and should not cause you any concern. Also, when no Doctor is available, the Police often are called to legally issue a cause of death certificate.

The Police will then make arrangements with the Government Undertaker for the deceased to be conveyed to a Hospital mortuary where the Coroner may carry out an Autopsy.

Note: The family of the deceased are FREE to use any reputable funeral director of their choice. They are in no way obligated to use the services of the GOVERNMENT UNDERTAKER for the actual funeral.

Question 2: What is the Coroner’s role in this situation?

Answer: The Coroner conducts an autopsy to determine the cause of death when:

  • The cause of death is unknown
  • The death is due to unnatural causes
  • The death is due to violence
  • The deceased was in legal custody or a prisoner
  • The deceased was involuntarily committed to a mental institution
  • The deceased’s Doctor is unavailable or cannot legally write a cause of death certificate
  • The Coroner’s involvement does not always mean the death has been caused by foul play. In many such instances the Coroner’s findings are that the death was due to natural causes.

Question 3: What do I do if an Autopsy is required?

Answer: To learn that your loved one will have to undergo an autopsy can be devastating. However, in the case of unexpected death, it is a legal requirement that cannot be avoided so that the Coroner can establish the actual cause of death.If an autopsy is required for medical reasons, the hospital may ask for your consent. In this case, you are given the choice. To help you make an informed decision regarding this matter, talk to your Doctor and other family members first and discuss the subject fully.

Question 4: Can I obtain a copy of the Coroner’s Report?

Answer: YES. A written copy of the report will be issued to you upon request, provided that you are a close relative of the deceased. This report can contain very disturbing details in certain areas. You may show this report to your local Doctor who can give you an explanation or clarification of medical terminology you don’t understand. Alternatively, you may seek an appointment with the Coroner to discuss the report with them.

Question 5: Won’t the Coroner’s involvement cause a delay in the funeral arrangements?

Answer: NO. Normally, it takes no more than 24 hours for a Coroner to make a thorough determination of the actual cause of death. However, the Coroner may keep blood and tissue samples for further testing.

Question 6: Who can make funeral arrangements, and when can they be made?

Answer: The funeral is often arranged by a close or immediate member of the family, and can be made right after death has occurred. However, a close friend of the family or an officer from the Public Trust may also make the funeral arrangements.

Question 7: When is the proper time for a funeral to take place?

Answer: Traditionally, a funeral is held very soon after death. However, with the advent of modern methods of embalming, plus the fact that nowadays the number of families opting for cremation is increasing, the actual timing for the funeral has become less and less important. Oftentimes, a funeral is timed in order to accommodate those who will be attending – especially those who will be coming from overseas. The timing must be such as to give them ample time to make adjustments to their busy schedule. This usually means scheduling the funeral several days or weeks after the death. If you have particular needs, give us a call and talk to one of our compassionate consultants.

Question 8: I was asked to donate the organs of my loved one, what must I do?

Answer: In most cases, after brain death has been certified, the Doctor may ask close family members to donate their loved one’s organs in order to save another person’s life. There is never an appropriate way or time to ask this question. And, the decision can be a painful one. It may be best not to leave this decision to one person alone. Meet with the doctor and ask them to explain to you what happens about organ donations. Discuss this issue with other family members as well.

Question 9: Is it true that more than one body are cremated at the same time in the same cremator?

Answer: No, this never happens in Australia. It is against the law to cremate more than one body in the same cremator at a time. Besides, a cremator can fit only one body at a time.

Question 10: Can you guarantee that the ashes I get are really from my loved ones?

Answer: Yes, we give you a hundred percent guarantee. A lot of checks and balances are involved during the cremation process. ALL crematoriums take extraordinary care that ashes from different bodies do not become comingled.

Question 11: Are cardboard coffins available?

Answer: Yes, they are available. Although you can have a cardboard coffin, you may also want to consider a coffin that is made out of raw particle board. They are derived from forestry thinning, are more cost-effective and are sturdily built.

Question 12: Would you allow a viewing of my loved one?

Answer: Yes. As a matter of fact a viewing offers some benefits. It helps those who take part in the funeral, transition into acceptance that their loved one is dead. It is for this reason that Academy Funerals offers families a dedicated viewing room. Alternatively, a viewing can take place at the Church, Crematorium or the family home.

Question 13: Where is the best place to hold a funeral service?

Answer: There is no best place. Nevertheless, you have several options:

  • In the Church
  • The Cemetery
  • In the Crematorium
  • In the family home
  • The family farm
  • In a park
  • In a home garden
  • The local community hall
  • On a beach
  • The Scout hall
  • Other places that can provide a solemn atmosphere

Question 14: Does it always have to be a clergy or a celebrant who should officiate a funeral service?

Answer: NO. There are no legal restrictions requiring you to use only a Clergy or Celebrant. Anybody can officiate at a funeral service.

Question 15: Do Academy and Polynesian Funerals offer any FREE services?

  • The opportunity to assist in placing your loved one in their casket or coffin
  • The opportunity to wash and dress your loved one our well-furnished facilities
  • Holding the deceased for up to 3 weeks
  • The opportunity to travel in the hearse to the funeral
  • Taking photographs with family cameras
  • Up to 4 National, 6 local, and 4 International Faxes to help facilitate your Airline bookings, Visa applications and confirmation of a funeral for an employer
  • The transfer of the remains of your loved from the place of death to anywhere in the areas around Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane during regular office hours: 8:30 Am to 5:00 Pm.

Question 16: What other services are available?

  • A professional videographer to video the funeral
  • Hand and foot prints made for children.
  • Brass memorial plaques
  • Online memorial tribute for your loved one with Remember-me.com.au
  • Placing funeral notices in local, Inter-State and overseas newspapers
  • Arrange for a professional photographer to photograph the funeral