After your loved one passes on, there are a number of matters you will be attending to. A funeral in the style that your loved one wanted is an important event for the family to grieve over their loss.
Certificate of Cause of Death (CCOD) is needed to register the death within 24 hours. It is issued either by a doctor in the hospital, or a doctor who visits your home if death occurs at home.
Doctors can issue a CCOD if they know the cause of death, and the death is natural.
If the cause of death cannot be identified or due to unnatural deaths, the doctor will refer the matter to the police. The body will be sent to the Mortuary@HSA (Block 9, Singapore General Hospital) and the police will inform the family when to go to mortuary.
You will need to take with you:
The coroner will review the case and determine if an autopsy is required. The next-of-kin will be informed of the coroner's decision and when they may collect the body.
After the CCOD has been obtained, the family may engage a funeral director who will:
Search for funeral directors at
The Association of Funeral Directors Singapore
(this can be done concurrently with Step 2)
Death registration can be done at the following places:
You will need to bring:
If the body is referred to the Mortuary@HSA, you do not need to register the death separately as death will be registered there. Upon registration, you will be able to collect the Death Certificate.
Orbituary is a notice of death and it is up to you to decide if you would like to place it.
National Environment Agency website shares the contact details of local newspapers where you can place the orbituary.
Funerals and wakes are opportunities for family, friends and acquaintances to pay their respects to the deceased. You can choose to have the wake at your own home, or at the funeral parlour. You could also hold the wake at the void deck. Permissions required include:
Your funeral director will organise the logistics for the wake. This includes getting the necessary approvals, setting up the funeral parlour, arrange for prayers, and more.
You can book a date and time for cremation or burial at the relevant booking office, through the phone, or online. The
National Environment Agency details the relevant offices’ contacts and charges involved.
You will need the following documents:
Your funeral director can help you to arrange this.
For cremation, do note that if you choose to place any valuable items in the coffin, you will not be able to get them back due to the high heat of cremation.
Every family has its own preferences for the ashes of the deceased. There are normally two options:
You can store the ashes at home or in a columbarium. There are
government-managed columbaria and several private columbaria in Singapore.
To book a niche (a place to store the ashes), you will need to take your NRIC and the original Death Certificate of your loved one. You can
book a niche in a government-managed columbarium online, or contact a private columbarium directly.
You can scatter the ashes at sea at the approved site 1.5 nautical miles (2.8km) south of Pulau Semakau.
This can be done daily, from 7am to 7pm. Please contact the Port Marine Safety Control Centre at 6325-2488 for assistance on scattering the ashes at sea.
For more info on the practical tasks after death, Singapore Hospice Council’s When a Death Occurs –
A Guide to Practical Matters is a useful guide.
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