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VICTORIA

By Hayley West of The Departure

TIPS FOR DYING AT HOME AND FAMILY LED FUNERALS IN VICTORIA.

Prior to death (if possible):
 

  • If engaging a funeral home, finalise details about their engagement.

  • Make sure the Will and Advance Care Directive are handy.

  • Are the funds to cover costs for after death accessible?

  • Order or make a coffin or shroud. Women’s and Men’s Sheds can help with making coffins.

  • Burial and ashes interment plots can be pre-purchased at any public cemetery.

  • If keeping the deceased at home, pre-freeze items that can be placed under the body, for example water bottles and esky blocks. A cooling bed may be available to hire.

  • It is possible to bring the deceased home from an aged care facility, hospice or hospital. You should have this conversation early.

  • If not engaging a funeral home for transportation, arrange a car big enough to transport the deceased yourself. Cemeteries and crematoriums will accept private arrivals, but you will need to have this conversation early.

  • Being buried outside of a public cemetery is not all together impossible, however there are many restrictions and permission needs to be approved by the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Health. The process can take some time.

After a death occurs:
 

  • If the death is expected, a Medical Certificate Cause of Death is required by a doctor known to the deceased so the body can be released. If the death is unexpected, you need to follow the procedure through the Coroners Court of Victoria.

  • Check for organ donation registration. If the deceased was registered as an organ donor, they will need to have died in a hospital and on life support. Other donations such as eye and tissue donation can occur up to 24 hours after death, it is preferred that the deceased died in hospital for this to occur. The body can be released and taken home after these procedures.

  • Embalming is not compulsory after death.

  • The deceased can stay at home for any amount of time; however 3-4 days is usually enough. Consider the travel time required for those attending a vigil, and the weather conditions at time of death (decomposition can happen quickly in warmer temperatures).

  • In Victoria there is no requirement to engage a funeral home at any stage. However, all the paperwork must be completed and submitted before body disposal. There are various forms to submit to Births, Deaths & Marriages and to present to cemeteries and crematoriums.

  • The deceased can be transported in your own vehicle to the cemetery or the crematorium, you need to have finalised the relevant paperwork before transportation.

WEBSITES FOR REQUIRED FORMS AND INFORMATION:

FLOWCHART OF REQUIRED PAPERWORK - VICTORIA