Frequently Asked Questions


Who should I inform/contact if someone dies at home?

This depends on whether the death was sudden or expected. If expected, the deceased will have been attended to by his or her GP recently. The first/initial call should be made to the doctor who will be required to visit the home to confirm death has occurred. The funeral director should be contacted at this stage. If unexpected, the first call should be made to the deceased G.P’s who was attending during his or her last illness. The GP may advise that the family contact their nearest Garda Station, as the Gardai may wish to contact the Coroner.

What if the Death Occurred in a Hospital / Hospice / Nursing Home?

Normally a doctor will be in attendance or called to confirm the death. The doctor and/or staff will inform the family whether or not a post mortem examination will be needed. In most cases, this will not be necessary and the family is free to call their funeral director to make funeral arrangements.

Can I object to a Post-Mortem / is it mandatory?

If the post mortem has been ordered by the Coroner you cannot object or stop a post mortem taking place. If the coroner orders a Post Mortem in most cases it means that there is no Doctor willing to issue a cause of death cert (which ascertains the exact cause of death) and therefore it would be impossible to obtain a death cert. If the Hospital authorities ask your permission to perform a Post Mortem you are quite entitled to refuse provided that there is a Doctor willing to issue a cause of death cert.

If a post mortem is required is there likely to be a delay in the organisation of the funeral arrangements?

Yes. When a post mortem examination is required, there would normally be a delay of 1-2 days. This may be extended if death occurs during a weekend or bank holiday.

Who is Responsible for Making Funeral Arrangements?

The person who has legal authority to make funeral arrangements is the Executor – the person named in the will to administer the estate. However, the responsibility can pass by mutual agreement to the next of kin or family friend. It is important to understand that whoever signs the authorisation for a funeral service to proceed will be financially responsible for the funeral and the only person with the authority to make arrangement with the crematorium or cemetery.

Is Embalming Compulsory?

No. Embalming is not required by law, but many funeral directors recommend it if you want a viewing. Though it is possible to have a viewing without embalming, certain conditions have to be met.

Embalming is a process used to temporarily present / preserve / do both to a loved one’s body. The process of embalming involves using preservative chemicals followed by the application of cosmetics to make them look as they were when they were alive. It also can be used in instances of visible illness or damage to return a loved one to their normal appearance for a viewing. It can also help slow/prevent the spread of bacteria.

How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

The funeral cost is broken into two sections, one being the cost charged by the funeral director and the other is disbursements which are 3rd party costs paid by the funeral director and passed through without mark up. The cost may range from € 1,500-7,500. Note that other costs such as purchase of the grave are not included here.

How can Funeral costs be reduced?

This is done by talking to the funeral director and considering:

1. Creamation rather than burial

2. The type of coffin used

3. Whether to use the funeral directors Family car/s (Limosine/s)

4. The number of days of transportation of remains and family (Hearse & Family car). I.e. if removal or viewing involves transport.

5. Embalming

6. # bearers (to carry the coffin) & attend at the grave

7. Flowers

8. Music / singers

9. Radio, and/or newspaper notices

Can I Plan and/or Pay for my own Funeral in advance?

Yes. This is becoming very popular now. A person can plan their own funeral with the Funeral Director and remove this burden from the surviving family. You can choose as little or as much to have the funeral that you want. It may be just nominating a Funeral Director or completing the ‘Wishes’ document covering the entire funeral. Unless relatively imminent you might defer the payment and read our information on Funeral plans.

Must I have a church/religious Funeral?

No. There are other options available such as a civil ceremony/humanist or Atheist service. Please see under the page ‘Whats in a Funeral’ the various options.

Can I personalise my service?

Certainly! By talking to your funeral director they get to know the family and thereby incorporate your loved ones’ hobbies, activities, interests, and unique requests into meaningful and memorable services that celebrates your loved one’s individual life journey. As an example if the deceased was a keen gardener then why not incorporate flowers from their garden into your plans.

Why have a viewing?

A viewing—also known as “visitation,” a “wake,” or “calling hours”—can involve an open or closed coffin, and is seen as a vital part of the grieving process. Having their loved one present often helps family and friends to accept the reality of their loss, especially for those who may not have seen him or her in a while. The opportunity to come to terms with the death and say a final farewell can be an important step on the road to closure and healing.

Are burials and or cremations allowed at weekends/bank holidays?

All cemeteries and crematoriums are open on Saturdays. This is less the case on Sundays. All cemeteries allow burials on bank holidays & crematoriums are open. Similar to weekends there are normally premiums for both on bank holidays.

Should I bring my children to the funeral?

You should use your judgment to determine whether your child is old enough to comprehend death and whether attending the funeral will be meaningful to them. It’s important for children to be allowed to express their grief and share in this important ritual. If you bring young children, explain beforehand what they will see and experience, and make sure that they know the importance of being on their best behavior.

When will I receive my bill for the funeral expenses and how can I pay them?

In some cases payment will have been made in advance. Most funeral directors will normally wait until you are ready to collect a funeral bill & never send one out in the post unless we have been instructed to. Most accounts are settled within 30 days.

What can I do to help the bereaved after the funeral?

The grieving process doesn’t end with the funeral. Your /the family will need your support for months to come, so check in on a regular basis. Drop a note, make a phone call, and continue to invite them when you make social plans; they’ll let you know if and when they are ready to participate.

How Do I Register a Death?

The registration of a death will be made by a relative (by blood, marriage or civil partnership). This can be done at the Civil Registration Office. You will need the Death Notification Form to register a death. This can take place 3 months after the death. So you do not require a death cert to complete the funeral arrangement if the burial is in the state.

Can a COVID-19 death be embalmed

HSE advice does not prevent the embalming of a person who died with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19, if it is performed with all necessary safety precautions in place. There may, however, be other reasons why embalming is not advisable or desired.
Previous guidance for funeral directors did not recommend the practice of embalming. However, evidence has accumulated and there have been no confirmed reports of SARSCoV-2 transmission from a dead body to a living host, including among persons with high
levels of exposure, such as autopsy personnel. Standard operating procedures for embalming apply if the person’s death was not related to
COVID-19 or they died outside the infectious stage of COVID-19.


What procedures, if any, are required before Cremation can take place?

A medical certificate is required. Your funeral director will normally coordinate this on your behalf and their price to you typically includes all 3rd party charges as the by the medical practitioner for their service. If the deceased had a pacemaker, this will need to be removed. Also jewellery and glasses will be required to be removed before cremation as any of these may damage the equipment.

Is cremation governed by a code of practice?

Yes. There is a strict code which is usually on display in Crematoriums.

Is the coffin used in Cremation?

Yes it is. No exceptions are made in any of the crematoria in Ireland.

What happens to the coffin in the crematorium?

The coffin is taken into the crematory where the nameplate is checked. An identity card is attached to the cremator where the coffin is placed and is kept with the cremated remains until they leave the crematorium. The coffin is placed into the cremator and when finished, the cremated remains are taken from the cremator, cooled, and placed in a cremulator which reduces the remains to ashes. These are placed into an urn/casket available for collection.

When is the actual cremation carried out

Usually within 24 hours of all paperwork being completed, but it will depend on how busy the crematorium is.

How long does the cremation process take

It depends, but generally it takes anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.

How can I be sure the ashes are my loved one’s

In addition to following these standard procedures, crematoriums may keep a disk with a unique ID number with your loved one throughout the process, including during cremation. Each cremator is only large enough to take one coffin. When a cremation has finished the cremated remains are placed into an individually identified container.

Are there any religions that do not approve of cremations

Cremation is accepted by accepted by all Christian denominations, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus and Parsees.

Muslims, Orthodox Jews and the Greek Orthodox Church do not allow cremation.

What happens at the Crematorium if a service is chosen

As an example Family and mourners gather at the crematorium at an arranged time. Some Crematorium can be quite busy so the service must be carried out within the time allowed by the Crematorium. The coffin will be placed in a position for everyone to view. The chosen service will commence. It may include hymns, songs, prayers and eulogies. Towards the end of the service, curtains will be drawn and the coffin will be hidden from view. If you would prefer the coffin to remain on view until everyone has left this can be arranged. A viewing may also be possible in advance of the service. Some crematorium’s will also allow an open coffin during the service. A shroud can be used in place of a coffin during the service, but a coffin will still be used for the cremation process.


What is a natural burial?

Natural burial is the interment of the body of a dead person in the soil in a manner that does not inhibit the decomposition but allows the body to be naturally recycled. It is an alternative to other contemporary Victorian/Western burial methods and funerary customs.

What if I wanted to buried next to my loved one?

This can be arranged by the purchase of a double plot. In this case the two bodies are buried side by side, rather than stacked on top of each other in the traditional Victorian/Western burial methods.

How is the Grave marked?

Some natural burial sites will allow graves to be marked while others do not permit any identifying features at all. Even if the grave is not marked there is always a system to locate the plot such as a hardcopy plan and/or GPS.

If cremation takes place, can I still have a natural burial?

Yes ashes can be buried in any Natural burial site.