Post Death Matters

Arranging a Funeral

Funerals can be simple or elaborate, and differ by religious requirements.

·         In general, a funeral director can assist you with funeral arrangements. A list of funeral directors is available on the Association of Funeral Directors Singapore’s website.

·         You are free to source for alternative service providers as well.

The information above is provided for general information purposes only and you are encouraged to make your own enquiries and seek independent advice where applicable.

If the family opts to have the deceased undergo embalming, please refer to the list of licensed funeral parlours with embalming facilities. Funeral parlours with embalming facilities are licensed by the National Environment Agency (NEA), so as to uphold environmental hygiene standards.

The following are some points to consider:

Funeral Wake

Decide on the location and duration of the funeral wake. Wakes can be held at a funeral parlour, void deck, or house for example.

  • If you are holding the wake at a Town Council-managed void deck, multi-purpose hall or pavilion, you will need to obtain a permit from your Town Council.
  • If you are holding the wake in a private/landed property and need to use part of the road outside, you will need to seek approval from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and apply for a Temporary Occupational Licence (TOL) from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and pay the requisite TOL fee.
  • If you are holding the wake in a private/landed property and there is road closure due to the funeral wake, you will need to get a  permit from the Traffic Police (TP) and apply for a Temporary Occupational Licence (TOL) from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and pay the requisite TOL fee.
  • If you need to use State land managed by SLA for the funeral wake, you will need to apply for a TOL from Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and pay the requisite TOL fee. 
 Please note that if the funeral wake extends more than seven days after death, prior written permission must be obtained from the National Environment Agency.

Please write to:

National Environment Agency
Memorial Facilities & Planning Division
40 Scotts Road 
Environment Building, #21-00
Singapore 228231

Burial/ Cremation 

Your funeral director can help you make an application for the Permit to Bury/Cremate.

In scenarios where the next-of-kin is unable to obtain a digital death certificate, they can use any of the written confirmation of death documents for the application of Permit to Bury/Cremate (specimen of each of the various documents)

Thereafter, your funeral director can help you make the booking of a slot for cremation or burial. Bookings can also be done online, over the phone, or at the relevant booking office. The NRIC of the applicant and next-of-kin, as well as the digital death certificate and the Permit to Bury/Cremate is required to book a slot for burial or cremation.

Please note that if the deceased is to be cremated, any valuables placed in the coffin will not be recoverable after cremation. 

Ash Management

After cremation, the ashes of the deceased can be stored at home or in a columbarium. Niches are available at two government-managed columbaria and many other private columbaria. You will need to bring your NRIC and the digital death certificate to book a niche. Booking of niches in government-managed columbaria can also be done over the counter.

Ashes of the deceased may also be scattered at sea. The Maritime Port Authority (MPA) has designated a site located about 1.5 nautical miles (2.8 km) south of Pulau Semakau where ash scattering at sea can be conducted. This can be done daily, from 7am to 7pm. For more information, please contact the MPA’s Port Marine Safety Control Centre at 6325 2488.

An additional option of ash scattering is available at Garden of Peace, a designated garden located at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery. The ash scattering can be conducted from 9am to 5pm daily. Booking of session at the Garden of Peace can be done online, or in person at the service counters, with submission of list of required documents. More information on ash scattering facilities.

Arranging A Funeral Under Current COVID-19 Situation

More information on Management of COVID-19 Deceased Persons Across All Settings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Pertaining to Funeral Arrangements

Q: Can my family choose not to hold a funeral wake, before the cremation or burial?

A: Yes, it is entirely up to the choice of families on the types of funeral services they wish to carry out for their deceased loved ones. Some families may opt for "direct cremation" or "direct burial", where the body is sent for cremation or burial shortly after passing. Families may conduct simple prayer services at home, or at the crematorium service hall, before the cremation. Some families may also choose to hold the memorial service after the cremation, i.e. the ashes are present at the memorial instead of the body. 

Q: What is embalming, and is it necessary?

A: Embalming is a procedure carried out to delay decomposition of the body. The bodily fluids are removed, and are replaced with formaldehyde-based chemical solutions that will delay decomposition. It may be necessary, if you select certain arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing, or with an open casket. It is also typically done when the body is to be transported over long distances or across borders. 

If you do not want embalming, you may choose an arrangement that does not require viewing. A funeral wake may still be held, as long as the body is placed in a hermetically sealed coffin (without a viewing window), for a period not exceeding 7 days after the death. 

Note: Embalming is allowed for all COVID-19 deceased regardless of time from infection, i.e. no stipulation on number of days from first positive test. If embalmed, open casket wakes are allowed. 

Q: What are the usual components in a funeral package?

A: The types of services/products in a funeral arrangement will vary, depending on the religious beliefs, preferences of the family (including those expressed by the deceased before their passing) and customs. Families are advised to make their own enquiries ad seek independent advice where applicable. 

My Legacy supports citizens to plan and prepare for end-of-life matters.