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.
The A.S.K. a funeral services provider checklist helps facilitate the making of informed decisions by consumers (next-of-Kin/bereaved family members) when engaging funeral services providers. This checklist was developed by the Competition & Consumer Commission Singapore (CCCS). It was part of a CCCS market study with the support of the National Environment Agency on funeral services in Singapore to identify potential competition and consumer protection issues that could arise during the purchase of funeral products.
The checklist encourages consumers to:
- Ascertain and consider the wishes of the deceased and the deceased’s family when making funeral purchases.
- Seek important answers from the funeral services provider, so that you know what you pay for.
- Know useful sources of information you can refer to, so that you can make an informed decision.
In selecting a funeral services provider, families that opt to have their loved ones’ body embalmed can refer to this list of licensed funeral parlours with embalming facilities. Funeral parlours with embalming facilities are licensed by the National Environment Agency, so as to uphold environmental hygiene standards.
If the deceased person is deemed by a medical practitioner (doctor) to have contracted highly infectious diseases, only funeral services providers that have undergone the Basic Infection Control Course (BICC), conducted by National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) should manage the infected deceased person. BICC equips the funeral services providers with basic infection control knowledge to handle deceased persons with highly infectious diseases.
The following are some other points to consider:
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 need to use the adjacent surface parking lots for the wake, you will need to apply to HDB by visiting the managing HDB Branch, calling the HDB Branch Service Line at 1800-225-5432 or submitting your request at https://www.hdb.gov.sg/efeedback (Subject: Car Park; Category: Use of Car Parks for Non-Parking Purpose).
If you are holding the wake in a private/landed property and need to use the public roads and/or walkways, you will need to apply for a Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) from Singapore Land Authority (SLA) at https://app1.sla.gov.sg/tol and pay the prevailing TOL fee. Applicants will be required to comply with the requirements of the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Traffic Police (TP). A separate application with LTA and TP is not required.
If you need to use State land managed by Singapore Land Authority (SLA) for the funeral wake, you will need to apply for a Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) from Singapore Land Authority (SLA) at https://app1.sla.gov.sg/tol and pay the prevailing TOL fee.
For use of parking lots managed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for funeral wakes, you may submit your application to URA directly at www.ura.gov.sg. Please note that all use of parking lots must be applied and approved by URA prior to the use.
When holding funeral wakes, please be considerate to others and consider the following:
· Advise your attendees to park their vehicles at designated parking lots.
· Deploy traffic marshals to facilitate traffic movements if the need arises.
· Minimise any inconveniece to other stakeholders when holding the funeral wake.
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
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.
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.
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.