F.W. Barnes and Son Funeral Directors' FAQ

There are many questions surrounding funeral arrangements and funeral services. F.W. Barnes and Son Funeral Directors in Ballarat have provided answers to some of the many questions we have received during our decades of providing funeral services to Ballarat and district. Of course, this list is not exhaustive so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Ballarat funeral home if you have any questions we have not answered here.

Who is responsible for funeral arrangements?

Most commonly, responsibility for funeral arrangements is with the next of kin, the deceased’s family or an executor named in the Will of the deceased. Sometimes a friend has the responsibility for arranging the funeral and occasionally a public trustee will be responsible. No matter who has responsibility for funeral arrangements in Ballarat, staff members at F.W. Barnes and Son will be on hand to help.

Is it necessary to have a funeral service in Ballarat, or anywhere for that matter?

No, a funeral service is not a necessity but is certainly advisable. Funeral services provide an opportunity for the bereaved to farewell the deceased and are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate a life. Various bereavement and grief organisations have detailed the benefits of funeral services and memorial services and the staff at our Ballarat funeral home will happily share their thoughts and experiences with you.

What are the options for funerals in Ballarat?

There are generally only three options for funerals in Australia: Traditional burial, cremation and entombment, and many people leave instructions in their Will or pre-arranged funeral about which method they prefer. There are different costs for each method.

Which is better for a funeral – burial or cremation?

Neither is better or worse than the other. The decision is a personal one. It is interesting to note that more than 60 percent of funeral arrangements today involve cremations but burial continues to remain a popular option. Perhaps one factor to consider is that cremation does tend to be lower priced than burial.

Money is tight. How can we pay for a good funeral?

F.W. Barnes and Son pride themselves on their ability to provide funeral services for a wide range of budgets and payment proposals. Please contact our Ballarat funeral parlour to discuss costs and payment schemes, including the benefits of prepaid funerals.

How does a prepaid funeral help?

Well, for one, your funeral will be paid for and your family will not have to bear the burden of paying for your funeral service. The benefits of a prepaid funeral are far-reaching. Please call F.W. Barnes and Son if you have further questions about prepaid funerals in Ballarat and other funeral costs.

Can I have a funeral in Ballarat on a weekend?

F.W. Barnes and Son can arrange for a Saturday funeral in Ballarat but, like most other undertakers and funeral directors, we do not offer Sunday funeral services. Please be aware that a Saturday funeral might incur additional costs.

Do you have a hearse or do we have to hire one for a Ballarat funeral?

F.W. Barnes and Son have a selection of hearses which we provide as part of our funeral services. We are also happy to abide the deceased’s or family’s wishes to use a different vehicle to transport the body. This is a common occurrence when the deceased was a member of an automobile club, or similar.

What happens if somebody dies overseas and we want their body brought home for a Ballarat funeral?

With more than 120 years’ experience behind us as funeral directors in Ballarat, F.W. Barnes and Son have contacts across Australia and overseas to facilitate the return of a body. The staff at our funeral home will liaise with various government departments and officials to help the transfer back to Australia.

Who should we contact after somebody has died?

F.W. Barnes and Son understand that the time immediately following a death can be confronting and confusing and it is almost impossible to remember who should be notified of the person’s death. To help during this time, the staff members at our Ballarat funeral parlour have compiled a basic list of people and organisations you might need to contact following a death. The list is not exhaustive but is a good overall guide:

  • Accountants, ambulance, Australian Tax Office, Australian Electoral Office
  • Banks, building societies, credit unions, financial institutions, credit card providers and loan companies; blood bank
  • Centrelink, chamber of commerce, chemist, church or religious group, clubs, organisations and associations, companies
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs, doctor, dentist, specialists, hospitals
  • Employer/former employers and workmates
  • Friendly societies
  • Health benefits fund, home delivery services, home nursing service, household help, gardening services
  • Insurance companies including life, accident, home and contents, vehicle
  • Local Government
  • Meals on Wheels, Medicare
  • Post office
  • Rental companies
  • Schools and colleges, service organisations, solicitor and/or public trustee, superannuation providers, sporting groups
  • Social media accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Trade unions and professional associations
  • Utilities, including telephone, electricity and water
  • VicRoads

Glossary of funeral expressions

Funeral arrangements and funeral services include a variety of unusual or uncommon words and expressions. F.W. Barnes and Son have provided information and explanations about some of the many funeral-related words we’re often asked about.

  • Arrangements: Arrangements refers to the process of arranging a funeral with the funeral director. The term “arrangements” can feature in expressions such as “arrangement conference” where family members and the undertaker meet to discuss funeral arrangements, and in “arrangements room”, which can be a room in the funeral parlour where the undertaker makes arrangements with family members.
  • Bereaved: The word “bereaved” applies to people affected by and suffering from the death of somebody, usually relatives or close friends of the deceased.
  • Casket: A casket is rectangular receptacle for a dead body and comes with a lid that has hinge. Caskets can be made from solid wood, metal or a custom wood product. F.W. Barnes and Son have a selection of caskets at our Ballarat funeral home to choose from.
  • Coffin: A coffin is wider at the shoulders than a casket and tapers to the foot. Generally, a coffin does not have a hinged lid and is made of customwood or solid timber. You can inspect the range of coffins in our Ballarat funeral parlour; just call us to arrange your visit.
  • Cremation and Crematorium: Cremation is the practice of reducing a deceased person’s body to its essential elements by burning and takes place in a crematorium. Ballarat has its own crematorium.
  • Embalming: Embalming is the process of chemically treating a body so that it is disinfected and preserved and must be performed by a trained and qualified embalmer. Embalming might be necessary when the time between death and the funeral service is delayed, if the deceased person has to be transferred interstate or to another country, to preserve or improve the deceased’s appearance for viewing or when the funeral arrangements involve interment above ground in a vault or crypt.
  • Entomb: To entomb a body is to place it in a tomb or in a coffin or casket.
  • Executor: An Executor is the person nominated in the deceased’s Will to take charge of finalising his or her estate.
  • Eulogy: A speech or written tribute about the deceased and delivered at their funeral or memorial service.
  • Exhume: The process of digging up or removing the remains of the deceased from their burial site.
  • Final Rites: Another more formal name for the funeral service.
  • Funeral Director: F.W. Barnes and Son is a funeral director in Ballarat. A funeral director’s job is to prepare the deceased for burial or cremation and to arrange and supervise funeral services. Funeral directors are also known as undertakers and, less commonly, as morticians.
  • Funeral Home: A funeral home is the offices and facilities of a funeral director and is where funeral service arrangements and other funeral-related proceedings take place.
  • Memorial Service: A memorial service is similar to a funeral service except the body of the deceased is not present. Memorial services also take place when the deceased ashes are present.
  • Morgue: A morgue is a facility where people who have died can be kept until the completion of any inquiries into the death, while the body is being identified and claimed or until funeral arrangements have been made.
  • Mortuary: Mortuary is the name given to a building which temporarily houses the dead and can be another name for a funeral home.
  • Urn: A vessel in which the ashes of the deceased can be stored or carried following cremation.
  • Viewing: As its name suggests, viewing is the opportunity for the bereaved to view the deceased in a coffin or casket.
  • Vigil: This is a religious ceremony usually practised by followers of the Catholic faith the night before a funeral service.

We hope this glossary of funeral terms and the answers to our frequently asked questions help address some of your queries about funerals and funeral arrangements. If you need further explanation or more information, please contact Ballarat funeral directors F.W. Barnes and Son.