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Final Wishes How to Plan Funeral Arrangements in Singapore

Final Wishes: How to Plan Funeral Arrangements in Singapore

Planning your funeral might sound a little morbid, but doing so actually shows you care for your loved ones. When you have your arrangements planned, it will save your survivors the hassle of looking for memorial packages at the last minute.

Also, you’ll have more control over how your funeral should go—from who your family should notify to what music will play as they lay you to rest.

You don’t have to fumble, though. Here’s our step-by-step guide to advanced funeral planning in Singapore to help you. 

H2. How do I plan a funeral in Singapore? 

DifficultyEasy  ●●○○○
Number of steps 7
Time neededSeveral weeks
Things you needTime to talk with loved ones, access to the internet, funeral checklist

Planning your funeral in Singapore doesn’t need to be difficult if you take the following steps:

1. Talk to your loved ones about your plan

1. Talk to your loved ones about your plan

Some assume that planning for a funeral is a solitary thing, but we beg to differ. Opening this conversation with your loved ones will help them more, as you won’t be leaving them in the dark about what you want to happen when you pass away. 

Just ensure you’ll be pragmatic. Assure your loved ones that the planning does not mean you’re going to die soon or you’re trying to be dramatic. 

Tell them that planning for your death is similar to planning for college or retirement. 

After you clarify why you’re planning, list your instructions (e.g. where to get death-related documents) and show them your funeral checklist.

2. Instruct your loved ones on how to obtain a death certificate

2. Instruct your loved ones on how to obtain a death certificate

In Singapore, time is of the essence when you die, as your survivors will have to report your death within 24 hours after the fact to obtain a death certificate. The said document is a requirement when hiring funeral services.

Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever to obtain one. If you pass away in a hospital, your doctor can certify your death online. 

Your loved ones should then ask for the death document number from the doctor or hospital so they can download the certificate from My Legacy.

Note that this process is only applicable to local deaths. If by any chance you pass away abroad, your relatives should request assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). 

3. Choose cremation or burial

3. Choose cremation or burial

Ensure you and your loved ones are on the same page on what to do with your body once you’re gone. Either way, they must secure burial or cremation permits from the National Environment Agency.

How much does cremation cost in Singapore?
Cremation services in Singapore can cost from $100 to $600, depending on whether it’s a government or private service.
After the cremation, additional expenses include the urn ($70–$400+), columbarium ($500–$5,000+), and plaque ($1,000+). 

4. Identify casket or coffin preferences

4. Identify casket or coffin preferences

Caskets and coffins are essential for wakes, visitations, and burials/cremation. Planning what type you want now can save your survivors trouble later, as they won’t have to look for a product without any image in mind.

Also, when you don’t have a plan, your relatives might have differing decisions and overspend. 

How much does a coffin cost in Singapore?
Wooden coffins are the most affordable types, with prices starting at $700. Meanwhile, caskets made of mahogany or copper will cost up to $10,000

5. Set up the memorial package

5. Set up the memorial package

Funeral services in Singapore offer a myriad of memorial packages. Shop around to see if a package has all the inclusions you need, or build your own by selecting individual services.

One of the primary considerations when choosing a package is your religious belief. A Chinese funeral rite will differ from a Christian one. We recommend checking out funeral services that cater to a specific faith to ensure the rites won’t miss anything.

Moreover, consider checking if the following is in the package:

  • Casket or coffin
  • Meal catering for guests
  • Venue for the wake, along with tables and chairs
  • Religious items
  • People leading the funeral rites

You will also want to specify the following with your loved ones:

  • Location of the memorial service
  • How long should the family hold the wake?
  • Who are the people outside the family that you want to notify?
  • What songs or hymns should be played during the procession and the burial or cremation?
  • Who will deliver prayers, poems, or readings?
5. Set up the memorial package 2

That said, tell your family that it’s okay if they can’t fulfill all your wishes. Assure them that the plan should serve as a blueprint and that they don’t need to feel bad if they can’t fulfill every item on your list.

Alternatively, set up Plans A to D so your survivors have many options to work with.

6. Decide the payment method

6. Decide the payment method

Talk with your loved ones about the payment options for your memorial package. Some options include pre-payment, a dedicated bank account, or personal accident insurance.

Pre-payments of the package can ensure that expenses are taken care of, but note that it might be a hassle if the funeral company suddenly goes out of business.

It could be much safer if you have someone you can trust to access your bank account upon your death. Getting personal accident insurance with benefits for accidental death can also help with the funeral expenses.

7. Write a will 

7. Write a will

This step can come before or after you’ve taken care of the previous steps. Aside from securing where you want your assets to go upon your death, a will can also contain details on how you want your funeral arrangements to happen. 

You can write your will on your own and have it signed by two witnesses, or you can consider hiring a wills lawyer to do the job for you.

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