Answering your Questions

Why should I choose T J Scott and Son to organise the funeral?

For over 75 years our family have helped support and guide grieving families when arranging a funeral and we continue to strive to meet the growing and changing needs of our community.

We are a family and team who live and work in our community. Our community matters to all of us and we support it in many ways, especially when choosing local and Australian made products and services wherever possible.

Our primary role is the care of your loved one and to support your family in this very important task - to organise a farewell for them, that is both personal and appropriate. We don’t answer to shareholders or corporate management which means its all about you and how we can help you in the best way we can.

Whether the funeral is a private, intimate gathering held in the home with a small group of family and friends, to a public service of thousands, held on a civic venue complete with marquees, audio visual presentations and live music, and of course everything else in between – we help you to bring it all together.
The options really are endless and experience makes an enormous difference when you need to know what you can do and how you can do it. We know what to do.

The caring and understanding funeral directors at TJ Scott & Son help you to put all the components of the service, and those special, intricate details, together. Your personal funeral consultant will be with you every step of the way to help reduce the amount of ‘running around’ often required when organising a funeral.

Why do we need a Funeral Director?

Organising a funeral requires time, knowledge and experience, even when the funeral itself is relatively simple. The role of the Funeral Director is to organise and coordinate not just the burial or cremation, but the care of your loved one, fulfilling the necessary government legislative and regulatory requirements, liaising and booking such things as the venue, cemetery or crematorium, celebrant, musicians, AV requirements, equipment hire, flowers and balloons, notices and catering to name a few. On the day of the funeral we are there to guide you through the service, check all the equipment, test the music, liaise with those involved to ensure the service runs smoothly.

Most importantly we give those organising a funeral options and choices, time to make important decisions, professional assistance to provide things like family photo DVD’s and funeral stationery and to make other necessary arrangements

We are here to listen, guide and support you in your choices. We help with the practical and necessary tasks of organising a funeral but that doesn’t mean families can’t be hands on and very much a part of the organising. Our experience means we can help you arrange a funeral that is meaningful for you and your family.

What are the costs involved in planning a funeral?

We often hear ‘I heard a funeral costs $20,000 is that true?’ or ‘can you have a funeral for less than $5,000?’ The answer to both those questions is 'Yes'. 

The cost of a funeral depends on your choices. Many people don’t realise that when they hear a figure for a funeral service it will often include third-party expenses that we help families to organise on their behalf. It often makes it much easier for legal and financial purposes to have all the funeral expenses itemised on one account particularly when making any insurance claims. So when you hear a funeral is $20,000 it may include $10,000 worth of catering! 

Each funeral is different and therefore the costs vary. Funeral Directors offer a range of Professional Fee options for you to choose from. These cover not only their work, planning, organising, legal and legislative requirements and attendance on the day of the funeral but also the availability of their staff 24 hours a day. You never know when you may need us and we need to be available at all times.

Funeral expenses may also include:

  • cemetery or crematorium fees
  • authorisations and certificates as required
  • the shroud, coffin or casket you select
  • any flowers you may want to order for them or for your service venue
  • newspaper notices
  • celebrant
  • musician fees
  • venue, equipment and audio visual hire if required
  • catering
  • funeral stationery if requested.
    And there are many other extras we have organised for funeral services.

That is why there is no one answer for ‘how much is a funeral?’ because the total cost really depends on all these individual items and the type of service you choose. We offer our obligation-free advice and guidance to answer any questions you may have, or simply request a detailed funeral estimation of costs by phoning our supportive team on 03 54226455. You can find out more about your choices by visiting Funeral Choices.

Who do I contact first when someone has died?

The first person to contact in the event of a death is the deceased's GP (General Practitioner) or a Medical Doctor. Before any decisions can be made, the death of a person must be confirmed and certified. When a person has died unexpectedly or suddenly the Doctor may refer the deceased to the care of the Coroners Court to investigate the cause of death. This is not unusual and the Coroners Court will answer any questions you may have to support you throughout the Coronial Process.

Once this important step has been completed you can then contact your preferred Funeral Director. You may need time to decide or you may wait for family and friends to come to support you. It’s important to take your time and comtact us when you are ready.

Can we spend time with our loved one once they are in the care of the Funeral Director?

Spending time with a loved one who has died is a very personal choice. For some they find great comfort in being able to say a final goodbye or to be with them when they are no longer in pain. For some this may not be what you need to do, but the choice is yours and we will help guide and support you through this decision. Everyone in our care is given the care and respect they would expect in life and an important part of our role is preparing them for the funeral, whether you decide to have a viewing or not.

Whilst we are very honoured to look after them and carry out our mortuary care, some families prefer to keep their loved ones at home, even if only for a short time. Some feel they would like to help in their preparation especially with hair and makeup. We are here to help you in any way you need and if that is supporting you at home or being part of your loved one's care and preparation please let us know.

What clothing should we choose for our loved one?

You can select any clothing you like – there is no right or wrong. It may be a favourite dress or suit, their most comfortable clothing or something particular like sporting attire or their well worn and loved pajamas. Whatever they would normally wear is a common answer and that can include underwear, socks, slippers, glasses and hats.
Some families also choose favourite items to be placed with their loved one such as little mementos, photos, a favourite book or CD, Letters or drawings from children, or items relating to a special interest or hobby. Speak to one of our staff if you have any questions about this.

How do we get a copy of the Death Certificate?

When someone has died there are many things that need to be organised and organisations who need to be notified. One of the first things you will be asked for is a copy of the Death Certificate.

The official Death Certificate is issued by The Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages. An important part of our role as funeral directors is to complete the registration of death so that the Death Certificate can be issued. When we meet with a family we will ask a series of questions about the person who has died so that we can complete this death registration. Together with the information submitted by the Doctor or the Coroners Court, the Registry completes the Death Certificate. In Victoria a Death cannot be registered until after the burial or cremation has taken place. The Death certificate, when requested, is issued directly to the next of kin nominated to receive it- usually the Executor or Senior Next of Kin. This process can take some time particularly if the registry are waiting on the Coroners findings. The Certificate completed by a Medical Doctor is officially called the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (the MCCD) . The funeral director receives a copy of this as it is a requirement for the burial or cremation to take place. A copy of this can be given to the Executor or nominated next of kin if required.

What is embalming and when is it required?

Embalming is a chemical procedure carried out by a qualified Embalmer. Embalming is a disinfecting process that preserves the deceased. Embalming can be helpful in reducing discolouration, deterioration and in some instances may be required to reduce the risk of infection to enable someone to be repatriated interstate or overseas or when there is some delay between the day of death until the funeral is held.

If you have any questions about the embalming process or would like further information please contact us on 03 54 226 455.

Do we need a Celebrant for a Funeral Service?

There are so many different ways to say farewell. A funeral can be a formal service, a religious ceremony, a celebration of life, an informal gathering, or quiet and private family time. Whether it be large or small, private or public, it helps to have someone to lead the gathering for you. This may be a Funeral Celebrant, a Minister or Priest or a family member or friend.

Even if you have family and friends contributing to and participating in the service, our experience with families has shown it does help those closest to have one person who helps bring the service together. It certainly takes some of the pressure away from the immediate family to have someone guide them through and take care of organising and delivering the important words you wish to express about your loved one.

We can help organise your chosen celebrant and we liaise with them throughout the planning and the funeral itself, to ensure that all components come together. We have a list of recommended celebrants to choose from, including our own John or Kelly Scott who are experienced in leading services.

We also work extensively with many Ministers, Priests and Pastors in the local and wider area and have extensive experience organising many different cultural and religious ceremonies.
We also offer a guide to help plan the Eulogy. Please contact us if you would like some help to organise this.

Do we have to have a coffin or casket and what are the options?

In Victoria we are governed by Cemetery and Crematoria Regulations & Legislation that require a deceased person to be ‘enclosed in a coffin, container or receptacle that is constructed of wood, metal or other substantial material; and from which neither offensive or noxious emissions nor matter from those remains will escape’ for the burial or cremation to take place.

A coffin or casket is required to transfer a deceased person safely and, more importantly, with dignity so that they can be moved as easily as possible. We offer a large range of coffins (made of wood with a removable lid and are shaped, being broader at the shoulders and tapered to the end) and caskets (made from wood or metal and are rectangular in shape with a hinged lid ).

We also offer sustainable choices such as cardboard coffins, wool coffins, wicker coffins, coffins made from renewable resources and an Australian designed and made shroud which is accepted as a receptacle for cremation at select crematoriums. We also offer a special range of coffins which are specially wrapped in images, sometimes scenic or hobby inspired and some are personalised with your own photos.

Occasionally families have requested that they supply their own coffin which is also an option. The comfort and safety of your loved one is our priority as is the safety for everyone moving, lifting or lowering the coffin. The ACCC have a helpful website about product safety and your obligations when supplying a product yourself. Go to: They also have an Information booklet called ‘Product Safety – A Guide to Testing’ so you can ensure what you provide meets the criteria.

Where do the cremations take place?

In Victoria crematoriums are located within the grounds of public cemeteries and are governed by The Department of Health. The closest crematoriums to us are Fawkner and Bendigo but we also use Altona, Springvale, Ballarat & Geelong - it is your choice where the cremation takes place, however we do not use privately owned crematoriums in NSW. Our staff personally attend the cremation in our funeral vehicles.

How do I know they are the cremated remains of my loved one?

The cremation process is strictly regulated. In every crematorium we use, only one cremation can take place at a time in each cremation chamber. The crematoriums match all records before, during and after the process to ensure identification and the integrity of the process. All crematorium employees follow strict guidelines and processes for every cremation.
Some people want to know if the coffin handles are removed but they remain with the coffin for the cremation.
When you receive the cremated remains of your loved one the secure container and presention box are clearly labelled with their name.
Selected Crematoriums allow families to witness the cremation if that is something you would prefer to do. All that is required is to give them the necessary details when booking the cremation time and an additional fee is applicable.

On the day of the funeral what time should the family arrive at the funeral venue?

We suggest to arrive at least 20 minutes prior so we have time if we need to go over any last minute service details with you. Coffin bearers should arrive a little before that so that we can talk with them about lifting and carrying the coffin safely.

Allow plenty of time for travel to the venue including time for any traffic delays, so you don’t have any additional stress on the day. Some people prefer to arrive before anyone else so that they have time to see as many people as they can – the choice is yours and if you have any questions just ask your funeral arranger for guidance.

Should children attend the funeral?

In many cultures it is expected that children be part of the funeral and mourning rituals as they are considered part of family life, but there is no right or wrong answer as each child is different. Their level of understanding, their awareness and their relationship to the person will be important things to consider when deciding this for your family.

Generally speaking children are aware, even from a young age, when something significant happens in their family. They can be inquisitive and curious and often don’t want to feel left out. Talking about death and the feelings of grief and loss can be an important learning tool for children as they begin to navigate their way in the world.

In the words of Dr Alan Wolfelt ‘If you are old enough to love you are old enough to grieve’ and sometimes its important to remember that children grieve too and may need some guidance and explanation when someone has died. Using simple terms such as died or dead (but with gentleness) can be better than ‘gone to sleep’ or ‘flying with the angels’ because this can cause anxiousness and confusion for young children.

Sometimes families worry about crying or showing emotion in front of children, and again it would be suggested that this is an important part of life for them to witness and be a part of, so that they too feel free to show or share emotion if they need to.

From our experience having children attend and be part of the funeral can be very important. If they are too young or hesitant they can participate in other ways such as drawing a picture or writing a letter for the person who has died, come into the chapel with the closed coffin and place a flower or some significant memento with their loved one before the day of the funeral so it is quiet and private.
For further information and guidance see Talking with Children about Death.

Can I donate my organs?

Many people choose to donate their organs and this in no way impacts the funeral or the possibility to view your loved one after donation.

For further information about donating organs go to

For information about Tissue Donation go to

For information regarding eye or cornea donation go to:

How do I donate my body to Science?

If you are interested in donating your body to Science contact the University of Melbourne Anatomy and Neuroscience Department for information about their Body Donation Program.

There are some guidelines and conditions to apply for this program and this is organised by your family or directly with the University.

For further information go to:

Why do I need a Will?

As the position of Power of Attorney ceases at the time of death, the Executor of the Will is the person with the legal authority to act on the deceased’s behalf.

It is important that you have an Executor who will follow your instructions and organise the funeral arrangements and the handling of your Estate as you would wish. They are your decision maker and in the event of any disagreement or conflict we must take direction from your Executor.
No arrangements can be made without their consent. Circumstances are more complicated when a person dies intestate, or without a Will. As such, it is highly recommended to have a legal Will. For more information about making a will, go to or download their brochure on Needing Help after someone has died.

Why is it important to use a Funeral Director who is a member of the AFDA?


The AFDA is the peak National Body of the funeral industry in Australia. To be a member of the AFDA we must adhere to strict guidelines and have Codes of Practice in place to ensure a professional and safe working environment that is compliant with the AFDA Premises, Equipment and Vehicle Standards. We are bound by a Code of Ethics and are also required to complete Continued Professional Development each and every year as part of our membership, ensuring that we are at the forefront of industry initiatives and developments in service and information to offer the very best service in Australia.

As the funeral industry is not regulated, the AFDA provides reassurance that all its members adhere to fundamental and legitimate occupational health and safety standards, public health requirements, and community standards. AFDA member firms are required to abide by these standards at all times and regular inspections of all its members are completed to ensure that your AFDA Member is giving you the best possible service.
AFDA member firms are chosen by more than 60% of families Australia-wide to provide funeral arrangements for their loved ones. 

TJ Scott & Son is a proud member of the ADFA and have been actively involved at a State and National level with John Scott standing as President of the Victorian Division (Between 2000 and 2002), National President from 2009 to 2011 and was also honoured to represent the AFDA on the World Board of FIAT-IFTA from 2011 to 2013.
John has served the AFDA for almost 30 years as a councillor and continues to be involved and actively contribute to the funeral industry. In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Life Member and Life Councillor award in recognition of his commitment to the funeral industry and the AFDA. 

For further information about the Australian Funeral Directors Association go to: