Anyone who has experienced the passing of a loved one will understand just how emotionally charged this time can be. Navigating the highs and lows of loss and grief is challenging enough on its own, particularly when it comes to our nearest and dearest. The last thing many wish to tackle are legal, administrative, and organisational tasks needed to put a loved one to rest.

As with all of life’s significant moments, honouring a loved one should be considered and well thought through. There are important choices around the final resting place through to by the minute details of a ceremony. Managing these affairs independently is certainly an option, particularly with the assistance of family and friends.

The other option is to enlist the helping hands of a funeral director. Their role is to plan and coordinate funeral arrangements in accordance with the wishes of the deceased or their relatives. This can include any number of elements, from practical and legal requirements through to personal wishes.

Whilst engaging a funeral director it is not a legal requirement, their expertise may mean that arrangements flow more smoothy. They do so by simplify proceedings, making them that little bit easier in what can be a highly sensitive time.

Regardless of whether you have recently lost a loved one or are pre-planning, finding the right funeral provider is important. Doing so can be challenging as most know little about funerals, interacting with them infrequently and whilst grieving.

It is worth taking a step back, seeking out accurate information, and ensuring we are properly informed to make the right decisions. If you are looking to engage a funeral director our suggestions below may assist. Always be sure to consider your own personal situation and gain independent professional advice to ensure your needs are met.

What makes a great funeral or cremation service?

Great funeral or cremation services respectively honour wishes to create a memorable and personalised farewell. While considering your options it may be helpful to keep the following in mind:

  • Reputable. Whilst the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2020 is in place, there are no licensing requirements or national standards for funeral directors. In unregulated industries such as this, assessing a provider’s reputation is a great way to shortlist options. The best funeral services are often the most reputable. They come with positive past client reviews and are often recommended by family and friends. Reputable funeral and cremation services are also likely to have been in business for many decades, bringing a wealth of experience and practical insight to the table. Many are also members of peak industry body the Australian Funeral Directors Association.
  • Compassionate care. In such a sensitive time the best funeral and cremation services provide considered and compassionate care. Often, the best way to assess this is to see for yourself and meet with a few potential providers. Reflect on their connection, natural ability to build rapport, and whether they instinctively put you at ease. Ultimately the right service will make you feel the most comfortable of all.
  • Personalised options. While hosting a funeral or memorial service is certainly not mandatory, many of us choose to do so. Whether it is to honour wishes or celebrate life’s journey, taking the time to plan this acknowledgement is important. The best funeral or cremation services appreciate the need for tailored options and devise personalised solutions for clients. Consider your needs and ensure prospective providers are well adept at meeting them.
  • Flexible approach. From time to time our needs may change and flexibility here is key. Indeed, selecting a provider with a rigid approach may even be counterintuitive to the entire grieving process. The best providers understand that an element of flexibility is needed and are more than happy to provide this. Whether it means additional viewings, tweaks to finer details, or a change of time, each request should be met gracefully. Finally, be sure to understand your consumer and contract rights and how these impact any changes.
  • Itemised fees & charges. Any funeral or cremation brings with it a host of associated fees and charges. From professional fees and services costs through to disbursements and product charges there is much to consider. The best providers will work with you to devise a plan that befits your budget and desired inclusions. In doing so they will also be transparent with costs, providing clear breakdowns with each inclusion individually itemised. They will also have transparent contractual terms and conditions supported by various payment options to make things easier. Given the investment, this is an area that is worth researching and comparing so be sure to do your homework. And as always, be sure to seek some professional advice.

The best funeral and cremation services in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Simple Goodbyes

Simple Goodbyes are one of the regions newest funeral and cremation providers who are all about offering quality services without the expensive price tag. Owner-operators Peter Dinn and Mark Copley bring over thirty years combined experience in the funeral industry and pride themselves on providing simple, unique, and dignified solutions to farewell loved ones.

Offering cremation services at Norwood Park, burials, or non-attendance private ceremonies they have already established a reputation for care and consideration.

Tamzin Nugent shared this sentiment on Google, “I was struck by the incredible respect, care and attention to detail that Simple Goodbyes shared. During an emotional and difficult time it is important to surround yourself with people who have the knowledge and ability to ensure things run smoothly.”


For some extra help to take care of the finer details take a look at our articles on the best florists and the best catering services in Canberra. Should you require assistance managing the affairs of a loved on check out our articles on the best wills and estate lawyers and the best probate services.

If you or a loved one need help with grief and loss contact The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement on 1800 642 066. For round the clock support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.