How To Plan A Funeral Service In Singapore (Step-By-Step Guide)


People don’t like thinking about death in concrete terms. We’re used to death’s representation in literature and movies – a mysterious, heartbreaking event that triggers plot twists.

Unfortunately, in real life, death is more related to money than suspense and mystery.

Besides, arranging a funeral service when you’re grieving is very difficult. As much as you hate doing this, it’s best to be prepared with a quick and clean plan.

When death happens, you need to be strong mentally and financially. For some, they may require extra cash for their loved one’s sudden departure.

Keep reading below to find out what you need to consider.


1. Pick A Funeral Home

Funeral homes assist many grieving people. When your feelings overwhelm you, anything more you add on top of your problems will push you off the edge. Besides, your focus and decision-making skills are probably affected by these circumstances too.

So, you can employ an expert to plan the funeral service from top to bottom. You can call at any time, even during the night, and someone will be there within an hour.

2. Get The Certificate Of Cause Of Death (CCOD)


Here’s how you obtain the Certificate of Cause of Death:

If the death took place at a hospital, you just need to bring the deceased’s ID to receive the CCOD. If the doctors can’t tell the cause of death for sure, you’ll need to arrange your loved one’s transportation to the mortuary. You can either do that by calling a Police Hearse or contact the funeral home.


→ Transport: $0 or part of your funeral home’s package

→ Autopsy report: $160.50

→ Private autopsy: $5,863.60 + $165.85/day

If the death took place at home:

Contact your GP

Contact the mortuary if your GP can’t attest the cause of death

Costs: $200-$250 at a 24-hour clinic

If the death took place overseas:

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Register the death with the authorities in that country

Choose where the funeral service will take place: there or in Singapore

To have the funeral in Singapore, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pick trustworthy undertakers that will connect with your funeral home in Singapore

Costs for your loved one’s repatriation:

Minimum $500 for the funeral home in Singapore

$5,000 – $10,000+ for embalming, travel preparations, and flight cost

Coffin import fee: $17.50

Pro tips:

The cost of repatriation is zero for people with travel insurance.

Not all funeral homes in Singapore repatriate. Here are those that do: All Saints, Casket Fairprice, Direct Funeral Service, Eternal Life, FlyingHome (the repatriation arm of Ang Chin Moh Funeral Directors), SG Funeral Service, Singapore Casket

3. Register The Death

You can register your loved one’s death at:

The Neighbourhood Police Centre/ Posts

The Citizen Services Centre (ICA Building)

Required documents:


Loved one’s ID

Your ID

Costs: $0

4. Obituary

After you register your loved one’s death, you’ll receive the Certificate of Death. You’ll need this certificate to post an obituary in the local papers.

Costs:  $3,500+ depending on the publication

5. Wake And Funeral Service

Planning the wake and funeral depends on several factors:

→ Number of days: between 1-7 days

→ Location:

♦ HDB void deck: cheapest and most convenient option because it’s close to your home; you need a Town Council permit and a supervisor because you can’t lock the place

♦ Private apartment grounds: convenient; require your condo management’s approval and a supervisor

♦ Landed property: require Land Transport Authority permit for using the road; there’s more hassle with parking

♦ Funeral parlour: the most expensive alternative; locked during the night

→ Type of casket:

♦ Metal casket: the most expensive and durable; only used for burial

♦ Wooden coffin: starting at $700 for affordable options like pine, poplar, or veneer

♦ Paper casket: eco-friendly alternative starting at $1,000

→ Type of send-off:

Traditional/ according to your religion

Themed funeral


The cost of a funeral is at least $1,000-$1,300 for a no-frills event. If you add catering, memorial board, karaoke, and outfits, it can reach $24,000.

Non-religious funerals are the cheapest option, whereas a Taoist funeral service is the most expensive.

6. Burial Vs Cremation

Let’s look at your options:

Land Burial

Land burial is available in Singapore in one cemetery at Choa Chu Kang. You can bury your loved one there for 15 years, and once that period is up, the remains have to be reinterred or cremated. That’s why most people who choose land burial do so because of their religion.


→ $315: Muslim, Parsi, Bahai

→ $940: Christian, Chinese, Hindu

Sea Burial

Sea burials allow you to scatter your loved one’s remains in the sea. Once you contact the Port Marine Safety Control Centre, you’ll receive all the information and help you need:

→ Burial spot: 8 km south of Pualu Semakau

→ Burial times: 7 am – 7 pm

Many people choose sea burials because:

They’re the most eco-friendly option

They’re affordable compared to burials or cremations because you’re not paying for urn storage

On the downside, you don’t have a specific place to visit the person who died.


$80-$1,000 depending on the affair’s extent

From $200: scattering tubes

From $175: biodegradable urns from recycled paper and paper clay that float for 20 minutes


You can cremate your loved one at:

Mandai Crematorium

Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery

Tse Toh Aum Temple

The first option is a state crematorium, while the other two are private. You will need:


Columbarium niche

Marble plaque for the niche

If you don’t want a columbarium niche, you can bring your loved one home. However, that means the future generations will have to take care of those remains.


→ $100-$500: cremation

→ From $70: urn

→ $500-$900: government niche

→ $1,100-$5,800: private niche

→ From $1,000: marble plaque

Tree Burial

Tree burial is a new option in Singapore for people who own a garden. You can mix your loved one’s remains with tree or flower seeds that you’ll plant in your garden.

This alternative is very affordable and eco-friendly, but it’s also charged with symbolism. Your loved one’s spirit will always be there, by your side and part of nature’s life cycle.

There’s one major downside to consider:


If you move from your current home, you’ll either need to take your loved ones with you or leave them behind.


The cost of a funeral rises a bit if you choose the keepsake option. For example, you can turn your loved one’s physical body into a diamond or a gemstone locket. Then, you can place this diamond or gemstone in any keepsake you want, such as a locket, ring, or bracelet.


→ From $1,700: eternity gemstone

→ From $4,600: diamond


Arranging Your Affairs Well

Now that you know how much the cost of a funeral can get, you can decide to arrange as much as possible during your lifetime.

Here’s what you can prepare for:

→ Making a will: $300 – $1,200

→ Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in case an illness robs you of your decision-making ability, and so you want to appoint a loved one to take care of these matters for you:

♦ $50-$75: The basic form (LPA1) + witness fees (doctors and lawyers)

♦ $200: The customised LPA2 form if you have specific wants not included in the basic form

→ Advance Medical Directive: $40 (ensures your medical team won’t give you any treatments to prolong your life in case you’re terminally ill or unconscious)


Start Planning EarlyPlanning-Funeral-Services-Singapore-Money-Kinetics

As you can see, the cost of a funeral service in Singapore comes close to $10,000 – and that’s if you choose the most affordable options.

So, it’s always better to be prepared. You can also seek the help of 24-hour licensed moneylenders in Singapore for your funeral costs.

The best thing you can do is start planning for death early to get it out of the way. You can do that for your own event or in case you have elderly parents.

Here are some solutions:

→ Start a savings account. It’s always a practical idea to have some money put aside for emergencies or unplanned events. Compare different high-interest accounts to get the best returns.

→ Invest in government bonds because the interest is much higher than with a savings account. You only need about $500 to start, but you’ll need to put your money aside for at least ten years to see a substantial profit. Or, you can choose to invest in ETFs.

→ Endowment plans are insurance savings plans. An endowment plan is low-risk because your insurance protects you, plus you have more gains than with a savings account. Ask your insurance company about your options.

→ Life insurance: this option covers the funeral service, plus the deceased’s family gets some funds. Read more about life insurance here.

→ Pre-payment: a few funeral homes in Singapore have crafted pre-payment plans for people who want to arrange their funerals and save loved ones from trouble. These plans are similar to loans because your monthly instalments include interest. Fortunately, the tenures are long, usually up to ten years, so the instalments are affordable, around $130.

→ Loan: if your loved one died, you could apply either for a personal loan, an emergency loan, or a funeral loan. Many licensed moneylenders in Singapore tailor unique packages according to your budget and needs. Borrowing from your friends and family is an alternative, but it might cause conflicts. Read about why here.

So, while death is a sobering, heartbreaking event, remember that it’s also part of life.

If you are looking for a loan to handle your funeral costs, let us help. You can get multiple loan quotes in hours with us.