What to do When a Death Occurs?

For immediate advice and assistance, call us at 6455 9909 and we will guide you through the entire funeral process. Many people are unfamiliar with the funeral process and what actions to take when their loved one passes on. That is why we have prepared the following article to give you some guidelines on what to do when a death occurs.

Step 1: Engage a Funeral Company

Engage a funeral home to assist you in arranging the funeral. We have also written a guide on how to choose a funeral home to help you in the selection process. When a death occurs in the family, it can be a stressful and confusing time and you may be at a loss for what to do. A funeral company can provide immediate advice and assistance, and the guidance of an experienced funeral director will be a great aid during this challenging period. As soon as you make the first call, a funeral director will advise you through the entire funeral process, such as funeral set-up and organising other administrative tasks.


Step 2: Retrieve the digital death certificate

*With effect from 29 May, all birth and death certificates will be issued digitally, in line with the nation’s efforts to digitalise and streamline documentation processes. Once the medical practitioner certifies the death online, the death will automatically be registered in ICA’s system, and a Digital Death Certificate (eDC) will be immediately generated by the system. There will be no need to register the death at a police post or hospital registration counter.

While waiting for the funeral advisor to arrive, retrieve the death certificate through MyLegacy. Ensure that the medical practitioner has provided you with the information such as the digital death certificate number before downloading the digital certificate. 

Guide to retrieving digital death certificate:

  1. Visit go.gov.sg/mylegacy-edc
  2. Access via the Quick Services Menu and click on “Download death or stillbirth certificate”
  3. Log in via Singpass and prepare the following information:
    1. Date of birth
    2. NRIC / FIN / Passport no. of the deceased
    3. Death certificate number (issued by a medical practitioner)
  4. Select “Death certificate”
  5. Check that your personal information is correct and enter the information prepared above
  6. Information on the death certificate may be subject to change, select “Yes” if you want to be notified of the changes
  7. Click “Submit” once you have checked that all information is correct
  8. Review the information once more and click “Edit” if there are changes to be made
  9. Click the download button to download the death certificate. You may also email the certificate to yourself.


Exceptional Situations
In the event of the following scenarios, the procedure to retrieve the digital death certificate will differ. Do check with your funeral advisor on the process of retrieving the eDC should you face any issues.

ICA / Hospital System Downtime:

  1. The Hospital or General Practitioner will upload Confirmation of Death manually and issue it to the next of kin.

Unable to download the eDC:

  1. Refer to the My Legacy brochure that will be provided by the medical practitioner.
  2. If you are unable to download the eDC, funeral advisors may still proceed with a permit to book burial or cremation slots via NEA’s e-portal using: System Printout (Manual confirmation of Death) issued by Doctor
  3. Try to download eDC again 24 hours later







Step 3: Prepare Items for Funeral Company (if possible)

Prepare a set of clothing, footwear as well as dentures (if any) to be handed to our staff for dressing up your loved one after embalming.


Step 4: Consult with A Funeral Advisor

When it comes to arranging a funeral, there are other important things to consider when arranging a funeral apart from choosing a good funeral home. A funeral wake lets family and friends gather and pay their last respect to the deceased. Families will need to decide on the number of days and location of the wake among other decisions. In Singapore, wakes can last from 1 to 7 days. Depending on different religions and traditions, the number of days for a funeral wake will vary. If the wake extends to more than 7 days after death, written permission will have to be obtained from the NEA.

The location to hold the wake is another aspect to consider. In Singapore, wakes are often held at the deceased’s home or in funeral parlours. For wakes to be held in the void decks of HDB, an application for a permit will have to be made with your local town council to secure your spot for the usage of the void deck. Bring along a copy of the death certificate and a Singapore Power (SP) bill which indicates the address of the void deck.

For families living in landed property, a permit from LTA is necessary if you intend to use part of the road outside our house. At Casket Fairprice, you can be assured to be in good hands. Our funeral advisors will advise you on all funeral matters and answer any questions you may have.


Coroner’s case
A coroner’s case happens in the event of unnatural death or when death occurs without a known cause.

Each coroner’s case will have a Police Investigating Officer (IO) assigned. The IO will interview the family members of the deceased and guide them on the necessary procedures. The police will arrange for the body to be sent to the Mortuary@HSA (located at Block 9 Singapore General Hospital). The police investigation officer (IO) will inform the family when to go to the Mortuary@HSA. Be punctual and bring along both the IC of the deceased and the informant and all relevant medical documents and medicines relating to the deceased.

At the Mortuary@HSA, the police IO will arrange for the family to view and identify the deceased’s body in the presence of the Coroner.

The Coroner will review the case and determine if an autopsy is required. The family will then be informed of the Coroner’s decision and the time to claim the body for the funeral.

After submitting the required documents, the family can claim the deceased’s body and proceed to download the digital death certificate online. 


Depending on the preference of the family, obituaries are optional and may be placed in our local newspapers. Arrangements will be made by the funeral directors.


Burial / Cremation
Our funeral advisors will assist with the booking of the slot for burial or cremation.

In Singapore, due to land constraints, the only cemetery available for burial is Choa Chu Kang Cemetery. Burial period for graves are limited to a time span of 15 years, after which, the graves will be exhumed. Cremation will be carried out for those whose religions permit, and the remains can be stored in columbarium niches or scattered at sea. For those that require compulsory burial, the remains will be re-buried but in smaller individual plots.

For a detailed list of locations for burial, cremation and ash storage, click here.