Part 2: Taboo Or No Longer? A Discussion On Death

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure” – J.K. Rowling


We have previously discussed the steps that should be taken in the course of organising your affairs. But handling the morbid event itself when the day comes may not be as easy as we think it to be. Panic and alarm are absolutely normal reactions when you receive sudden news of a loved one’s passing. Here are some basic guidelines about the process of handling death when it arrives on your doorstep.

If you are faced with the situation of being the first respondent to the natural death of a loved one, the first thing you should do is stay calm and not touch the body, and then move on to call the emergency hotline. The police will be dispatched to the address given to record the death, along with a doctor to examine the body and ascertain the cause of death. The police will direct the procedures thereafter. Alternatively, if you have the number of your regular hospital or family doctor, you may also call them for assistance. You will be given a copy of the death registration form from the police or doctor who responded to your call, which you will later need while applying for the official death certificate from the National Registration Department.

Some people may have already chosen their preferred religious rites with regards to their departure from the mortal plane, such as choosing the church where they would like their body to be placed for the Vigil. Perhaps they would like to be buried in their favourite outfit, or have the person most important to them give a eulogy at their funeral. I once had a client who lived alone, and pinned to the door of her refrigerator was a list of all her post-mortem wishes, which contained the number of the pastor at the church she frequented and her fervent wish that he perform the funeral ceremonies for her. Such final requests are hardly uncommon, and if possible should always be complied with out of respect for the deceased.

Most of us may associate death with funerals, which have always been regarded as sombre affairs for the living, not the dead. Funerals are where people gather to honour the passing of a loved one, reminiscing about all the memories they’d shared with the newly departed, while sharing the grief with others going through the same emotional rollercoaster. It is usual to engage the services of a funeral coordinator where the people in charge are extremely experienced and well-equipped to handle everything. Here at Heritance Wills International, our exemplary service is something we take great pride in – we have professional coordinators on speed dial for clients who seek such assistance during times of grief. Our scope of services goes beyond estate planning; we are one call away for all these matters that you (fortunately) would not deal with on a regular basis, ever ready to lend a helping hand.

When it comes to the passing of a loved one, perhaps the most crucial thing to remember is that it is perfectly fine to lean on those willing to offer their help and support at difficult times like this. Physically or mentally, it will never be easy for you to try and wade through grief alone. Seeking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Let us offer our condolences and our assistance – we are here for you.

Get in touch today for a complimentary consultation to:  

  • assist your surviving spouse & family to carry out your last wishes; and
  • minimise stress in your bereavement rites and estate execution.  
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About the author

Ms. Kim Khoo

P.J.K, C.L.P., LL.B (Hons) London
Principal Legal Consultant