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'We try to meet clients' needs'

It could be a limousine hearse or a request for a video montage to be screened at the end of a cremation.

Some may even personalise a wake, right down to the colour scheme and flowers to be used, said Mr Ang Zi Sheng, a funeral director with Ang Chin Moh Casket.

The 27-year-old said: "If the deceased was a carpenter, family members would have specific requests for the type of wood used for the coffin. You will always see such customers.

"We try our best to meet those requirements."

This is the kind of service that several funeral service providers are rendering after the industry went through an image overhaul several years ago.

Mr Ang said the increased demand in such services is a result of a more discerning consumer group.

"They are more tech-savvy and read about such funeral services online. They are also more open to new services and will consider them if they are within budget," he said.

"Perhaps it's a comforting assurance to the family that their loved one is in good hands and will have a dignified departure."

Mr Victor Hoo of Singapore Funeral Services Care attributed the popularity in his premium packages to the presence of nuclear families today.

FUSS-FREE

His premium packages offer a fuss-free solution, with butlers tending to guests at a wake so families can concentrate on the rituals. They also offer limousine hearses for a send-off that is "dignified, yet not flashy".

Coffee machines are popular with the young, Mr Hoo added.

"They are already drinking coffee at Starbucks, so they may feel that a coffee machine is necessary," he said.

Mr Hoo said he decided to offer such more elaborate packages after a client asked him: "Why did you treat my mother like goods and put her on a... truck?"

"That was when I realised the importance of a send-off that is 'dignified without compromise', which is now our company motto," he said.