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If your loved one has passed away, here’s what you need to do

Although there are some things you need to do and consider after your loved one has passed away, be kind to yourself – there’s no rush. Our funeral directors can talk you through everything that needs to be done.

Certain people need to know if your loved one has passed away. After family and friends, the most important ones are:

  • The executor of the will.
  • Your loved one’s solicitor or accountant.
  • The bank.

However, plenty can be left until you’re ready to make these phone calls. There’s a helpful list in our planning brochure of the people and places you may need to contact. Keep a note of everyone you’ve contacted to remind yourself in the future of who you’ve told.

Probate is how a will is recognised by the court as being authentic. It’s necessary for the executors of the will to obtain probate from the court so that they can deal with their loved one’s assets (and liabilities) and share the estate as set out in their loved one’s will.

Probate is granted by the Registrar of the High Court once they’ve received an application from the executors. It sets out things like establishing that it was the maker of the will who died, that the will was properly signed and witnessed and that executors have been appointed.

During the time probate takes to complete, your loved one’s assets may be frozen. To make this simple for you, your solicitor usually applies for probate on your behalf.

Have a think about whether your loved one’s jewellery should be left with them or safely kept in our care for you and your family. We can discuss this when we first meet.

If you wish to keep it, we’ll keep it securely in our safe for you to collect.

Or you can ask your funeral director to bring it on the day of the funeral, so it can be returned to you then.

Deciding what to do with your loved one’s ashes can be difficult, and we’ll discuss it when we first meet. But if you can’t decide, the ashes will be returned to our office within one week of the funeral for you to pick up. You can discuss your wishes with your funeral director. The options for your loved one’s ashes are usually:

  • Interment in any existing grave with family connections.
  • Return to you for scattering at a place of your choice.
  • Interment in the Ashes Berm section of a cemetery.
  • Place in a Columbian Niche Wall at a crematorium.
  • Scatter at the crematorium (with an optional entry in the Book of Remembrance).

There are different sources available to financially help you with your loved one’s funeral. These include:

  • Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ)’s funeral grant that may be available if you cannot pay all the funeral costs. It’s asset tested and currently pays a maximum of $2,008.76*.
  • Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)’s funeral grant of $6,021.11* for deaths that happened due to an accident or medical misadventure.
  • Your loved one’s insurance policy may include help with funeral costs – check with their insurance company.

Your funeral director can guide you through the process to apply for the WINZ and ACC grants, although unfortunately, you can’t claim a funeral grant from both of them.

*This amount is subject to change

We can help ease the financial worry of a funeral by giving you an estimate of how much your loved one’s funeral will cost.

So you’re aware, we send the funeral account two weeks from the date of death, with payment due within four weeks of invoice.

It’s just one invoice, so even if you choose to work with our external suppliers, like caterers, it’ll all be included on our invoice. This makes it really simple to see upfront the total cost.

Our Authority Form [Link to form] has more details about our policy on account payment. This form is signed by the person giving instructions at the time of the funeral arrangement.

Helping navigate
tough moments


“Irene, words are not enough to express our heartfelt gratitude. I don’t know how I could have got through this without Davis’ love, care and expertise. The day was perfect.”

Alison Morgan

West Auckland

“I just wanted to say again how much I appreciated your care of Bob and the family at the funeral on Friday. Martin, your care and the way you dealt with us was appreciated.”

Paul Holmes

Mt Eden

“At times of grief it’s reassuring to have a great company looking after you, and we really appreciate Davis and in particular your invaluable help Shane – thanks!”

Ange Foote

“Thanks again Dani for your wonderful support, understanding and efficiency in making it a special send off for dad.”

Lynne Robertson

“Thank you to everyone at Davis Funerals. Wayne’s service was amazing, we had 300 people in the Panmure Yacht Club. So many people commented on the ashes in the scatter tubes and the service sheets.”

Liz Fong

“Thank you for the amazing people you have working at Davis Funeral parlour. I’m so grateful for everything that was done for Keith. I would recommend Davis Funeral parlour to all my Whanau and friends.”

Melanie Harvey

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you again for making Betty’s funeral so kind, warm and special. You made what is a sad occasion better in every possible way. I cannot thank you enough.”

Christine Hazleman

“As family of the deceased we only get one chance to do things right and the importance of trust in the funeral director to guide us in the right direction is paramount. Our grateful thanks to Shane.”