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.
Who to notify
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.
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
The funeral account
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.
"I just wanted to thank you personally for the patience and care you showed our mum and family at such a sad time. I truly felt supported and was thrilled with the beautiful send-off we shared with mum"
"On behalf of the Mearns family, I wish to convey our grateful thanks to Davis Funeral Services for your most professional and caring service you provided during the recent death of my Wife Shirley"
"I must thank all at Davis Funerals for the professionalism shown to us throughout the whole venture. We were really impressed with the warmth and friendliness shown to us."
The Philson Family
"We so appreciated all the care you took of us over a difficult time. You went above and beyond for us. We felt so well looked after and you made the process so much more personal"