Following a death, many people are unsure how to proceed. The information below may help guide you.

At home

When someone dies at home, you should contact their doctor as soon as possible. The deceased’s doctor will arrange for a interim death certificate to be issued if they are satisfied as to the cause of death.

If the doctor is unsure of the cause of death, then the coroner will be notified and the police may assist if an investigation is required.

You will also need to notify family, who can provide emotional support and practical help – such as assisting you to find a funeral director. This should be your next step.

The funeral director’s role is to assume responsibility for the deceased and arrange for their transfer to a funeral home.

Once transfer into their care is organised, the director will assist the family to begin making preparations for the funeral.

In hospital or nursing homes

When a loved one dies in hospital or in residential care, the staff will contact the immediate family. They will also take care of the medical formalities and may assist you in selecting and contacting a funeral director.

The funeral director will arrange for the transfer of the deceased to a funeral home.

If you have decided on cremation, you should advise the nursing staff, as the doctor will need to prepare additional paperwork.

The Coroner

When a death is unexpected or the death certificate is delayed, the Coroner may need to provide a report. If this happens, contact your funeral director who can advise you on how to proceed.

The Funeral Director

Your funeral director will be able to assist you in all aspects of care and assistance following the death of your loved one.

You will need to provide the following details:

  • Date of birth / Place of birth / Occupation
  • Number of years in NZ (if not born here)
  • Marriage details
  • Children’s ages
  • Mother’s and father’s details
  • Doctor’s name
  • Solicitor’s name and address

You will also need to supply clothes you wish the deceased to be buried/cremated in. A recent photograph may also be useful for grooming purposes.