Who do I contact to arrange a funeral?
A member of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ) can assist you. FDANZ members are professionals who are committed to ensuring that the families they serve are receiving high quality service. FDANZ members arrange and direct over 80% of all funerals in New Zealand and you can be assured of their caring professionalism. Please see their website for further information. Check with the executor of the Will first as there may be burial or cremation instructions in the Will.
What if the deceased person was an ex-service person?
When an ex service person has died, the family can request an RSA member to attend the service. Usually the RSA member will say a few words about the deceased and talk about their time in the military service.
When should we hold the funeral?
When to hold the funeral is entirely up to you. Some people believe three days after death is the correct timing; however, legally there is no set time. When family and friends live overseas it is not uncommon for a funeral to be held five to seven days after death.
Who pays for the funeral?
The deceased's estate generally pays for any funeral expenses.In many cases though, there may be insufficient funds and family members will have to contribute financially. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the person who makes the funeral arrangements and signs the paper work to pay for the funeral.
You can apply for a funeral grant through Work and Income New Zealand. It is not designed to cover the entire funeral and is income and asset tested. Note: this is only available if the deceased was a NZ citizen or permanent resident and living in New Zealand at the time of their death.
If the death occured from a personal injury covered by the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Act 2011, funeral costs to a certain amount will be paid by ACC. A form needs to be completed and can be downloaded from ACC or you can call the Accidental Death Unit on 0800 222 075 for further information.
How much do funerals cost?
According to Citizens Advice Bureau, the average cost of a funeral is $8,000 - $10,000. Some of the costs associated with a funeral are:
- The burial plot or cremation fees;
- The coffin or urn;
- Transporting the body, including hearse fees;
- Venue fees for the church or funeral home;
- Paying the celebrant or minister;
- Catering for the reception afterwards;
- Presentation e.g. audio-visual equipment for videos, slide shows or audio presentations;
- Newspaper notices to inform friends and family;
- Printing costs for service programmes;
- Death certificate; and
By having a Funeral Trust in place, you can ensure that the costs of a funeral are covered.