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frequently asked questions

What do I do when a loved one dies?

Just phone us and we will guide you with the next steps which will likely include arranging the transfer from the place of death and making a time to meet with you to arrange the funeral. Of course we will take time to answer any questions you have and work through anything specific to your circumstances.

What do I do if a death occurs late at night?

Our phone is answered 24/7 and we always have members of our team available to assist you at short notice. If the death happens at night you are welcome to phone and we will work through the next steps with you. Depending on where the death has occurred we might need to swing into immediate action for you or it might be perfectly ok to wait until morning.

What happens if my loved one dies away from home?

If the death has occured in another city or overseas we can arrange to bring your loved one home. At the time we will talk you through the process, but in most instances we will engage another funeral home to organise things at their end and liaise with them to make the necessary arrangements.

What information do I need to supply when a loved one dies?

We will ask you a variety of questions in the course of arranging the funeral. Most of these questions are simple and easy to answer. For example, where will the service take place, who will officiate, will it be burial or cremation. If you have a copy of the Birth and Marriage Certificate of the deceased easily available then these can be handy in gathering the information required to register the death. It can also be helpful to know who your Solicitor is and who the Executor(s) of the Will are.

Why do I need to get a doctor involved? Do I organise that?

The doctor is responsible for issuing the documentation that is required before a cremation or burial can take place. The doctor also gives the official cause of death. If the doctor is unable to sign the paperwork then the death is referred to the Coroner who will order a post mortem to take place and after following the Coronial Process issue the cause of death. We usually take care of liasing with the doctor and arrange the documentation for you.

Can I view the body?

Yes of course, once our preparations including embalming, dressing and casketing have happened you are most welcome to come and view the body. Viewing can take place in one of our funeral homes or the casket can be taken to your home, marae or church for viewing.

Is embalming necessary?

No, but in our opinion it is highly recommended. Embalming is a medical process that sanitizes and preserves the deceased delaying the unpleasant effects of decomposition. Embalming enhances the viewing experience and allows us to present the deceased in the best way possible. It also allows viewing to take place in the days leading up to the funeral without having to worry about refrigeration or some other method of keeping the body cool and in good condition.

What is repatriation?

Repatriation is simply the process of relocating someone that has died in another town, city or country back home or sending someone back to their home location for the funeral. Over the years we have sent many people across New Zealand and across the world.

Do you accommodate religious practices?

Yes, if you wish to hold the funeral in your church or have special traditions you need to follow we are very happy to make that happen. We have done many funerals for many different faith groups and pride ourselves on making things happen just the way you want them to.

What facilities do you offer?

We offer the full range or services and have Chapels and Reception Lounges conveniently located in Albany, Birkenhead and Hibiscus Coast. For more information follow this link

Can I pick my own Funeral Director?

Yes, if you have a favourite member of our team and would like them to look after you we can make that happen.

How long do I have to wait to have the funeral service?

When the service is held is up to you. Traditionally 3-4 days after death is usual but it’s not unusual to extend out to 5-6 days or longer if people need to travel from overseas. Extra time can be helpful when there are lots of elements to a service such as photo tributes and service sheets.

Who runs the funeral service?

Unlike a wedding, there are no legal requirements on who can officiate at the funeral service but most families would choose a Celebrant or Minister. If you don’t have your own person we can arrange someone for you and will do our best to match you with someone that is a good fit.

What type of Service should I have?

A beautiful funeral is one that reflects the unique character of the person that has died, so make sure their personality is reflected in whatever you decide to do. If they attended church each Sunday it makes sense to hold the service in their church. If they liked adventure and the outdoors be sure to share inspiring stories and maybe have the funeral outside. If they were an artist you could display their art. Whatever you can imagine we’d love to help you make it happen.

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral depends on the options you select. For more information follow this link.

Is there funeral assistance?

A Funeral Grant is available through Work and Income. It is means tested and is applied for directly with WINZ. The amount of the grant is currently $2128.10.

Other sources for financial assistance are ACC for accidental death and Veterans Affairs for eligible veterans.

How long after the funeral do I need to settle the account?

Our invoice is due for payment within 28 days from the date of the funeral.

What happens if their accounts are frozen, how can I arrange payment?

You need to work through the process of getting probate granted so that estate funds can be released to pay for the funeral. If there is a delay please talk to us to work through your options.

Should I bury my loved one with new clothes or their favourite outfit?

The deceased can be dressed in whatever you choose and it is common to pick a favourite outfit.

How do I arrange a burial plot at the cemetery?

We will arrange this for you as part of making the funeral arrangements. In most cases we will make a time to meet at the cemetery and you can select the plot from the options available.

Where can I purchase a headstone?

We can arrange any memorial requirements you may have through our monumental agency North Shore Memorial. For more information follow this link.

Can I watch the cremation?

Yes. We have a viewing room in our crematorium and you’re welcome to witness the cremation.