What to do in the hours after death
Death in a hospital, hospice, or rest home
If you were not able to be with your loved one at their death, the people caring for them will let you know they have died.
When someone dies a doctor may certify the death by completing a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. If your loved one has been in medical care, the staff will help you with the Medical Certificate. The certificate needs to be signed before a funeral director can take your loved one into their care. Any concerns you can always call us for advice.
When you’re ready, contact your funeral director. They will organise the transfer of your loved one to their care and will contact you to discuss funeral arrangements.
Death at home
If your loved one dies at home, take as much time as you need to say goodbye before you start making arrangements. There’s no hurry.
- You might like to call a family member or friend to be with you for support.
- When you’re ready, contact your loved one's doctor and ask them to come to confirm that death has occurred and sign the Medical Certificate. Any concerns you can always call us for advice.
- Contact your funeral director so funeral arrangements can begin. If you would like your loved one to stay at home for a while so people can say goodbye, your funeral director will discuss your different options and advise you on caring for their body.
- Tell family, friends, and any palliative carers that looked after your loved one. You may wish to delegate this task.
- Over the next few days, you may also wish to contact the executor of your loved one’s will, their church (if applicable), Work and Income if they were receiving a benefit, IRD, their insurers and their bank, and their utilities (phone, power, gas etc).
ACC Funeral Grant
If your loved one died as the result of an accident or injury, ACC may be able to help with the costs of the funeral and burial/cremation.
An ACC Funeral Grant covers New Zealanders and overseas visitors to New Zealand. The funeral does not have to be in New Zealand.
This grant can also be used towards memorial costs if your loved one's body is not recovered.