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Funerals

Why is a funeral ceremony valuable? Because LIFE is important!

It’s about: recognition, gratitude, connection, community, memories, celebrating. honouring, family, heartache...

IT’S ABOUT LOVE!

In life there are many rituals or celebrations that mark or remember milestones in our lives and funerals are one of these special occasions. Most cultures throughout the world have their traditions and rituals to celebrate and remember the life of a deceased person. 

The funeral is the first and most important step in coming to terms with the death of someone close, it is ...grief process.

The funeral service itself allows people to share their feelings with family and friends; it is the final opportunity to gather, remember and celebrate a person’s life and to say goodbye. 

 

A meaningful funeral should allow family, friends and community to honour a person’s life. In many instances those present at the funeral only know part of a person’s life – a funeral allows people to see the whole life and the wonderful contribution the person has made to those around them. 

On this page you will find the following:

 

Planning the funeral

Arranging a funeral can be overwhelming, with so many decisions to make in a short period of time and at a time when you least feel like it. 

 

We are here to support and guide you 

As Funeral Directors we will listen carefully and sensitively to your wishes, support and guide you through all aspects of the funeral planning, to ensure that this experience is as stress-free as possible and that the funeral will be a celebration that honours and respects the life of your loved one in a meaningful manner. 

Our services include (but is not limited to):

  • Meeting the family and ascertaining their wishes

  • Transporting the deceased

  • Liaising with the doctor, hospital and coroner as required

  • Registering the death with the authorities

  • Organising newspaper notices

  • Preparing, embalming, dressing and casketing

  • Ensuring cultural and/or ethic customs are observed

  • Arranging and attending the service

  • Providing service sheets/ catering

  • Organising other service requirements such as music, video or live-streaming

  • Liaising with church/ ceremony venue, minister/ celebrant, florist

  • Organising burial or cremation with councils.

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Funeral choices

The many practical arrangements and choices that will need to be done may seem daunting. We will support and guide you through the process. 

Burial 

New Zealand law requires burial in an officially designated cemetery. 

In the past, burial was the most common choice and is still favoured by many. It provides a family with a focal point, a grave to go to where they remember their loved one. Burial involves buying a burial plot, paying an interment fee which covers the cost of digging the grave and maintaining it, and usually buying a memorial or headstone. Fees for plots are set by local councils. 

Natural / Eco burials 

Hamilton Park Cemetery has a natural burial area (Forest Grove) which aims to return the body back to the earth as quickly as would naturally occur. The plot only holds one casket. This area will eventually be restored over time with native trees. 

Cremation 

Provides greater flexibility when choosing a final resting place because there is no restriction to specific places of burial. Ashes can be buried in a cemetery or special memorial area, or they can be scattered somewhere the family or deceased felt appropriate, such as in a garden, at sea, or in a favourite place. 

Burial at sea 

Burial at sea can take place only at specially designated locations off the New Zealand coastline and a special type of casket is required. 

Donating a body for medical science 

If you are interested in this option, it is essential that arrangements are made prior to the death and the medical school’s range of requirements and criteria have been me. 

As an alternative, you may want to be a organ donor. 

For more information or advice please contact Ana-Maria ana@ana-maria.nz or 07 211 4654.

Service choices

Casket 

A wide variety of traditional or contemporary-styled caskets/coffins are available – ornate through to plain and even with personalised designs. A catalogue is available to help with your selection. 

Venue 

Churches are still popular settings for funeral services and they often have reception areas available for friends and family to get together after the service. It may be more appropriate for a funeral service to take place at a sports club, an outdoor location, at home or at a cemetery or cremation chapel. 

Minister or Celebrant 

Clergy or celebrants often lead funeral services. A Celebrant’s fee reflects the time they spend with the family to become familiar with the deceased and prepare and conduct the service. 

Registering the Death

There is a legal requirement to register a death, and your funeral director will organise this. There is a fee payable to the government for issuing a death certificate.

A death certificate is also necessary when applying for funeral grants, closing bank accounts etc.

 

Newspaper Notices

While not compulsory, newspaper notices formally advise the deceased’s friends and community of the death as well as where and when the funeral service will take place.

The funeral director will help families write the funeral notice and organise publication. It is important that friends and the community have the opportunity to say goodbye to the person they cared about.

Newspapers charge on a cost-per-line rate, and this is usually included in the funeral director’s account.

Headstones and Plaques 

This is an additional cost to the funeral. Some families like to have a Headstone/Plaque installed as soon as possible while others like wait for the first anniversary and have an unveiling. 

 

When you are ready to install a memorial headstone, please contact us and we will help you with the process. 
Email: ana@ana-maria.nz or phone direct. 07 211 4654.

Catering

A gathering after the service is opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to get together and share further memories. Churches usually have reception areas for such gatherings. We can also provide details of other suitable venues if a church or chapel is not used for the service. Catering choices are available and we will have options and price lists for you to consider. 

Flowers

The family flowers for the casket and other floral tributes are always popular as an expression of affection for the deceased. 

 

Service Sheets

Printed service sheets usually include a photo of the deceased on the front, words to hymns, songs, verses and information about the service and may have a few other photos.  Our service sheets are professionally designed and printed on quality card.  

 

Remembrance Book 

A Remembrance book is a record of those attending the funeral who have taken the time to pay tribute to your loved one.

 

Music

Music is an important part of a funeral service, a tribute to the deceased.  Options range from organ music to CDs. Most churches usually can offer a resident organist available for a fee.  Other venues mostly offer sound systems for playing music.  If requested, we can also arrange for a soloist, piper, bugler.  

 

Photo Presentation 

A photo presentation can be a meaningful way to share more memories and highlights of a person’s life.  It is a trip down memory lane, and by adding favourite music to the slideshow makes it a memorable occasion.

 

DVD Recording

Some families like to have a video recording of the funeral as a memento or to send to family members who are unable to attend.  The recording can be upload to the internet with a private link enabling family/friends to watch in their own time, this can also be download.

Live Streaming

For family members and friends who are unable to attend the funeral service, live streaming gives them the opportunity view the service live online.

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Funeral costs

When dealing with Funerals and the cost associated with it, it can be challenging to think or talk about. Speak to the Funeral Director about your concerns. 

A funeral should be personalised to meet the needs of your family. This means it can be as big or small as you desire. There are many variables which determine the cost of a funeral. The main variables are whether a person is cremated or buried, the number of people at the funeral, and the type of casket. No two funerals are the same, as the cost depends on choices made. 

Funeral directors incur costs for service and also act as an agent for other suppliers. So, the invoice you receive is really three accounts in one: 

  • The funeral home’s charge for their services 

  • The casket, transport, embalming and any other costs the funeral home provides themselves 

  • Charges for any items paid for by the funeral director when acting as agent for the family (such as flowers, newspaper notices, cemetery or cremation fees, gratuities and catering etc). 

 

We can provide an estimate of costs after your arrangement meeting. These costs can change if your requirements for the funeral change. Usually, the funeral account is sent directly to the executor / family member with the official Death Certificate and a copy to the solicitor, if required. 

Methods of Payment 

In line with normal commercial practice the funeral director requires you to pay by the due date which is about 28 days from the date of the funeral. Because of the costs incurred by the funeral director to external providers at the time of arrangement, prompt payments of the account by the due date is very much appreciated. When the settlement of an estate is delayed, families should pay the account by the due date and recover expenses from the estate. A finance charge can be incurred if the invoice is not paid by the due date. 

WINZ Funeral Grant

$2093.31

Find out more by visiting: www.workandincome.govt.nz 

Some people are eligible to receive a grant towards costs. The grant is income and asset tested and does not cover the entire cost of the funeral. You will need to apply to WINZ by completing an application form and provide: 

• A Death Certificate 

• Funeral invoice 

• Proof of assets as at the date of death 

• Proof of income 

• Identification for yourself.

ACC Funeral Grant

$6151.77

FInd out more by visiting: www.acc.govt.nz 

If a death is a result of an accident then an application to ACC can be lodged with them for a grant towards funeral costs. This also applies to NZ residents on a short trip overseas and visitors to NZ. Additional financial assistant is available for the surviving spouse and dependent children. 

Applications forms can be provided by the funeral director. 

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Probate and wills

Probate is a court order recognising a will as authentic and confirms that the executor has the legal authority to deal with the deceased's estate. Usually the executor is the person who must organise the funeral etc. ... Once probate has been granted, the will becomes a public record which anyone can search for and view. 

When a person dies they may own assets and property such as a house, land, investments, bank accounts, car, household items (for example furniture, paintings, books). The deceased person’s assets and property are known as their ‘estate’. 

 

Pre-planning your funeral

Is there really a need for a funeral ceremony? Like any ritual or ceremony in life, funerals are no different. Funerals are an important time for family and friends to gather, share memories, honour and show respect for the life lived. To say goodbye and support one another is an important part of the grieving process. It is a time of saying ‘this life mattered—this person made an impact on us.’ 

While we don’t like thinking about it, more and more people are pre-arranging their own funerals. Pre-planning your funeral means recording your wishes to ensure your requests will be carried out when the time comes and to relieve the family of some of the stress at a very emotional time. This brings relief and peace of mind not only to you but to the family knowing that arrangements have been made. A record of your wishes can be kept in a confidential file at the funeral home, it is important that family are aware of this. Remember the needs of the bereaved when planning a funeral. 

Whether you are planning your own funeral or someone else’s, please try to think about what might be best for the people who will be grieving. For you, a grave or memorial site might not be important, but for someone else who goes about grieving differently it may be. Rituals of fare-well and connection are not as important for some but essential for others. 

If your first thought is “why bother with all the fuss or expense” check that others feel the same before making a decision. Allowing family, friends and the community to gather, remember and celebrate your life is an important part of the grieving journey. 

Pre-paid funerals

For many people, pre-planning and pre-paying a funeral may go hand in hand. This provides peace of mind that money is set aside for the funeral and that this financial responsibility will not fall onto anyone else. 

Pre-paid funerals up to $10,000 are currently excluded from asset testing (under government legislation) when assessing eligibility for a subsi-dy for long term residential care for the elderly. 

FDANZ Funeral Trust has been specifically designed to allow you to plan and make payments for your funeral. 

We can also recommend other secure providers who hold the funds in trust until needed. 

For more information or advice please contact Ana-Maria ana@ana-maria.nz or 07 211 4654. 

 

'My Life, My Farewell' kits

The ‘My Life, My Funeral’ is a kit which helps people plan their own funeral. The kit has been developed through the wide collective experience of members of the FDANZ. 

The kit enables you to record your personal information as required by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Having these details pre-filled will be a great help to those finalising your funeral arrangements. 

The second part of the kit prompts you to record the details of those who should be notified of your death - friends, clubs, associations, service providers, professionals etc. 

The final part of the kit helps you record your preferences for your funeral arrangements, including things you might not want. There are prompts to assist you and there is space at the end for any other special instructions you may have. 

The completed personal profile in the back of the booklet can be returned to the Funeral Director who will keep it on record.

 

You can obtain a free kit from Ana-Maria who will also be pleased to discuss with you any matters about preplanning or prepaying a funeral. Contact: ana@ana-maria.nz or 07 211 4654 

The most important thing to remember, is that no matter how you record your wishes, you need to inform your next of kin or someone close where this information is kept. 

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