Help & Advice

The passing of a loved one is a difficult time. The care, support and understanding from our team can make all the difference.

In this section we provide help and guidance on funeral service related topics.

Making funeral arrangements while you’re dealing with grief can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming process, especially when dealing with the legal requirements that need to be addressed when a death has occurred.

The team at Distinct are here for you. We will take care of the entire process and make sure the wishes of you and your loved one are fulfilled.

Green Suburb

Someone has just passed away

The passing of a loved one is a difficult time. It is important that you slow down and take time to process your emotions.


Call someone to let them know what's happened and let them know if you need help.

After doing this, you should call your loved one’s doctor. If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing home, the staff there will do this for you.

Once the doctor has visited, you will need to contact a funeral home to arrange the transfer of the deceased into their care.

Distinct is here for you to take care of everything. Call us on 03 218 9468

Who to notify

To start, family and friends of the deceased should be notified.


It can help to have a trusted family member or friend act as the point of contact for all these people.

  • Next of kin and family members.

  • Solicitor or Executor of the will.

  • Funeral Home.


At Home

If your loved one passes at home you need to inform the doctor as soon as possible so a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death can be issued. A certified nurse practitioner is allowed to do this as well.


If your family member is at home under professional care, from a nurse or registered palliative caregiver, they will arrange the paperwork with the doctor when the death occurs.

In a care institution

When someone dies in a hospital, rest home or hospice, the next of kin is informed.


The staff will ensure that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and Application for Cremation form (if applicable) will be done. We would recommend that your funeral home be notified as soon as you get advised of the death.


When a death cannot be confirmed, is sudden or accidental, the police will be notified immediately. They will then arrange for the person who has died to be transferred to the coroners mortuary.

Once the coroner has completed the examination, they will notify us so we can take your loved into our care.

Distinct Funerals liaise with the coroner on your behalf while planning the funeral service


Who is responsible for a funeral?

In most cases the Executor named in the will, family members or friends arrange a funeral together with a funeral director.


While not essential, many people prefer to use a funeral director to relieve them from the burden of the many decisions that have to be made at such a difficult time.


Funeral directors are professionals who assist families from the moment a death occurs until well after services are completed.

What is an Executor?

An Executor is a person named in a Will or appointed by a court to finalise a deceased person's financial affairs.

When someone passes away the Executor should be notified as soon as possible. It is advisable that an Executor get professional advice or assistance, if only to determine their rights and responsibilities in the matter.

The Executor takes care of all the property, paying any bills and taxes, and seeing to it that assets are transferred to their new, rightful owners. If probate court proceedings are required, the Executor must handle them or hire a lawyer to do it.

If a Will cannot be located, the role of the Executor usually rests with the next-of-kin, who should seek professional advice before attempting to finalise matters.


Financing a funeral

Who is responsible for paying for a funeral?

If you arrange a funeral, you’re responsible for ensuring payment of the expense. This is why it’s best to first check where the money will be coming from and whether there will be enough to cover the relevant expenses.


Where there’s an estate, the funeral expenses may be paid from the deceased’s estate. Sometimes banks will allow payment of the funeral expenses from the bank account of the deceased person before probate of the Will is granted.


Depending on individual circumstances, some funeral expenses may be covered by:


• Life insurance benefits

• Death benefits from ACC or Veterans Affairs

• Pre-paid funeral plan, bond or insurance

• Health fund benefits

• Superannuation payout

• Workers compensation.

We understand that funeral expenses are often unplanned and unexpected, and payment can potentially present difficulties.


We encourage families to discuss any relevant financial circumstances with us during the planning stage.  This means we can craft a funeral that meets your preferences and does not result in any financial hardship.


The first step to planing a funeral is to contact your funeral home.


They will walk you through all the steps and decisions that need to be made whilst making sure the wishes of your loved one are followed.

The cost of a funeral will vary depending on what you want from the funeral service, and your decisions about things such as:

  • Whether a burial or cremation is preferred.

  • The type of funeral services required (whether there will be a memorial service after the funeral, whether the funeral is large or small, the location, the different service providers chosen etc.).

  • Type of coffin or casket – Coffins and caskets come in a variety of materials and the costs vary greatly depending on your selection.

  • If a burial service, then the cost of a burial plot for a grave, or in some cases a mausoleum or family vault is used. New Zealand law requires that all burial is in official designated cemeteries or urupa.

  • Cremation offers further options for a final resting place as ashes can be scattered, buried, kept or divided amongst family members.

  • Fees paid to other professionals for services provided as arranged by our funeral directors, such as opening and closing the grave, paid newspaper notices, honorarium for clergy, florists etc.


At Distinct Funerals we work with families to provide services that fulfil the wishes of you and your loved one.


The funeral service

On the day of the funeral service, your Distinct funeral director and colleagues will be with you every step of the way.


Our team will ensure everything is taken care of, so that you can focus on your loved ones.

We provide a calm, gentle presence with our funeral directors attending to every detail. You can be assured that we will look after you and make sure the funeral service runs exactly as planned so that you can focus on the service, your family and guests.


Beyond the funeral process

Distinct Funerals offer support after the funeral service has finished to ensure that you get as much information as possible so that the healing process can begin.

It is common to arrange a memorial after the funeral service.


If you arranged a burial service then part of the arrangements would have been deciding on a burial plot and the type of burial memorial you wanted.


If you arranged a cremation service then you may choose between a range of options for memorialising the ashes.

Our team are here for you during this time.