When someone dies

Three Simple Steps

The following is designed to guide you through the initial stages when someone dies, from the time the death occurs until we meet with you. Of all the suggestions we make, the most important thing to remember is that help is only a phone call away and we have people available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to respond to your needs and guide you through the funeral process.


Step One: Contact the next of kin and family members.
Being with those closest to you following a death provides a valuable support network. It is also helpful to start working out when all those to be involved in making the funeral arrangement can be together, especially when different family members are out of town, or immediately unavailable.


Step Two: Contact the family doctor or attending physician to advise of the death.
The doctor is responsible for issuing documentation required before a cremation or burial can take place. In the course of arranging the funeral we will obtain these documents from the doctor for you. In some situations they are unable to issue these forms and the Coroner will need to be involved. If the death has occurred in a hospital or nursing home the duty nurse or other staff member will often do this task for you.


Step Three: Phone Eagars’ Funeral Services.

New Plymouth:  06 759 2200 | Stratford:  06 765 7859


It’s amazing how much difference one call can make.
Firstly, we’ll answer any questions you have. Then we’ll do things like organising the transfer from the place where the death has occurred, and arrange a time and place to meet with you and those to be involved in making the funeral arrangements.

Before We Meet With You

Here are some helpful things you might like to do or consider before we meet with you.


Start thinking about the funeral.

We will ask you to make a number of decisions in a short space of time when arranging the funeral, all at a time when you are stressed and vulnerable. If you’ve had a chance to think about and maybe as a family discuss you may find the process easier and less pressured. Apart from a few legal requirements there are no real rules for contemporary funerals, and a lot of what happens depends on personal choice. It is often easier if you have thought ahead. Hence, you might consider the following:

1. Where and when will the service be?
2. The type of service – public or private, traditional or contemporary?
3. Will there be refreshments?
4. Who will officiate – celebrant or minister?
5. Does anyone wish to view the deceased?
6. Does anyone have any special requests?

Activities like finding clothing for dressing the deceased, or photographs for service sheets or DVD tributes, or starting to word a notice for the newspaper could also be started before we arrive, if you feel up to it. These tasks can also be easily delegated to those wanting to help, but not knowing how to.


Locate Registration Information

When meeting with you we will seek information to register the death with Births, Deaths and Marriages, a legal requirement for all funerals.
The Marriage or Birth Certificates are useful documents for this purpose.


Put Your Feet Up

The funeral process is exhausting and chances are you will already be tired and stressed, especially if you have been involved in care-giving activities during the final stages of life. With any of the suggestions we have made, only do what you feel you can cope with. We are here to take care of everything for you, and will step you through and support you in this process.