When a loved one passes away it can be a sad time and very confusing time. Beth Shan Funerals can help you through this period and advise and assist you to help make the funeral arrangements stress-free.
Below are some steps to take.
Whether a death occurs in a hospital, rest home or at a private residence a doctor needs to certify the death by completing a Medical Certificate of Causes of Death.
If a loved one has passed away in a hospital or rest home, the staff will be able to assist with the medical details, however you will need to make contact with the funeral provider of your choice.
If someone passes away at home then the following steps should be taken:
- Contact the deceased’s doctor so that they can officially verify that a death has occurred. Make sure to check that they will also be the doctor to sign the Death Certificate.
- Contact a funeral director of your choice so that the funeral arrangements can begin. The funeral director will be able to organise the transfer of the body and all relevant details.
- Family members and friends will need to be notified as will any palliative care teams that have been involved with the deceased.
If death has occurred as the result of an accident, or was unexpected then the Police and the Coroner will need to be involved.
The family is under no obligation to use the funeral provider contracted for the original transfer of the deceased.
It is important that you choose the funeral ceremony that is right for you and your family. There is an increasing trend to make the funeral a special celebration of someone’s life, and the ceremony or service is becoming much more personalised and individual.
Beth Shan Funerals will guide you through the choices available, and can take care of all or as many of the details as you wish.
Our caring team of professionals can liaise with clergy and celebrants, doctors, hospitals, government departments, coroners and other officials, crematoriums and cemetery authorities on your behalf.
We can also arrange music and a musician including an organist, place notices in the newspapers, provide vehicles, order family flowers, organise the audio or video/DVD recording of the service, arrange the placement of ashes and memorials, or whatever else you may require.
Making the right choices:
Beth Shan Funerals can explain the choices available:
- The different types of ceremony, religious or otherwise
- The best location for the service – a church or chapel, at home, at the graveside or crematorium
- Who should officiate – a priest, minister, celebrant or family members
- Whether you want to view the deceased, and where the viewing will take place
- Whether you want to have a burial or cremation
- Whether you want flowers or charitable donations
- The most appropriate funeral notice
- Casket selection
- The order of service, the choice of music and hymns
- The venue for a post-funeral gathering and how to arrange it
Taking care of the details:
Once the choices are made, it is your decision as to how involved Beth Shan’s professional and experienced staff are with the arrangements.
We can take care of the following details:
- The registration of death and necessary documentation
- Contacting appropriate burial or cremation authorities, as well as contacting the doctor, coroner or hospital and collection of certificates
- Arranging national or international transportation or repatriation within New Zealand or any other country
- Liaising with clergy or funeral celebrants, assisting with the service and organising funeral details
- The provision and preparation of the casket, which you can select from our modern showroom
Download our Funeral Checklist: click here
Sometimes the deceased will have pre-planned their funeral, and their wishes are usually followed. If they have not left any instructions then it is up to the family to decide whether there is a burial or a cremation.
Burial provides a special place where family can visit and remember the deceased. Burial involves buying a plot and paying an interment fee which covers the cost of digging the grave, and usually the purchase of a memorial or headstone.
In New Zealand burials are limited by law to official cemeteries or traditional burial grounds.
With cremation there is no restriction on specific burial places.
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. A memorial or plaque is often chosen to provide a focal point for family and friends.
After the cremation process, the deceased’s ashes may be uplifted from Beth Shan, normally within 48 hours.
The purpose of embalming is to ensure the sanitation and preservation during the lead up to the funeral. It can also ensure a more natural appearance of your loved one.
If the funeral is delayed for some reason, or if the deceased has to be transferred to another city or country, embalming is mandatory. The staff at Beth Shan Funerals can discuss your individual situation with you and help you make the right choice.
We have experienced staff who will carry out the embalming process and, at all times the deceased will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity.
Embalming is a skilled process and should only be performed by trained practitioners. To find out more please contact one of our helpful staff.
To assist families bereavement, Beth Shan Funerals can provide a funeral to suit your needs and your financial circumstances.
The cost of a funeral varies depending on the choice of items such as the casket, flowers, newspaper notices, cemetery or cremation fees, and catering.
Beth Shan Funerals charge for professional services in arranging the funeral, the use of hearses and other cars, mortuary care and any additional services provided.
We will always provide a written estimate and we can advise on a range of assistance available for families requiring help with funeral costs. Advice can also be given on closing bank accounts and on application for funeral grants.
Below are some of the details which will need to be considered:
- Professional Service Fee
- Transfer into our Care
- Embalming / Mortuary Care
- Casket Choice
- Hearse Hire
- Celebrant / Minister / Priest
- Chapel / Venue Hire
- Reception Venue Hire & Catering
- Service Sheets
- Casket Floral Tribute
- Committal & Venue Flowers
- Newspaper Notices
- Cremation Fees
- Ash Urn
- Ash Interment
- Cemetery Fees
- Grave Marker
- Cremation Permit / and or Doctor’s Fee
- New Zealand Death Certificate
- Monuments / Plaques
- Memorial Books
- Funeral Service Recording
- Photo Tribute Production DVD
Please feel free to discuss your budget with us. We are more than happy to provide a free no obligation quote. Please call us or click here.
When a death occurs, bank accounts in the name of the deceased are frozen and, in some cases, cannot be accessed until after probate is granted. To ensure ongoing access by a partner, it is advisable for the bank accounts to be in joint names.
When settlement of an estate is delayed by lack of Probate, families should pay the funeral account by the due date and recover the funds from the estate when it is settled.
Most funeral firms send the account directly to the family and, if required, will send a copy to the solicitor.
The person making the arrangements with the funeral director remains responsible for paying the account.
We will always sit down and discuss the Estimate of Financial Details. This includes receiving instructions concerning funeral arrangements:
- Personal care and attention of deceased.
- Embalming/mortuary care.
- Obtaining death certificate from Doctor and preparing necessary documentation.
- Attending to registration of death.
- Provision of funeral home facilities and services.
- Further transfers, after hours fees, paying disbursements.
- Conducting other services in accordance with instructions.
The account will be dated the day of the funeral and will be posted within approximately seven (7) days after the funeral service. An Administration Fee is charged on all accounts, but if the account is paid within 21 days from the invoice date this will be deducted.
Unless specific arrangements have been made, the due date for full payment is 28 days from invoice date. If the invoice has not paid after 28 days this account becomes overdue and there will be penalties charged for late payment.
Every day our funeral directors offer care and compassion to people at a difficult time in their lives. We understand that dealing with the loss of a loved one can be one of the hardest things someone will ever experience, which is why it is so important to be given the opportunity, the time and the support to grieve.
Funerals play a very important role in helping us to cope with our grief. They are for the living – they provide us with an opportunity to say our goodbyes, to be with people to give and receive support and to reflect and share the memories of the life of someone we have lost that mattered to us.
When someone we love dies, the funeral is not for them, it’s about them. The funeral is for everyone who knew, loved and was connected to that person.
At Beth Shan Funerals we have helped many families to ensure the farewell for a loved one is a true reflection of who the person was and what they meant to others. This can be represented in many different ways and can include personal touches, wishes, a special colour, music, a theme or holding the service in a special place. Whatever it means to you, the farewell you create provides a meaningful, relevant, unique and special way to say your goodbye.
Importantly, funerals are about good grief – they help to get the grief moving so that it doesn’t get stuck inside.
Researchers and psychologists are very clear in their message about funerals and grief; participating in a funeral helps to counter the initial effects of grief like shock, numbness and disbelief. Funerals underpin a necessary part of grieving as they reinforce the reality that the death has actually happened.
We need to allow our grief to surface, and a funeral provides a safe and appropriate place to show and share our feelings with others, which set the foundation for ‘good grief’ or healthy grieving. The funeral allows us to be real about how we feel and can help us say; “Thank you.” “I love you.” “I’m lonely without you.” “I’ll always remember you.” “You meant a lot to me.”
Funerals are for support both for you but also for those that attend. They are seen as the right time and place for people who cared about your loved one to be together to talk, to support each other, to reminisce and tell stories, to pay their respects, to let you know that they care about you. It provides others with an opportunity to let you know they care and is a safe place for expression of their feelings.
Having support around you at this very difficult time, and in the weeks and months after the funeral when the reality of the loss really starts to sink in, is vital as we have to adapt to a life without someone who mattered to us.
Yes absolutely, we'd love to help you.
It is impossible to sum up a life story in a few minutes. However, we can tell stories and recall memories in valuable and creative ways.
A helpful eulogy is much more than a list of dates, but it is right to include important ‘milestones’ – birth and marriage, significant moves and changes of career.
Often it may be better to begin with a poem or reading than simply with a birth date. If the subject of the eulogy had a particular spiritual outlook or favourite passage of literature, it may be easy to choose something that sets the tone perfectly.
At other times, a story or a little historical background may help. For example, if a person was born in Napier in the 1920’s, your talk might begin with a word-sketch of what life was like in the town in those days.
The eulogy should act as a springboard for others to call to mind their own special memories. So, talk about your feelings for this special person. Tell some stories about your experiences with him or her. Anecdotes are a splendid way to celebrate life – there is no reason to avoid the things that were amusing or even mildly irreverent!
Many immediate family members may understandably feel unable to speak publicly themselves, yet have important things to say. Check with them. If they want to offer a few words or a precious memory, try to briefly include these.
We offer the following checklist of things you may want to include…
- Birthplace and short details of early childhood
- Educational and sporting achievements, military service
- Marriage and family life
- Hobbies, club memberships, charity involvement
- Preferences in music, literature, theatre, etc
- Characteristic words and sayings
- Personal qualities (perhaps illustrated by stories)
People often ask how long a eulogy should be – five minutes or a couple of typed A4 pages is ample.
Photos, Pictures, Mementos
“A picture is worth a thousand words” – and that is often true. Many families like to display some photographs or other life symbols at the funeral service.
Photographs need not be recent, provided they are characteristic of a person’s life. Sometimes, a family photo or other group shot can be just the thing to capture personality.
Beth Shan Funerals can arrange enlargements and enhancements of existing photos easily. This can be really useful if you want to lift a single image from a larger picture.
Other items, like a favourite hat, prized trophy, art or craft sample, tennis racquet or golf club can all help symbolise a life. The possibilities are vast. Sometimes, family members like to bring these symbolic items with them, and place them on or near the casket before or after the eulogy.
Finally, a carefully chosen piece of music can provide a pleasant reflective space after the eulogy. This may reflect the personal taste of the deceased, or simply be a track that the family find helpful for themselves.
Yes, we understand this is a difficult time and it can feel overwhelming with some many decisions to make. We will be happy to come and help you at any time. Please phone us anytime on 06 835 9925.
Grief is our natural response to loss in our lives. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and people have different ways of grieving.
When someone dies, family and friends often find it difficult to cope with the tremendous grief they experience, and can be unprepared for important decisions and arrangements that need to be made.
Following a funeral, Beth Shan Funerals offer a free book, “Now What?” a guide for people living with the death of someone close written by highly regarded grief counsellor and writer Lois Tonkin. A colourful poster called Remembering to Live is also available for children and teenagers.
These are just some of the many ways Beth Shan demonstrate our understanding of the needs of families and friends going through the stress of bereavement.
Yes, we have a personalised planning form available to download and print below. Recording your choices need to be kept on file.
We will keep your details on file for when they are needed – you will just have to make sure that your family and close friends know about it. It is a good idea to keep a copy with your will.
Beth Shan Funerals are more than happy to arrange a personal visit to talk to you about your preferences.
To download our personalised planning form - click here
Increasingly, as well as preplanning a funeral, people also want to set aside an amount towards their funeral*. Contributing towards your funeral costs may help relieve your family of the financial burden.
The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ) holds any prepayment amount in trust for you or your nominee.
It helps protect your pension
Under current Government policy, prepaid funerals up to $10,000 are excluded from asset testing when assessing subsidy eligibility in long-term residential care for the elderly.
Prepayment helps to provide peace of mind
You contribute towards the cost of the funeral now, to help relieve your family of the financial burden later on.
Recording your Choices
You make the choices – the music, the readings, the venue etc, and we will record these so that your wishes are known when the time comes.
You can still change your arrangements.
Your wishes are carefully documented when you preplan or prepay towards a funeral with Beth Shan Funeral Directors, and you receive a copy for your records. You are able to change any of these arrangements at a later date if you wish. If the funeral is to be in another town, we can arrange for your instructions to be transferred.
No health checks are needed
The FDANZ Funeral Trust is not an insurance policy. No health checks or personal questions are needed. Anyone, of any age or health status, can prepay towards a FDANZ Funeral Trust funeral with Beth Shan Funeral Directors.
You will have peace of mind because your affairs will be in order
If you would like to know more about these options, please click here or phone Beth Shan.
*Please note: An estimate cost for the funeral you want can be given, however this figure is not price fixed and is subject to inflation.
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