Helping Your Family Before You Pass Away

When someone in your family dies, there are a myriad of things to organise – some of which must be done almost immediately.

One of those tasks is for the death to be registered within three working days of the deceased’s burial or cremation.  The funeral director usually organises this.  If however, there is no formal farewell, your family will need to organise this themselves.

Whichever way the death registration is organised, a family needs a great deal of information at its fingertips.  Unless one of your family members has an elephantine memory it may be useful if the required information is documented well before you die.  You are more likely to know family details than anyone else.  It will also save time after your death when everyone is shocked and it’s easy to forget the most straightforward things.

The Notification of Death for Registration form requires this information:

The deceased:  Their full name (both at birth and when they died – they could be different); sex; date and place of birth; age, date and place of death; usual home address and their occupation. If not born in New Zealand; how many years have they have lived here; and some ethnicity questions.

Living children:  Ages of each living son and daughter.

Parents:  Their parents’ full names (at birth and when they died); and occupations.

Relationships:  Spouse/partner full name, sex and age when the relationship was formalised; relationship details such as married, civil union, de facto, separated, divorced, etc; and age of the deceased at the time of a civil union/marriage. There is space for up to four relationships to be recorded.

Other:  There are boxes to tick if the deceased was a marriage/civil union celebrant, Justice of the Peace and if they held an honour or award.  There are also boxes about the cause of death, date and place of cremation, etc which cannot, of course, be completed until after a funeral.

What else could help?

You should always ensure your will is up to date.  In addition to your will, do your family members or loved ones know what your wishes are for:

  • Where do you want your funeral?
  • What Clergy or Celebrant would you like to use?
  • Who will be your pallbearers?
  • What music do you want at your funeral?
  • Where can they find details of your bank accounts/insurances/investments/debts or other important information.

Planning for your death may seem morbid, but making sure these details are recorded will help your family as they come to terms with your death.

BMC Lawyers have many years experience in Estate Planning.  Our experts are available to meet with you to help you ensure your family and loved ones are looked after.

Call us on 0800 440-999 to make an appointment.