What to do after someone passes away: how to begin arranging the funeral?

Losing a loved one is a difficult experience and the process of arranging a funeral can feel overwhelming. This guide is here to help you navigate through this time with as much care as possible. Here are the steps on how we would suggest you begin arranging the funeral.

1) Notify authorities and family

The first step is often the most difficult: notifying the relevant authorities. If the person passed away at home or in a healthcare setting, contact the appropriate authorities such as the police, to officially document the death. You will then need to inform close family members and friends about the passing. This is usually done online to make the process as smooth as possible.

2) Choose a funeral home

Our advice is to do your research and choose a reputable funeral home that will help you with the arrangements.  Find someone who will guide you through the process, provide you with options, and handle the more difficult aspects of the funeral such as organising the service.

3) Take note of any funeral preferences

If you happen to know the person’s wishes or preferences, now is the time to discuss these, along with any special rituals they may have requested, or you believe they would like. Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide on cremation or burial, and whether the service is religious, memorial etc.

4) Notify others 

Now that things are in motion regarding the funeral, it might be a good time to begin notifying extended family members, colleagues, or anyone else about the passing and share details about the funeral service. Again, social media is often used for this purpose, but you could use an obituary or personal letters if you prefer.

5) Prepare donations, eulogies etc. 

This would be the stage where you would prepare an obituary or eulogy about the person’s life and accomplishments. You can decide whether you’d like flowers at the service or if you’d prefer to suggest charitable donations instead – perhaps to a cause the person cared about.

The final stage is preparing logistics and whether you’re having a reception after the funeral. Remember that arranging a funeral is a personal process and there is no right or wrong. Our directors for funerals in Auckland have many years of experience and will help you to find the balance whilst creating a meaningful send-off for your loved one.