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What to do when someone dies

Our caring team is here to guide you on what to do when someone dies; we’re here to support you.

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What to do immediately when someone dies

Please call us at Forrest Funeral Services – we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support you:

North Shore Auckland
Ph 09 479 5956

Hibiscus Coast
Ph 09 426 7950

You may need to notify a doctor as well, but we can advise you on any other calls you need to make at this time.

We can make arrangements for your loved one to be transported into our care. If your loved one is in the care of the coroner your family will still need to coordinate the funeral arrangements, and we can guide you through this process.

You are free to choose the undertakers who best suit your needs, and there’s no obligation to stay with the funeral director who arranged the initial transfer.

We understand that this is a difficult time, and our priority is to support you in making choices that feel right for your family, and to honour your loved one’s memory.

Establishing who has authority

Early in the process, we’ll need to determine who has the authority to make decisions regarding the funeral arrangements.

If there is a Will, the Executor typically holds the responsibility to make funeral arrangements. In the absence of a Will, legal authority usually falls to the next of kin, commonly the surviving spouse or partner, or alternatively, the children of the departed.


You may wish to spend time with your loved one before the funeral, while they are in our care. Both our Orewa and Browns Bay locations have viewing facilities.

Meeting together to plan the funeral

When your loved one is in our care, we will begin the process of planning a funeral. This can take place at Forrests in Orewa or Browns Bay – or in your own home, whichever is more convenient for you.

We’ll guide you through the options in arranging a funeral, so the farewell fits your loved one’s life and values. It can be difficult and upsetting to know what to do when someone dies, but our team of experienced undertakers are here to help you through the funeral process every step of the way.

At the meeting, we will discuss:

  • Whether your loved one is to be cremated or buried.
  • Options for coffins and urns, as appropriate.
  • Clothing you’d like your loved on to be dressed in, and any personal items you’d like to place in the casket. It’s helpful if you can bring these with you to the meeting.
  • Details for the death certificate.

Please also bring a recent photo of your loved one so we can style their hair and makeup in their preferred way.

Death notification

Notifying banks, utility companies, the IRD, Passport Office, and other government departments is easy with the myTrove service. You can use the service yourself for free, or engage your lawyer to do it on your behalf.

Free bereavement support

Grief is hard. Both the immediate loss, and also after the funeral, when everyday life resumes. There are so many emotions, and people experience grief differently – there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

Forrest Funeral Services offers free bereavement support to our clients and immediate family members with our qualified bereavement counsellor.

Two free bereavement support sessions are included in our service – and you’re welcome to pay for additional sessions (for example, for other family members or friends) should you wish.

Our staff are all community-minded individuals who do the best they can to honour the families wishes of those they serve.

Our community-minded funeral directors are your compassionate partners every step of the way.

We actively engage with the communities we serve in Browns Bay and Orewa, and your unique needs are at the forefront of everything we do.

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Why have a Funeral?

While a funeral can be a true celebration of life. It is also a time to share memories, the special moments, the laughter and the unique impact that your loved one has had upon the lives of others. It also helps us begin to come to terms with our loss.

Contact us at any time

Our team is here to support you through the process of what to do when someone dies.

North Shore Auckland
Ph 09 479 5956

Hibiscus Coast
Ph 09 426 7950

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