Funeral Checklist

See Funeral Choice Booklet for details

  • Gather immediate family/key friends to discuss plans for funeral
  • Appoint someone to be the overall co-ordinator of the process (to replace the role of a funeral director)
  • Notify the priest/minister/funeral celebrant
  • Decide where and when the funeral will be held and where the deceased will lie meantime
  • Book a time slot at the crematorium or a grave at a cemetery
  • Make up a list of people needing to be told of the death – and tick them off one by one after they have been informed.
  • Who pays for what? Do we need a fund?
  • Do we wish to have the deceased at home for a period?
  • Do we wish to lay-out the deceased in preparation for burial ie wash, clothe, comb etc
  • What clothes do we want to dress the deceased in?
  • Do we wish to build/have built a casket – or shop around and buy one?
  • Organise ritual/liturgy/ceremony eg readings, eulogies, poems, music, prayers
  • In some rural areas it may be possible to dig the grave
  • When appropriate, can we organise to have shovels at hand to fill in the grave?
  • What vehicle will we use to transport the deceased (station-waggon/truck/hire-van)?
  • Newspaper notices – who will write and deliver (personal ID required for this person, not the deceased)?
  • Who will gather and deliver to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages the two documents required by law – a facts sheet on the deceased, and the death certificate signed by the doctor.
  • Are there sufficient vehicles for transport to and from the funeral?
  • Do we offer hospitality after the funeral? If so, where? Who organises? Who pays?

(For further information contact Funeral Choice, P O Box 33-135, Christchurch, or email or, or apply for a free e-book from

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