Practical and emotional support are readily available from Victim Support. The coroner's secretary will consult with family for the legal requirements, and help for the funeral is available too.
- Financial assistance available for the funeral
- The roles of the funeral director, family and friends
- The legal requirements will be handled by the coroner's secretary
- Obtaining the death certificate, post-mortem and police reports, and inquest findings
This booklet explains why the police become involved in a possible or definite suicide. It describes the roles of Victim Support and the Coroner. Funeral and medical procedures, inquests and death certificates are all discussed. Available from Victim support at tel: 0800 842 846
Victim Support: crisis intervention and support
Victim Support provide crisis intervention and support to victims of crime, accident and emergency. They regularly support those affected by suicide. Paid staff and trained volunteers work closely with the Police.
Victim Support also provides:
Referral to other specialist organisations
Family Group Conference support
Major incident support
Contact: 0800 VICTIM (0800 842 846), or just call your local Police Station and they will know the local branch. www.victimsupport.org.nz
ORGANISING THE FUNERAL
What does a funeral director do? What can family or friends do?
A funeral director can handle almost all the tasks and responsbilities from the time of death to internment, if you wish them to. Family and friends may choose to use the funeral director for everything, or take care of part of the proceedings themselves.
Funeral directors are contracted by the Police to transport the deceased person and take them to the coroner, at no cost to the family.
Families around NZ use funeral directors for embalming, providing the casket and filling out the legal documentation: registration of death, cremation, or burial certificate and so on.
Funeral directors can also point you to helpful books about grief and other supportive resources.
Is there financial assistance available to help pay for the funeral?
A Funeral Grant is a non-taxable lump sum payment that provides assistance towards a person's funeral expenses.
The Funeral Grant helps people with actual and reasonable funeral costs only. It is not designed to cover the entire funeral expenses.
A Funeral Grant is income and asset tested. The test depends on whether the deceased has a surviving partner, dependent child, or if the deceased is a child.
To qualify for the Funeral Grant, the deceased must either be a New Zealand citizen or have New Zealand residency. The deceased must be residing in New Zealand at the time of their death.
If the applicant receives assistance from WINZ, they make an appointment with their case manager and bring along the death certificate, or some other verification of the deceased and any dependent people. WINZ need verification of estate of the deceased and funeral costs.
If the applicant does not receive any assistance from WINZ, they need all of the above plus: two forms of ID, a birth certificate or passport, drivers licence, IRD number and bank account details. Verification of cost of funeral will also be required.
What are the legal requirements I have to follow?
When a suicide occurs, the coroner is informed and in collaboration with the police starts the legal process. The coroner's secretary handles the legal requirements and consults with the next of kin. So the legal requirements are handled on your behalf.
Where can I obtain these things?
- The death certificate The coroner's secretary notifies the registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Wellington, who issues an interim death certificate "subject to the coroner's findings". The complete death certificate is only issued after the inquest.
- A copy of the post mortem report This can be obtained from the coroner's secretary.
- A police report This can be obtained from the assigned member of the police. The coroner's secretary can advise on who to contact.
- The inquest findings Provided by the coroner's secretary. Please bear in mind that the coroner's secretary's role is to assist with all the above necessary documentation, so as to ease the burden on the bereaved.