Although the death notice may have been in the newspaper, there will be people and groups who need to be formally told of the death by you or by someone you can trust.
Be prepared, for some time, to receive accounts, mail, phone calls or inquiries from people who may not have heard, or whose businesses or groups are slow to remove details from contact lists.
The following suggestions may help you to develop a list of key people and agencies to contact to help you sort this out. You may need to add others as well. The private papers of the person who has died might help you to make a list of who needs to be contacted. Keep a record of who you contact and their details in case you need these later.
“It never ceases to amaze me, even years later, how letters can still occasionally arrive for him. It always feels so strange.”
People or groups who may need to be told about the death
- wider family, whānau and friends
- their employer, school or educational institution
- the solicitor or lawyer who holds the person’s will. The will may contain funeral arrangements
- phone and cell phone companies
- banks – cancel automatic and direct debit payments and bank cards
- credit card companies – cancel card
- home or business loan company and others money is owed to, e.g. student loan
- landlord, rental agreements, leases
- Inland Revenue
- any other government agencies the person was linked to, e.g. Work and Income, ACC, the Corrections Department or Child, Youth and Family
- the Electoral Enrolment Centre
- insurance companies, and any local or overseas commitments, eg property
- investment companies, superannuation funds
- a Māori trustee or Māori land court if Māori land has been held in the person’s name
- any community organisation or people who had regular contact with the person, eg doctor, medical centre, primary health organisation (PHO), dentist, other health professionals, accountant, car service, AA, church, marae, cultural centre, hobby groups, clubs, teams etc
- car registration and driver’s license – call 0800 822 422 to cancel or visit the NZTA website
- passport – contact free phone 0800 22 50 50 to cancel, or go to the Passports website
- New Zealand Post – when you are ready to cancel mail
- cancel subscriptions or memberships, e.g. newspaper, magazines, gym memberships
- ensure any responsibilities are handed over to appropriate others, e.g. for pets or animals or volunteer positions.