How to take care of someone's death without relying on a Funeral Director
Welcome to the DIY Funeral website.
The home funeral movement is experiencing a resurgence worldwide. People are sick of being charged a fortune to die, and they want to return to dealing with death themselves, as a natural part of life, a rite of passage, and something personal and intimate which might best be dealt with at home rather than handed over to professionals. People in the poorer parts of the world have been doing this all along, but momentum is gathering everywhere in the western world for a return to more natural processes which are in keeping with our real spiritual, emotional and environmental needs.
In New Zealand you can do almost everything that needs to be done to take care of somebody's death yourself, in the way you want, in keeping with what is meaningful to you and your family. Legally you are not obliged to engage a funeral director, or to embalm a body. In most cases you can carry out a person's after-death care in your own home and without any special equipment.
Whether you need to arrange a burial or cremation for someone right now, a death in your family is imminent, or you are planning ahead for your own funeral, take your time and look through the information on this site carefully. There is a lot to digest, but once you understand it you can be much more confident in making the arrangements yourself.
Do you simply need an affordable casket or coffin?
Are you dealing with a death right now?
Most of the information on this site is for people who wish to arrange a standard land burial or cremation in NZ. The DIA has put out useful guidance on this: see their brochure Before Burial or Cremation. Cremation will almost always be much cheaper than a burial, due to the cost of the burial plot. It is also possible to be buried at sea, or on private land in some circumstances. If you are interested in either of these options, please click here.
Making clear and careful preparations for your own funeral is the best thing you can do to help those who will be left behind, whether you have a home funeral or use a funeral director. If your wishes are known, there will be less scope for confusion or disagreement when practical decisions have to be made. There are many decisions you can make and documents which you can prepare in advance. This page will help you to decide if a DIY funeral is right for you, and if it is, this page will help you to plan ahead.
You will also find a wealth of information on my Further resources page.
If you have any questions, feedback on any aspect of this site or suggestions as to how I could improve it, please get in touch with me through the Contact page.