Members Area


Exhumation - Disinterment

 Select Topic
 Related Topics

EXHUMATION?    Digging up dead bodies?   Well,  some people want to know the law,  so we’ll give it to you.

You can’t dig up granny if you wanted to  . . . .  without a permit

And you can't bury her where you want to  . . . .  without a permit.

You must have a permit to do so issued by the Minister of Health under the Burials and Cremations  Act 1964.   We set out section below :

 55. Unlawful exhumation---Any person who disinters or removes a body
or the remains of a body from a place where it is buried without a
licence under section 51 of this Act or in breach of the conditions of
any such licence commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine not
exceeding [$400] or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months :

There are quite serious penalties imposed on people who commits offences in relation to dead bodies ranging from unlawful burials through to indecencies or indignities to human remains.

You should also look at Section 51.

We provide you with a direct link . . . .

We also provide you with a direct link to the Government legislation site where you can look up ALL Acts of Parliament and Regulations and Rules. An Act is also known as a Statute. A Regulation is also sometimes known as a Rule. This Government legislation site is still going through some teething problems. But you will be able to access all legislation and find specific Acts and Rules and individual sections.

Statutory Regulations
Local & Private Acts
.....The first part of this topic has been displayed free of charge. Join up for $45 to have access to this and all other topics!

Feedback / Reviews / Blogs on this topic
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Community Law Centres
"I found all these contract topics interesting and helpful. JD. Napier December 2006"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Community Law Centres
"Helpful . . . Muriel"
"Gosh these Trust documents are so long. There should be shorter documents. but I suppose they are necessary. But good of you to include so many docments in your site. We have been helped by your wills sites too. John Mc."
"Bloody Hell! You provide us with the documentation as well! This is great stuff. I will still use a lawyer but I now have enough information to make some informed decisions myself.
Kevin M - Hamilton"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Community Law Centres
"Dear Net Law,
I am perplexed on a matter concerning challenging a will. My father is a very elderly man living in New Zealand, my mother passed away some 35 years ago; I have 6 siblings – 5 males - 1 female all well over the age of 18 years. My father has verbally informed me I shall not be a beneficiary, and/or at best in a minor way. I am not an executor of my fathers will nor have I have seen its contents. My father’s verbal communication has various versions dependent upon his mood. As I understand the situation from your website I can get a copy of my fathers will once probate has been granted and the will is in the public domain, hence one can then get a full understanding of the contents of the will. However how does one challenge a will once probate has been granted?

Netlaw advises: You must advise the executor of the will within 6 months that you intend making a claim and you have 12 months from probate being granted to lodge the claim. But do so as soon as you can.


"Dear Netlaw,
I have just found out that i have been left out of my grandparents will. I am 1 of 4 grandchildren and the others are named in the will. How successful might i be in contesting and what is the first step in this process - i am not sure at this point wether it is financially viable to contest as i may end up spending more money contesting through lawyers - your thoughts?

Netlaw replies: You are able to contest a will of a grandparent. Equal sharing is NOT one of the legal principles but the Family Court would want to know why you were left out. We have all the law and procedure on Netlaw but try a good look at the New Zealand Family Court website and look for headings under the Family Protection Act 1955 or "Contesting a Will". There is some good stuff on that website. You could do it yourself if you are prepared to spend a bit of time. There is a section on the Family Court website on representing yourself.

Hope this helps . . . Richard at Netlaw"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Community Law Centres
"Can the Family Protection Act help 2 kids 11 and 13 to some provision from their fathers estate when there is no will. They live with their mother (divorced from late father) and now his defacto (no children involved) is claiming everything and not willing to make any provision for these children. House and furniture gone to her as purchsed jointly but there is still balance of insurance, super ann. ute, boat and personal effects that could be dispersed to them. At present all they have is hte ACC weekly payment that replaces the child support thir father paid.
Is there anything fathers family can do to get something for his boys? Any thoughts or othe similar experiences??

Netlaw replies: YES. A claim can be made if there is no will. It sounds as if they have a very dtrong case. See a lawyer immediately.


"Dear Netlaw,
Our father had a will which was invalidated by a 3-day form of marriage. The woman in question got divorced 1-month before and married our father when he was in a semi-coma and he died 3-days later. The supposed spouse is now applying to be Administrator under the Administration Act and after $121,000 + 1/3 share of remaining property. Could you please advise, do the children (there are 4 of us) have any remedies? Your expertise will be gratefully received and is very much appreciated, thank you.

Netlaw replies: Yes. Children can file a claim under the Family Protection Act 1955 asking the Family Court to provide "further provision" from the will. Our special topic "Family Protection Act 1955" covers the principles.

But in this case, you might also be able to challenge the validity of the new will on the basis of your father's medical condition and possibly on the basis that he signed under pressure."

I have a mother who is 80 years old with dementia. We (6 children) don't think she has a will and no EPOA. She has no real assets except $8000 in the bank which is intended for her funeral. Are we likely to run into any problems or major costs if no will exists at her death. Is there anything we could do now to make life easier in the event of her death. I'm guessing if she doesn't have a will now, its probably too late.
Any help would be much appreciated.


Netlaw replies - It is too late unfortunately. See a lawyer."

 Select Topic
 Related Topics