A leading estate planning company has offered to help in the case of a man whose body has been in a Dargaville Funeral home for seven months.
Thomas Brugman died in July last year but no next of kin can be found so the funeral home can't cremate the body unless it applies to the High Court to get the Public Trust to take over the process, at a cost of about $200.
Perpetual Guardian has offered to apply to the High Court to execute his estate and put him to rest at their own cost.
As the law stands, if someone dies without next of kin and without a will, someone cannot simply step in to deal with the estate or the body.
An application must be made to the High Court, at a cost, for a public executor to be appointed.
Dead people may be held in funeral homes for weeks or even months while matters are resolved.
As a result of Brugman's situation, the Funeral Directors Association is calling for a law change to make the process easier.