What to do when someone dies

What To Do When Someone Dies


There are two things you need to do immediately:

  • Call 000 and request an Ambulance
  • Engage a Funeral Director


Has someone close to you died? Are you unsure of what to do? Let us help you understand the process and how to make funeral arrangements.

If you have discovered someone that has passed away, the first thing to do is call the Ambulance straight away on 000 (ask for Ambulance). The Ambulance officers will arrive and assess the situation and decide who needs to be notified of the death. If the death is suspicious or seems odd, the ambulance officers will contact the Police. If the death seems natural, the Ambulance will make contact with a doctor (or the family doctor) – who will declare the person as deceased, and issue a ‘Cause of Death’ Certificate.

Once a ‘Cause of Death’ Certificate has been issued, the deceased can then go into the care of a funeral director. A funeral director will take care of all of the necessary arrangements that need to be made. The first and most important will be the transportation of the body. The funeral director will transport the body back to their mortuary and take care of the deceased while the arrangements are being made and all the family members are being contacted.

Once the rest of the family has been contacted, the funeral director will help you to choose a date to hold the funeral. They will also help you to choose a location and prepare the additional requirements of the service.

Wills & Funeral Plans

Some people will already have pre-arranged funeral care services, or made requests in their will. Usually this information can be found in their personal records or household filing cabinet. If these documents aren’t in these locations, sometimes lawyers have this information in their client files. It’s important to know that the distribution of assets in accordance of the will, will only take place once any debts owing have been paid to the creditors.

Who should know about the death?

There are many organisations that should be contacted after death has occurred. These include the ATO, their Bank, Centrelink, their employer, their insurance company, their doctors, their local hospital, Medicare, the local post office, their telecommunications provider, superannuation fund and any other authorities the individual may have been involved with.


Find more helpful funeral information by clicking a related topic below.

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