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What Do You Do When Someone Dies?

What do you do when someone dies? Where do you start, what documents do you need, who needs to know first? Here's Safewill's free checklist that you can use to keep track of everything you need to do after someone dies.

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What do you do when someone dies? It can be a confusing and overwhelming time, especially if this is your first experience with losing a loved one which is painful enough, without adding in all of the things you need to start to consider. We’ve compiled a general checklist of items you should start thinking about if someone you love has passed away.

If you need any support with these items, or just want someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 1800 10 33 10.

Step 1 - Get a Medical Certificate

The first thing you should consider after someone dies is obtaining a medical certificate detailing the cause of death. This can be arranged by a hospital member of staff or your GP. Your GP (or other medical professional) will also be able to check whether the deceased was a registered organ donor.

Step 2 - Register the Death

You should then consider registering the death and obtaining a death certificate. This can be done through the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your state or territory.

Step 3 - Contact Safewill

Get in touch with us to confirm that you have the most current version of your loved one’s Will. Our team is also here to chat if you need.

Step 4 - Arrange the Funeral

Some of the things you may need to consider when arranging a funeral include finding a funeral director, selecting the type of service, and the location. Your loved one may have specified funeral wishes in their Will, so be sure to check the Will prior to arranging the service.

Step 5 - Apply for Probate

Before you can deal with the person’s estate, you may need to apply for a Grant of Probate from a Court of competent jurisdiction. You may consider consulting the Supreme Court website in your state or territory, and seeking independent legal advice as required.

Last updated 06th October 2021
Tali Weinberg
Head Of Operations
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Safewill acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.
Safewill is an online service providing streamlined forms and information. Safewill is not a law firm or a substitute for a lawyer’s advice about complex estate planning issues.