What to do when a death occurs
First, give yourself time to take in what has happened. You can call a family member, a friend or your regular clergy to let them know what has happened.
After that, contact their doctor, and if it was the deceased’s wish to donate their organs then a hospital should also be advised as soon as possible. Once you have spoken to the doctor, contact a funeral home to get the funeral arrangements started.
What happens when someone dies in a hospital or nursing home?
If a death occurs at a public hospital, the hospital staff usually complete the formalities required for the issuing of the death certificate and other certificates. It will usually still be up to the family to contact a funeral home directly though. If a death occurs at a nursing home or private hospital and you are not already there, the staff will usually contact the next of kin once the death has been confirmed.
How long between the death and the funeral service?
This will vary depending on your instructions, your cultural requirements and the circumstances of the death. There is no need to feel too rushed.
Who should you notify of the death?
There are the family and friends of the deceased to notify, and it can help to have a trusted family member or friend act as a point of contact.
Others who may need to know, but not necessarily straight away, are:
- Ambulance Service
- Australian Tax Office, Australian Electoral Office
- Banks, building societies, credit unions, financial institutions, credit card providers, loan companies and digital monetary accounts such as eBay and PayPal
- Chamber of Commerce
- Church or religious organisations
- Clubs, organisations and associations
- Companies - e.g. for directorships
- Department of Veteran's Affairs
- Doctor, dentist, specialists, hospitals, chemist, health benefits fund
- Electricity & Gas companies
- Employer/former employer
- Executor nominated by the deceased
- Friendly Societies
- Home services, e.g. nursing service, home delivery service, home appliance rental, medical aids rental company
- Household help, gardening services or Meals on Wheels
- Insurance companies including life, accident, home and contents, vehicle
- Local Government for Rates, fire levy, etc.
- Main roads - car registration
- Post Office for mail delivery
- School or college
- Service organisations - e.g. Rotary, Lions, Apex, Zonta, Red Cross, and Blood bank
- Social media accounts and e-mail accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail and Hotmail
- Solicitor and/or public trustee
- Superannuation companies
- Telephone company
- Trade unions or professional associations