What to do when a loved one dies

Key Points

  • The first immediate steps will depend on where the death has occurred e.g. at home, in hospital or nursing home, by accident, or interstate/overseas.
  • You only need to make essential calls initially.
  • Don’t feel pressured into making immediate decisions before you have had time to discuss your needs with family and friends.
  • Be informed of the many options available before selecting a funeral director.

 

Give Yourself Time

You may want to stay in the room with the deceased whilst others prefer to leave. Some families want time to sit quietly to console each other, and maybe share memories. You will want to inform close family and friends, and you may find…

At Home

If the death was expected, you have probably already discussed with your doctor, the steps to be taken at this time.  If this happens in the middle of the night, the family can usually wait and be with their loved one until morning…

In a Hospital

You should feel free to stay at the hospital with the deceased until you feel the time is right to leave.  Let the hospital staff know when you are ready to leave. The hospital will care for the deceased until arrangements have been…

In a Nursing Home or Aged Care Home

The staff will notify the doctor for you, and they will also want to organise for a funeral director to transfer your family member into their care as soon as possible.  The is necessary as nursing homes and aged care facilities differ from…

Accidental Deaths

Police will attend the scene of the accident and obtain initial information about the death from family, friends and witnesses. They will also arrange to transfer the deceased from the scene of the accident to the coroner’s mortuary. The police will arrange for the…

Interstate or Overseas

Overseas  –  The processes involved can be demanding for family and friends at a time when they are already stressed.  The Australian Government will do what it can to assist families, however there are legal and practical limits as to what the government…

When Does A Coroner Become Involved?

In fact, the majority of deaths investigated by coroners do not have any suspicious circumstances at all. Most States and Territories have Coroner Acts of Parliament that govern what are deemed to be ‘reportable’ deaths. Generally these fall into the following categories: the…

Organ, Tissue and Body Donors

You may be asked if your family member had indicated that they would like to be an organ donor. Organs such as the heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys, cornea, liver, and skin can be transplanted to others in need. People of any age can…

Registering a Death

To register a death, formal notification needs to be submitted to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your State or Territory, usually within 7 to 14 days of the funeral. This is done by the person responsible for organising the interment…