What to do when a loved one dies

When someone close to you dies, you may experience a wide range of emotions and find it difficult to cope with their loss. When you are grieving, it may be difficult to think about what steps to take and who to notify.

Firstly, it’s important that you look after yourself at this challenging time. Connecting with friends or family, your GP or a counsellor can help if you are finding it hard to cope.

If you need immediate support, please contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

To help you get things in order, we have prepared this list of people and organisations you may need to contact.

Locate personal papers

Before you start making calls, try to locate the deceased’s personal papers. Look for documents such as:

  • pre-paid funeral plans
  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificates
  • property deeds
  • life insurance or superannuation policies
  • bank account details.

Please note: This is a guide only and doesn’t replace independent legal advice. It may not include all the organisations you are required to contact.

Who to contact

In the first 24 hours, we suggest you contact:

  • a doctor—if the person died at home
  • family and friends
  • preferred funeral director
  • minister of religion or civil celebrant
  • executor, if known.

Other organisations to consider

(Some of these tasks may be completed by the executor):

  • landlord
  • Centrelink or Veterans Affairs—if the person was receiving benefits
  • pension authority from applicable country, if the person was receiving an overseas pension
  • Medicare
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • gas, electricity and telecommunication providers
  • local council for rates and water accounts
  • Department of Transport—motor vehicle registration and driver’s licence
  • bank, building society or credit union
  • Australian Electoral Office
  • accountant
  • insurance companies
  • superannuation funds
  • home nursing services
  • Meals on Wheels
  • health funds.

Planning for your future

To ease the burden on your loved ones, plan for your future by making a Will and enduring power of attorney.

We have been making Wills for Queenslanders since 1916—you can make a Will for free at any of our 15 offices around Queensland.

We can also help make your enduring power of attorney at the same time for a competitive fee.

Contact us

If you have any questions, we’re here to answer. To learn more, or book an appointment, you can call us on 1300 360 044.

Additional resources

When someone dies - Practical Issues 

Last published: 20/11/2020 3:03:19 AM