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What To Do When A Family Member Dies

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Losing a loved one is painful as it is, but with it comes the additional responsibility of managing the person’s legal details. The process is filled with stress and can take a minimum of 1 year to finish. Who do you call first? How do you register the deceased status of the person, plan for the funeral and process the death certificate? How do you check for the deceased person’s bills, insurance, and financial accounts? To help you be guided with the important things that you need to do with a family member’s death, below is a checklist for you to read.

Deceased Estate Help


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    Confirm if your deceased family member is a registered organ donor. You can check the Australian Organ Donor Register- this is a government register run by the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) and Services Australia through Medicare and is intended to document those individuals who have willingly agreed to donate their bodily organs upon their death.
  • 2

    If the deceased family member left behind dependents such as children, then check if care arrangements were put in place. This information could be in the person’s will. Check the Centrelink payments and care arrangements status of the deceased person to know the necessary details. You can contact the Centrelink Families Line on 136 150 and you can also go to the contact page of Services Australia to find out all of their other domestic and international contact numbers. Formerly known as the Department of Human Services, Services Australia is an Executive Agency of the Australian Government, responsible for delivering a range of welfare, health, child support payments and other services to eligible Australian citizens and permanent residents

  • 3
    There are distinct government protocols and guidelines between a deceased adult and a deceased child. In the case of a deceased adult family member, you can check this article; and for a deceased child family member, you can check this corresponding article.




How To Register The Death


  • 1
    You must go to the office of your state's Department of Justice and register the death of your deceased family member with the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry in order to legally declare the death of the person. A death certificate will then be released to you. Click the following links to head to the Births, Deaths and Marriages website of each Australian territory: click here for New South Wales; click here for Queensland; click here for Tasmania; click here for South Australia; and click here for Victoria.
  • 2
    If a funeral is going to be held for the deceased family member, you can check out Moneysmart to receive good information from the Australian government on matters concerning costs. Moneysmart also provides tips on the most cost-effective method of paying for a funeral such as the Prepaid funeral plan which lets you select and provide payment through your local funeral director. Again, check the deceased family member’s will or other record materials to know if he/she had a prearranged plan. It is important to note that funeral fund rules have variations in each state so make sure to check out your own state’s written guidelines. Click among the following links for your particular state’s funeral fund rules: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia funeral fund rules, Victoria, and Tasmania.
  • 3
    Upon receiving the Death Certificate for your deceased family member, create copies of it and have them certified by a Justice of the Peace. Make sure to give a certified copy to all persons and groups who requested them, which would possibly include the deceased person’s employing company, insurance company, lawyer, etc.




How to Finalise An Estate


  • 1
    The process of finalising an estate could take around a year or even longer especially if it is being contested. In order to be guided by the process, you should again consult Services Australia. According to them, it is imperative for anyone who received money or an asset and is a Centrelink customer to inform their office by including this information in their online report of their income and assets. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has a Deceased estate checklist which provides steps in managing the tax affairs of a deceased family member.
  • 2
    If you come to the point of needing assistance in clearing a deceased estate, this is where we specialize as a company. We have built a reputation of providing decent and honest work. We have 20 years of experience and we are a legitimate Australian company (Pty Ltd) with ACN and BCN. Click our website’s Services page to see the full list of services that we provide. Click also the Recent Projects page to view photos of deceased estates that we have worked on.




How to Cope With Grief


  • 1
    The death of a loved one or a family member is a stressful event so please remember that there are government agencies as well as non-profit, advocacy-oriented organizations which can provide you with assistance throughout your grieving period.
    Services Australia has their Payment and Service Finder - an online tool that lets you see what payments and services you are eligible for.

How To Get Counselling


    If you are in need of an organization that provides confidential counselling on a 24/7 schedule, you can contact the following:
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    Beyond Blue is Australia’s most well-known and visited mental health organisation, focused on supporting people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide. Call them on 1300 22 4636
    2
    MensLine Australiais the national telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. The service is available from anywhere in Australia and is staffed by professional counsellors, experienced in men’s issues. Call them on 1300 789 978
    3
    Lifeline Australia is national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Call themon 131 114
    4
    Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free 24/7 confidential and private counseling service specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25. Call them on 1800 55 1800.
    5
    Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides 24/7 free and confidential, nationwide counselling and support for war and service-related mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and anger. Call 1800 011 046.
    6
    Griefline is a national telephone counselling service that is available 6am-midnight AEST, 7 days a week. You can call their national toll free number on 1300 845 745. For specific state helpline numbers, you can find them on Griefline’s contact page.