Do you know what to do when someone dies?
Losing someone you love is one of the most stressful life events you’ll ever deal with. Not only are you dealing with the emotions of loss, but you also have to go through the legal process of death. What is that process? Do you know what to do when someone dies?
We’ve put together a checklist of things you might need to step through when someone living in Queensland dies.
9 steps to take when someone dies
- If someone dies unexpectedly, call 000.If it’s an expected death you can contact their GP to attend and sign the death certificate.
- Check if they are an organ donor– If your departed dies in a hospital they can check this registry for you. You might even know this information already if it is a close family member. Another place to find this information is the departed’s Will, Enduring Power of Attorney or Estate Plan.
- Tell those close to you– If the departed is someone close to you, it’s likely that the immediate family were with you and know they’ve passed away. If not, you might need to contact their parents, in-laws, ex-partners, partners, children, other relatives and work or church mates.
- Apply for a death certificate– To process the financials and last wishes of the departed, you will need a death certificate. If you’ve engaged a funeral home, or your departed is in a care home, they will take care of this step for you. If it was an expected passing your doctor may process the death certificate for you
- Tell organisations– Contact the organisations and services your departed dealt with including: Banks, superannuation, store credit cards. Solicitors, accountants, financial planners. Household service providers – carers, cleaners, yard maintenance, veterinary provider, bin cleaners. Personal care services – doctors, specialists, hairdressers, fitness providers.
- Contact online subscriptions– most people now have an online and/or social media presence. Contact social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram. Paypal, Afterpay to advise the organisations on your departed’s passing and find out the process for deactivating or archiving their accounts.
- Contact online services– Close any government online services connected to your departed including their local government services (rates, water, dog registration) and State and Federal Government services such as; Medicare, MyGov, Centrelink, Australian Tax Office and Australian Electoral Commission.
- Contact online cloud data storage– Did your departed have online computer file storage or cloud data? If they used systems like onedrive, google drive or icloud, you will need to get their accounts closed once you’ve organised saving their files or transferring access to them to you.
- Copy and close email accounts– Find out from their phone or their computer who your departed’s email accounts were with to save the information and close the accounts.
- Contact hobbies/interests/past time providers – What did your departed like to do? Did they go to the gym, fish, read, run, do triathlons? Were they part of a club for those activities? If they were, be sure to close their memberships.
What about the Will? Enduring Power of Attorney or Estate Plan?
Did your departed have a Will, Enduring Power of Attorney, or an Estate Plan? If they did, contact their solicitor and organise a meeting to action your departed’s wishes.
Leonie Davey says if a loved one dies and you don’t believe they have a will there are steps you can take to locate a will and/or to begin the process of probate.
“People think that if someone dies without a will their assets/estate goes to the government. That’s not necessarily true at least not initially. The assets of the deceased will go to the next of kin, in Queensland that’s the deceased’s spouse, children and parents. But it can be confusing.
Leonie says if they don’t have a will, it’s not all doom and gloom.
“If you’re not able to find a current will, contact us here at Yeppoon Lawyers on 07 4925 0229. We can work with you to locate their Will, Enduring Power of Attorney or Estate Plan. If you know they didn’t have a will we can work through that process with you too.”
“Losing someone you love is stressful, there’s no doubt about that, contact us, that’s what we’re here for and that’s what we do every day. We process wills and help the family of those who’ve departed. We can help you calmly and confidently settle the wishes of those closest to you.”