Death – Who needs to be advised/contacted

One of the sad but necessary things that need doing when someone dies is to ensure that everyone who needs to know is told and that the funerary arrangements are passed on to those who need to know. You may think that it will be straightforward enough, but when the time comes you may not be thinking straight. Here are a few suggests on who to contact.

Family and friends

  • Immediate family (mother, father, siblings, legal guardians, Foster parents & families)
  • Extended family (grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles)
  • Godparents
  • Friends you know
  • Check their address book for other friends
  • Contact their employer and allow them to notify colleagues and staff
  • Check mobile phone contact lists
  • Social Media – check friends lists, consider posting details of their passing and any subsequent public funeral arrangements online.

Other agencies

Once you have the death certificate you can then set about notifying all the institutions and places the deceased has had dealings with. This can include government departments, banks, telecommunications and utility providers, local councils and any memberships the deceased had. Here is a suggested list (note not all are applicable to every individual)

  • If not done by the funeral director, then the death needs to be registered. Find your local births, deaths and marriage registry office.
  • Department of Human Services Advice of death form (will advise Centrelink, Child Support & Medicare on your behalf)
  • Accountant
  • Aged care provider
  • Alumni organisations (School, University)
  • Australian Electoral Commission
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Banks and credit unions
  • Centrelink (if applicable – includes child support agencies)
  • Charities (where deceased was a doner)
  • Clubs (e.g. RSL, CWA, Lions, Rotary)
  • Credit & credit card providers
  • Department of Justice (Community Corrections, Parole Office, Courts)
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Driver’s Licence authority
  • Education providers (University, School, TAFE, etc)
  • Employers
  • Executor of the will
  • Financial Advisor
  • Fishing licence authority
  • Foreign pension authority. If the authority’s details are unknown, contact Centrelink’s International Services
  • Funeral bond/insurance provider (if applicable)
  • Funeral director
  • Gun licence authority
  • Health benefits fund (e.g. BUPA, NIB)
  • Health professionals such as doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, physiotherapist, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist
  • Hearing centre
  • Hire purchase providers
  • Hospital
  • Insurance companies
  • Landlords
  • Lawyer/solicitor
  • Local Councils (for rates)
  • Local post office (mail redirection)
  • Medicare
  • Pay TV provider
  • Public LIbrary
  • Public Trustee
  • Religious Institutions
  • Social Worker
  • Superannuation Fund(s)
  • Telecommunications provider (phone & Internet)
  • Tenants
  • Utilities – Electricity provider
  • Utilities – Gas provider
  • Utilities – Water provider
  • Vehicle registration authority
  • Volunteer organisations

You can download a handy checklist from the Department of Human Services site: Who to notify checklist

Removing someone’s name from mailing lists

You can stop most unsolicited mail being sent to the deceased person by registering with the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) for the ‘do not mail’ service.

Go to Association for data-driven marketing and advertising website or write to:

ADMA
GPO Box 3895
Sydney NSW 2001

Social media accounts

With the digital world encouraging more of us to put our lives online – you do need to consider what happens to all the messages, photos and other e-footprints of your loved one after they’ve died.

Social media networks usually have procedures in place to deal with the accounts of deceased members. As these procedures can differ between networks the best thing to do is to search the ‘help’ section of the network in question if you wish to close an account.

Most social media sites will offer a way to deactivate an account if the account owner has died, usually after the presentation of the death certificate.

Facebook also offers the opportunity to “memorialise” accounts if the account owner dies.