This checklist is designed to help guide families through what to do when someone dies. It is broken down into the following sections:
How to use this Checklist: Each item you need to complete is denoted by a ticked checkbox ( ✅ ). You may find it easiest to print out a copy of this checklist and cross off each item as you go.
If the death is not imminent, also see our Checklist for How to Prepare for the Death of a Loved One.
Death at the Hospital
Death at Home
To check whether the deceased is an organ donor, you can contact the hospital to look up the Australian Organ Donor Register.
If consent to organ donation is provided, the deceased will be required to be taken to hospital immediately so that the donation process can be carried out.
Before taking any further steps, it’s important to understand if the deceased had made any existing funeral and/or financial arrangements for their funeral.
Preferred Funeral Director
No Preferred Funeral Director
Finding and choosing a funeral director can be a difficult task with hundreds of different options, all at different price points and service levels. Our website makes it easy to compare local funeral directors and make the right decision. To start your search:
There’s a lot that goes into planning a funeral service, and you will need to make a number of important decisions. Before you meet with your chosen funeral director, it’s sensible to have an idea of the type of funeral you would like to plan. To simplify the process, you can use our Funeral Planning Checklist, which sets out everything you need to arrange and decide on in order to plan a funeral. Also, if you’d like to select a funeral celebrant, you can use Gathered Here to instantly find and compare funeral celebrants, including their fees and reviews.
Funerals are expensive. In Australia, the average cost of a cremation is $7,420 while the average cost of a burial is approximately $19,000. If you are working to a tight budget, there are a number of options for more affordable funerals.
Depending on your circumstances, the following funds may be available to you:
For a comprehensive guide to payment options, see our article on Paying for a Funeral.
For further information on the types of financial assistance available, see our Guide to Assistance with Funeral Costs.
For a full list of people and organisations to notify, see our article on Who to Notify of a Death.
Facebook is the most popular social media website in Australia. Under their website terms you can request for the website to be “memorialised” so that family and friends can continue to gather and share messages on their profile. Alternatively, you can request that the account be deleted if you are a verified and immediate family member of the deceased.
Keep in mind, if you do choose to delete an account, you might lose all of the photos and memories that have been collected online over the years, so consider making copies first.
During an incredibly emotional and busy time, it’s easy to put yourself last. Don’t forget about your own mental and physical health and wellbeing. Some of the departments and organisations you can contact for help include:
We hope you have found this checklist for what to do when someone dies helpful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message in the comments section below.
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