Notifying people and organisations

It's important to notify all relevant people, organisations and government departments. Services Australia has a helpful notification checklist you can download: Who to notify after a death – PDF.

There are no legal rules about who must be notified when someone dies – the executor or next of kin takes on the responsibility.

You can notify organisations by phone or in writing. Some organisations may require a certified copy of the death certificate.

Related information

Licences and registrations

You may need to close or transfer accounts, registrations or licences.

The death certificate

When someone dies:

  • the death must be registered
  • a death certificate must be issued by the NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages.

If a funeral company has been appointed, the funeral director will register the death and apply for the death certificate. 

If a funeral director is not involved, the person who is managing the final arrangements for the person who has died must register the death.

Certified copies of documents

You may need a certified copy of the death certificate to cancel or transfer services.

A certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been verified to be a true copy by an authorised witness such as a Justice of the Peace (JP).

Related information

Wills and executors

A person's will sets out how someone wants their assets distributed after they die and might include information about the funeral or memorial service. If you do not know where the person who has died kept their will, you can take steps to locate the will.

The role of the executor

When you make a will, you appoint an executor to carry out the instructions in your will. Find out more about the role of an executor.

Related information

Organising a funeral

Services are usually held 1 to 4 weeks after the person has died.

If the person who died left a will, the executor is responsible for organising the funeral or can pass the responsibility onto a family member of the deceased, if they wish.

If there is no will – or no executor was appointed in the will – then the next of kin or a close relative can arrange the funeral.

There are no legal rules about who can go to a funeral, but it's a good idea to notify relatives and other people who may want to attend, to avoid any disputes.

Related information

Help and support services

Last updated: 21 May 2024

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