Losing someone close to you is a time of great distress, and having to deal with all the legalities involved can add to the pressure.

To help you, we've gathered together transactions and links that may be of use during this difficult time.

After someone dies – an overview of what has to be done

First steps

What to do when someone dies
When someone dies, a doctor signs and issues a death certificate and the funeral company takes the deceased into care.

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

Compassionate and bereavement leave
Employees, including casual employees, are entitled to 2 days of compassionate leave when a member of their immediate family dies or suffers a life-threatening illness or injury.

Next steps

Organising a funeral
There are many different ways to hold a funeral or memorial service. The price you pay will depend on the type of service you have, and how much your funeral director charges. 

Locating the will
A will is a legal document that sets out how someone wants their assets distributed after they die. It might also include information about the funeral or memorial service.

What is an Executor

Organisations to notify

Notifying the bank

Notify Services Australia (Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support)

Remove someone from the electoral roll

Notify the Australian Tax Office of a death

Checklist: Who to notify after someone dies

Advise Transport for NSW that a customer is deceased
Transport for NSW is notified of deaths in NSW by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. If this has not yet occurred, you can visit a service centre with the required documentation.

Australian Death Notification Service (ADNS)
The ADNS provides people with a single online location to notify organisations that someone has died.

Registrations and certificates

Register a death
All deaths that occur in NSW must be registered with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages within 7 days of the burial or cremation. This is usually done by the funeral director but it's also possible for a next of kin or relative to register the death.

Apply for a death certificate
A death certificate is the official record of a death and can be used as proof of death, and proof of relationship to someone that has died. The funeral director usually applies for it when they register the death.

Register a stillbirth
Stillbirths are legally required to be registered as births, and will contain a notation of the stillbirth. The hospital does not register the birth for you.

Cancellations and transfers

To cancel or transfer ownership of a service, many organisations will need a 'certified copy' of the death certificate.
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), after they have sighted the original document.

Find a Justice of the Peace (JP)
The primary roles of a JP are to witness a person making a statutory declaration or affidavit, and to certify copies of original documents.

Transfer an E-Toll Account due to a deceased estate
An E-Toll Account may be transferred to a spouse or surviving partner, but not a family member. 

Close an E-Toll Account due to a deceased estate
If you need to close a Transport for NSW E-Toll Account due to a deceased estate, you can do this at a service centre.

Transfer a vehicle registration due to the death of the registered operator
If you need to transfer a vehicle registration to another person because the vehicle owner is deceased, you can do this at a service centre.

Transfer a vessel registration due to the death of the registered operator
In the case of a vessel's registered operator having died, the registration can be transferred to another person, at a service centre.

Change the details on a birth, death or marriage certificate
If you want to amend information kept by the Registry, you'll need to lodge an Application to Correct an Entry form.

Financial matters

Finding lost money
Unclaimed money is monies waiting to be claimed from inactive bank accounts, shares and investments, insurance policies, unpaid wages, unclaimed super, and deceased estates. 

Financial information and support

Working out assets and debts


Last updated: 1 June 2021