Dealing with the passing of someone close to you can be difficult enough, but what if you also have the responsibility of managing the affairs of the person who has passed? To assist you through this, we have created a step-by-step guide of who to notify after either the funeral service or memorial service.
Many companies and service providers require you to send them the Death Certificate when you notify them of a death. Before you do this, you need to ensure you send them a copy of the Death Certificate, not the original document. The first step is to ensure you have certified copies of the Death Certificate available. Your Funeral Director will often be a Justice of the Peace (JP) and can assist you with this.
If your Funeral Director is not available, you can seek any JP for assistance:
Companies that they’d have had regular dealings with should be notified shortly after. This might be their employer, their bank and perhaps their lawyer. Some companies may require a written letter enclosing a copy of the death certificate.
List of the companies and service providers to contact within 6 months of a death:
Below are details for specific government departments with links to forms which you will need to complete.
Centrelink and Medicare
If the deceased was receiving assistance from the government, such as unemployment benefits, a retirement pension, child support or disability, you will need to notify the Department of Human Services (DHS) of the death. To notify DHS of the death, complete the Advice of Death Form (SA116A).
Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)
There are two ways in which the AEC maintain their electoral roll – from notifications received directly by
the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or if they are notified by a family member. To request the deceased’s name be removed from the roll, complete the notification of a relative who has died form online.
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
You will also need to inform the ATO of the death. This can be completed via an online form or by mail.
If you are the executor of the deceased’s estate, you will also need to lodge a final tax return for the current year as well.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
If the deceased was receiving a pension or other benefit from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, they will need to be notified of the death online.
Remember that you will also need to cancel any subscriptions and mail. If you want to stop marketing and advertising being sent to the deceased, you can register their details on the Do Not Mail Register managed by Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA). Alternatively, you can make a written request to the postal address:
ADMA - Sydney Office
50 Carrington Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Social media might be the last thing on your mind at such a time of grief and yet social networks store large amounts of personal data.
Pictures and videos stored on social media and on websites like Flickr or YouTube can be an invaluable digital legacy. You could lose this if the account is shut down or considered inactive before these photos and videos are downloaded or transferred somewhere safe. Social media posts, blog entries and personal emails can provide emotional comfort to grieving loved ones and also be a source of valuable information. Inactive accounts are often deleted and the hassle and confusion of trying to find them all can be time-consuming. Companies such as eClosure take the pain out of the process by handling the closure of any online assets belonging to your loved one.
While notifying officials immediately following death needs to happen quickly, notifying all relevant companies and service providers can happen over several months after the service. There are often many different forms to complete which can be overwhelming. Focusing on one at a time can alleviate feelings of anxiety and stress. If you do feel overwhelmed, please seek help from family and friends for additional support.
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