What to do when someone dies
What to do first can often depend on where the person died and the manner of death. If the death occurs at a nursing home or in a hospital for example, contact us to begin making arrangements. On the other hand, if the death occurs at home, the first thing you need to do is call a doctor.
The doctor may not sign a death certificate if the death is unexpected or unexplained. In this case, the Coroner/Police will need to be contacted. If you are unable to make contact with a doctor, contact us and a funeral director can begin guiding you through the process.
When the Coroner is involved
The Coroner is a legal officer appointed under the Coroners Act who has the duty to establish the cause of death in certain circumstances.
The involvement of the Coroner is a totally separate procedure from the funeral, so it is worth noting:
- It is still the family’s responsibility to organise a funeral
- It is the family’s right to choose their own funeral director – there is no obligation to use the funeral director contracted by Police and used to transfer the deceased from the place of death to a public mortuary
The Coroner may become involved when:
- A doctor is unavailable or unable to establish the cause of death
- There is a sudden unexpected death
- Death occurs from other than natural causes
- There is an accidental death
- There has been no recent consultation with a medical practitioner
In these cases it is important that the deceased is not moved or disturbed in any way without the permission of the Coroner.