The First Steps

What to do when someone dies


What do you do when someone dies?
This depends on where the person has died and the cause of death.

When someone dies at home, his or her doctor is the first who you should call. The doctor will prepare a death certificate. Then call the Funeral Director to arrange for the deceased to be transferred to a funeral home. Clarke Family Funerals are available all hours number - 1800 686 985

When someone dies in a nursing home, the home will call the Funeral Director nominated by the family at the time the now deceased first took up residency.

When someone dies in a hospital, the family calls the Funeral Director of their choice who will make all the necessary arrangements with the hospital, transfer the deceased to the funeral home, confirm arrangements for cremation or burial and attend to all the details involved in arranging the funeral.

When a death is sudden and unexpected, accidental or a suicide, the doctor or the family must notify the police who will arrange transfer to the Forensic Science SA mortuary.

In these circumstances the cause of death, possibly involving a post mortem, will be ordered by the coroner. Funeral arrangements may be delayed until necessary documentation has been completed.

When someone dies interstate or overseas, the local procedures must be followed and local authorities will liaise with your Funeral Director while making arrangements for the deceased to be brought home.

Because so many Australians are migrants, there are those who wish to be interred in their land of origin. Your Funeral Director will attend to this responsibility on behalf of the family.

I have questions about embalming. If you would like to know more about the process of embalming select the following link to view or download a short document describing the process: Information on the Embalming Process

Important note - understand your rights

It always remains the privilege of the family to choose the Funeral Director. Ignore anyone who attempts to tell you otherwise. The family or the Executor always retains the right to choose. Even when the government-contracted company has brought the deceased to Forensic Science SA on behalf of the State Coroner, they have no involvement over your very personal choice of a Funeral Director.