Who to tell when someone dies

When someone dies it can be hard to know who you’re supposed to tell.

If your loved one dies unexpectedly, call 000.

If you were expecting them to die, call their doctor. They will sign a certificate that confirms the death.

If they died in aged care, at a hospital or in a hospice, you don’t need to do anything. The staff will:

  • arrange the doctor
  • tell you how long they can care for the body.

Tell us

It’s important you tell us when someone has died.

You need to tell us within 28 days in one of these ways:

If you’re the parent or nominee of a child who has died, you can upload the form to us.

If you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian

We understand some Indigenous communities have traditions and customs for when a loved one passes away.

It’s important you tell us if you’ll be taking part in any traditions in your community. This includes Sorry Business.

We’ll make sure there are no unnecessary phone calls, visits and questions from us at this important time.

If you have a child support arrangement

You need to tell us if a child or parent in a child support arrangement dies. Before we contact the other parent, we’ll confirm the death with 2 sources of evidence. You can tell us by either:

Tell other people and organisations

There are other people and organisations that you may also need to tell. You can let organisations know that someone has died through the Australian Death Notification Service website. It’s a free government service to help you contact multiple organisations at once.

To help you identify who you may need to contact, download the:

Information needed when notifying people and organisations

You need to include the following information if you’re writing to someone to let them know someone has passed away. Include their:

  • full name, including family name and given names
  • other names they went by
  • date of birth
  • address
  • date of death
  • membership number, client number or account number for bills, banking and utilities.

You should also give the person you’re writing to your name and contact details, and tell them your relationship to the person who died. That way they can contact you if they have any questions.

They may ask you to provide a death certificate. If you don’t have one, note it on the checklist. It will help you keep track of how many copies you need and who you need to give them to.

If someone dies overseas

You need to contact the nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate if an Australian dies overseas.

Smartraveller can help you understand what consular staff in Australia and overseas can do to assist during this difficult time. Find out what happens when an Australian has died overseas on the Smartraveller website.

If you’re overseas you can call one of our international lines for help and support. You can call one of the following:

If they’re on a mailing list

You can have the name of the person who died removed from mailing lists. Register a death on The Australian Bereavement Register website to stop unwanted direct mail.

If they have online accounts, mobile apps and social media

Don’t forget to close their online accounts, mobile apps and social media too. These are just some of the accounts they might have:

  • financial institutions if they’re not on the will or estate
  • email accounts
  • cloud storage accounts
  • social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram
  • online payment processing accounts like PayPal
  • myGov, Medicare or a Centrelink online account.

You will need to contact the company. They may give you access to the person’s accounts so you can:

  • view information
  • download images you or other people want to keep
  • close the account.

Ask us

You may need details from us to finalise the estate of someone who has died. We can give it to you once we have:

Then we can give this information to:

  • the executor as named in the will
  • the Public Trustee
  • a court
  • the administrator of the estate.
Page last updated: 19 April 2024.
QC 60112