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How do you apply for a death certificate?

How do you apply for a death certificate? When a loved one passes one of the first things you’ll need to do is obtain a death certificate. In Queensland, this task mostly falls to the funeral director.  They will register the death and apply for the official death certificate on your behalf.  You generally won’t get the death certificate immediately; it can take several weeks for the details to be added and the appropriate government agencies to process.

What do you need a death certificate for?

You will need the death certificate for:

  1. Closing bank accounts
  2. Changing the title deed to your house if the house was in the deceased’s name
  3. Claiming insurance and superannuation monies
  4. Cancelling memberships
  5. Cancelling social security payments
  6. Cancelling government agency accounts like Medicare

Will I need more than one copy of the death certificate?

You only need one original copy of the death certificate. However, it’s a good idea to make multiple certified copies of the certificate for all the businesses, financial institutions and government agencies who will need a copy.  If you’re working with a solicitor to settle the Estate, they will be able to organize certification for you.  If you’re not working with a solicitor make sure you get a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner of Declarations to certify the Death Certificate.

What do you do after the death certificate arrives?

After or even at the time of your loved one’s passing and certainly by the time the death certificate arrives, you’ll need to locate a current Will. If you know which law firm holds the Will, it’s a good idea to contact them at the time of passing, to start the process of probate (distribution of the assets and actioning of wishes listed in the Will) and settling the Estate. Simply because the process can take time. If you’re unsure who holds the Will, you can contact our office.  We place ads in the Law Reporter, as required by law, to see if another firm hold the Will.

It’s good to remember, you’re under no obligation to use the solicitor that holds your loved one’s Will to process the estate. You can choose your own solicitor to settle family member’s Wills and Estate distribution.