I have lost a loved one what do I do next?

The loss of a loved one can be an extremely stressful and emotional time.

The main thing to note is that there is nothing legally that you need to do in the short days after your loved one passes.  Please don’t feel or get into a panic about doing anything straight away.  Take the time to regroup and to look after your own health.

Once you are ready to take action, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a solicitor that can assist you in the legal process in the days, weeks and months after your loved one passes.

Some of the tips that we give during this time include:

  1. We recommend, where possible, that you obtain a copy of the death certificate and if you can, bring that to your appointment.  If there were some unusual circumstances or a doctor has not been able to certify the death of a loved one as sometimes there is involvement of the coroner and this can delay the release of the death certificate.  Don’t panic in these circumstances, we can help you navigate the process.
  2. Gather up any important documents such as details of the assets that were in the name of your loved one even if they were held jointly including any superannuation entitlements and bring those to your appointment.
  3. We also recommend that you locate a copy of the will and/or bring the original if you have it in your safe at home to your appointment.  These are very important documents so please do not misplace them.  If you do not hold the original will, it is preferable that you can provide details on how this can be located ie if its held in a safe deposit box or with a solicitor.
  4. If you are unsure of any part of the process, again, don’t panic or stress.  There is plenty of time to make necessary arrangements and this can be discussed in more detail when you meet with your solicitor.

Read our plain English handbooks

These fact sheets are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process.

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