What to do when a Loved One Dies

When a loved one dies, it is often a confusing and traumatic time. Knowing what to do and how to do it is not always easy. That's where William Matthews Funerals can help. The first thing to remember is that there is no hurry. Making quick decisions at such a time can result in a funeral service that is not tailored to suit your needs and this can be detrimental to the grieving process. As a funeral service is just as important for the family and friends of the person who has died, it should be done right.

While quite a lot goes into the preparation of a funeral, it is important to know that William Matthews Funerals do much of it on your behalf to make this often difficult time as easy as possible. All that a family needs to do is make some important decisions when it comes to arranging a funeral with one of our staff. Typically there are three main circumstances in which a person dies:


When a person dies at home and they are expected to die the attending nurse is able in most cases to verify death and the funeral director can be called. If the death is unexpected the first thing to do is to call their doctor. Day or night, a doctor must be informed before anything else can be done. While the doctor may or may not attend to the deceased at this time, they must confirm that they will issue a death certificate before the funeral directors can come. In some circumstances when the doctor will not issue a certificate, the police must be called and the death is reported to the coroner. Usually, however, a certificate will be issued and the funeral directors can be contacted day or night to come to the home at a time that suits the family. At this point, a time to make arrangements can be set.

MOST IMPORTANT if someone dies at home and you can not work out what to do call your funeral director or William Matthews Funerals on 9739 6868 and you will be helped through step by step.


When a person dies at a hospital or nursing home, the staff will notify the doctor and contact the next of kin. Depending on circumstances, either the family will notify the funeral director or the hospital or nursing home will call them directly to arrange a time to attend. Sometimes, the hospital or nursing home will request a funeral director to be nominated in advance for convenience. The funeral director can be contacted to make funeral arrangements when the family is ready.


In certain circumstances, such as when a doctor will not issue a certificate, the coroner must be contacted for a post mortem examination. If the person died at home, this is done via the police. If the person died in a hospital or nursing home, the staff will do this on behalf of the family. While a funeral may be delayed slightly in such circumstances, the funeral director can be contacted immediately and arrangements can be made. The funeral director will liaise with the hospital, police and coroner on your behalf. If you are unsure about what to do when someone dies, or have any other questions regarding this information, you can always contact William Matthews Funerals.

Who to notify when someone dies

When a loved one dies, it can be a very difficult and disorienting time. Throughout this time, reminders emerge as to all the relevant legal, financial, governmental and social groups that may need to be notified. Completing these tasks can be quite time-consuming tasks. For certain things a copy of the doctor's certificate will be sufficient. However, the full death certificate from the registry of births, deaths and marriages is usually required. William Matthews Funerals will order this certificate for you online at the time of the funeral so that it is processed and mailed out to you sooner.

In the meantime, Click here for a list of some of the organisations that may need to be notified.

William Matthew Funerals advice on what to do when a loved on dies