The When, What, How and Why Project- There is a death in our family… What do I do now?

 

There is a death in our family…  What do I do now?

 

 

The first step, call Acropolis Funeral Services, on 9558 1770.  There are no two scenarios alike, when it comes to loved ones passing away.  Every case is individual; loved ones pass away peacefully after long illnesses, whilst others die suddenly, unexpectedly.  Equally traumatic are deaths that occur away from home, when police advise family of the sudden circumstances.  Acropolis Funeral Services, is always a phone call away.  We’re available 24 hours, and we’ll guide you through the process, step by step, listed below.  Our expert team will be by your side, when the time comes; that you require professional service, when you’re confronted by death.

 

In the case where a sudden passing away of a loved one occurs at home; if you haven’t called us first, call an Ambulance, by dialling triple zero.  When the Paramedics arrive, they’ll assist- to resuscitate, or confirm if your loved one has passed away.  In the case of a passing, the Paramedics will ask you to call the family General Practitioner that has the medical history and record of your loved one.  This is to determine if there was a pre-existing medical condition that led to the cause of death, in order to issue an Interim Death Certificate.  An Interim Death Certificate- is a certificate stating that your loved one has passed away.  This is a temporary certificate however, until the formal Death certificate is issued by The New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.   The transfer into the care of a funeral home, in other words, a deceased person cannot be moved; it cannot occur, without an official Interim Death Certificate or Life Extinct Form.

 

Unless however, if the Doctor- cannot be contacted, for example if it is too early in the morning, or too late at night, the Paramedics will coordinate a temporary transfer to the Mortuary facility, located at The New South Wales Forensic and Analytical Science Service, Department of Forensic Medicine Sydney, in Lidcombe, also known as The Coroner.  (Sydney and Greater Sydney area.  Other areas out of these regions- have Mortuary facilities available.)

 

The Paramedics will contact the Police, to organise the transfer.  The government transfer will take place after the Police arrive, and at this stage the Ambulance would have left.  Your loved one will never be unattended, or left alone.  Either the Paramedics or Police Officers will be present, by your side- until the transfer occurs.

When contact is made with the Doctor, advising them of the passing away of your loved one, and in the case that there was a pre-existing medical condition, he or she will contact the Coroner, advising of this. After which an Interim Death Certificate will be issued.  Then the funeral arrangements can commence.  Otherwise, if there is no pre-existing condition, causing the unexpected and sudden cause of death, a forensic examination will begin, to determine the cause of death.  There are also instances where Paramedics may issue Interim Death Certificates.  As stated before, there are no two scenarios alike- you’ll be advised accordingly based on individual circumstances.

 

When a family member passes away at home, the General Practitioner of the family must be notified, to report the death.  It can’t be any Doctor, however the General Practitioner of the family, that has at hand, the medical history, and record of your loved one.  If the family member had a pre-existing medical history, known by the Doctor that led to the death of your loved one, he or she will issue an Interim Death Certificate, at the residence of the deceased.

 

After which Acropolis Funeral Services, once contacted, will coordinate the transfer of your loved one, into our care.  Your loved one will be transferred to our Mortuary either by our staff, during business hours, or by a transfer contractor, after hours.  This will be discussed further when contact is made with us.  The Interim Death Certificate will be issued, completed and signed by the Doctor, confirming the date, time, and place of death.  This certificate together with any other paperwork must be handed over when the transfer of the deceased occurs.

 

Communication will then begin to confirm a date and time to meet, and organise the funeral arrangements.  During this time, all the details leading to the funeral service and burial, or cremation, repatriation or memorial will be discussed and confirmed.  After the service, Acropolis Funeral Services will then send to The New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages- the Interim Death Certificate.  Once processed, the department will send the official Death Certificate to the next of kin.

 

In the case that the family member was healthy, with no pre-existing medical condition, meaning the Doctor cannot ascertain as to why they passed away, therefore not being able to issue an Interim Death Certificate, your loved one, will need to be transferred to the State Coroner.  Here a forensic examination will take place, to investigate and determine the cause of death.  If located out of the greater Sydney area, your loved one will be transferred to the closest department for forensic examination.

 

Furthermore, depending on the circumstances of the death, and if a death occurs out of a hospital, nursing home or private residence, such as a car accident, whilst at the beach, or walking through parklands, etc., whether there was a pre-existing medical history or not, loved ones will be transferred to the Coroner for examination.  The Police will coordinate the transfer of deceased persons to the department using the government registered mortuary transfer service.  Depending on the investigation- clearance must be authorised by the Coroner prior to any funeral director being able to transfer loved ones into their care.

 

Once the Coroner has completed the examination, they’ll issue a Coroner’s Report regarding the cause of death, which will be collected by the funeral director.  As there is no Interim Death Certificate, but a Coroner’s Report the funeral director will then send this document to The New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  Once processed, the department will send the official Death Certificate to the next of kin, indicating the cause of death.

 

When a patient in hospital or a resident in a nursing home passes away, the next of kin will be notified.  After which Acropolis Funeral Services may be contacted.  A transfer time will be organised, to transfer your loved one, into our care.  An Interim Death Certificate will be issued by the hospital or nursing home, completed and signed by a doctor on duty, confirming the date, time, and place of death.  This certificate together with any other paperwork will be handed over to the funeral director when the transfer of the deceased occurs.  Communication will then begin with the funeral director to confirm at date and time to meet, and organise the funeral arrangements.  During this time, all the details leading to the funeral service and burial, or cremation, repatriation or memorial will be discussed and confirmed.  The funeral director will then send to The New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages- the Interim Death Certificate.  Once processed, the department will send the official Death Certificate to the next of kin.

 

There will be significant changes, not only dealing with the grief and loss, when a loved one passes away, but the overwhelming errands and tasks, and telephone calls that will need to be completed, advising of your loved one’s passing- not necessarily straight away.  These include contacting;

 

  • Employer
  • Estate agents/landlord if the deceased was renting
  • Insurance companies
  • Health fund
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Centrelink/Department of Veteran’s Affairs
  • Taxation Department
  • Surrendering/cancelling passport
  • Solicitor- for legal matters
  • Cancelling credit cards, telephone, gas and electricity supply etc.

 

Remember– call us at any time.  There are many scenarios and situations that would be overwhelming, and very confusing, at a time of sudden loss.  We are experienced in knowing what to do.  Arranging and conducting funerals is our craft, our specialty.  We’ll be by your side, every step of the way…

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