When Do You Receive a Death Certificate For Your Loved One?
After the death of a family member, your funeral director will apply for and collect the Death Certificate on your behalf.
A death certificate is an official document issued by the state government serving as proof of identification for the deceased and confirmation of their passing.
This document is not the same as a Cause of Death certificate issued by your doctor or hospital. It is a separate certificate that only the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages (BDM) can officially produce. A cause of death form cannot be used in place of a death certificate.
In most cases, you do not need to apply for a death certificate on your own. Your funeral director is legally required to submit the application for a death certificate within 7 days of the burial or cremation taking place.
What you Need to Provide
Before your funeral director can submit the application, yourself – or another family member – must provide some basic details about the deceased. Doing this will ensure that the application process goes smoothly and with minimal delay.
Your Funeral Director will ask for the following Information about the deceased, such as their:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Primary residential address
- Place of death – either the address of the hospital or other residence
- Main occupation for the majority of their life
- Relationship or marital status at the time of death
- Previous marriages – place of marriage, state and country, full name of spouse, age at the time of marriage.
- Place of birth
- Parent’s full names and occupations, including mother’s maiden name
- Place of burial or cremation
- Religion (if applicable)
Once submitted, there’s very little if anything for you to do.
Processing times for a death certificate vary considerably. In most cases, you can expect to wait at least several weeks (or a minimum of 20 days) before the death certificate is issued to your funeral director.
Once the document is ready to be collected, your funeral director will let you know. Alternatively, they may be able to mail it to your address, saving you time on visiting the funeral home in person.
Standard processing fees for a death certificate is $60. This fee is usually included as part of your funeral director’s fee. You should know exactly what to expect in terms of cost when it comes to death certificate-related fees.
An extract of a death certificate costs the same to process. However, some organisations may refuse to accept an extract, due to the limited amount of information they contain.
Why you need a Death Certificate
First and foremost, the purpose of the death certificate is to confirm the official passing of the deceased.
This is essential when it comes to being able to legally access and distribute the deceased’s assets – including finances, pension, superannuation, life insurance settlement, property, stocks, bonds, and much more.
In limited circumstances, a death certificate may be required to accurately determine the cause of death. This is only necessary if there is suspicion of foul play and a police investigation is carried out.
Furthermore, a death certificate provides valuable public health data. In particular, it clues us into the leading causes of death among the greater population. This insight can help lead the way in new medical or technological advancements, government policies, and workplace guidelines, in order to help reduce the risk of fatality.
Do you require a death certificate for someone who has recently deceased? For 24 hour advice and support, call Funerals of Compassion on 1300 906 060. One of our friendly staff will be happy to help you.