When Death Occurs

When someone close to you dies the initial shock can be overwhelming. Even if the death was anticipated, it can still be difficult to believe that it has actually happened. Do not be afraid to ask friends, family or neighbours for support as there are many decisions to be made, and things that need to be done in the first few hours after a death.

When Death Occurs at Home or a Place of Business

When a death occurs at home you should phone the deceased persons general practitioner who will explain what steps to take to get a Medical Certificate Cause of Death. In the event of a medical practitioner being unable to sign the medical certificate, this matter is usually deferred to the police and/or Coroner. Such a case is called 'A Reportable Death'. Your funeral director will be able to explain the process.

A Medical Certificate of Cause of Death signed by a doctor or Order of Disposal provided by the Coroner, are the official documents required to register the death and must be lodged with the relevant State or Territory Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Your funeral director will organise to lodge the Death Certificate for you and obtain a copy for the next of kin.

Murphy Family Funerals keep a digitalised and encrypted copy of the original certificate in our office should you have any need for further copies in the future.

When Death Occurs at a Hospital / Nursing Home / Palliative Care Facility

The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or a nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred.  If a preferred funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of death.  

Informing a Funeral Director

The next person to call is your funeral director. Murphy Family Funerals are available at any hour of the day or night, seven days a week. They will arrange transfer of the deceased, and provide information and advice about what needs to be done to begin making your desired funeral arrangements. 

Unless the deceased had communicated their choice of funeral director before their death, the executor or legal next of kin will need to make the selection.

The decision as to who you call may depend on a number of factors, and shopping around for a good funeral director is probably the last thing on your mind at such a stressful time. Murphy Family Funerals are a member of the AFDA and will provide professional, understanding and compassionate service throughout your time of need.

Information the Funeral Director will Require

You will be asked to provide the following information for the purpose of legally registering the death with the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages:

The deceased's:

  • full name
  • last known address
  • last known occupation
  • date and place of birth
  • date and place of death
  • father's name
  • mother's name including maiden name
  • marital status at time of death
  • details of all marriages, where, when and to whom
  • names and dates of birth of children, including legally adopted or stillborn children, as well as any who have died.
  • Centrelink and Medicare numbers

Meeting a Funeral Director

If this is the first time that you are arranging a funeral, the task can be quite daunting. At this time the experience, care and professionalism of Murphy Family Funerals will be most important. Remember, the funeral director's role is one of service. He or she is there to serve the bereaved, and to be entrusted with all the arrangements as directed by you and at a cost acceptable to you.

Murphy Family Funerals have the expertise and facilities to offer you a full range of options. We will discuss your preferences and requirements, and are fully flexible when it comes to assisting you with the planning of appropriate funeral and burial or cremation arrangements.

Making Arrangements

A funeral service can be religious or secular, and can take place in one of several venues. It can take place in a church or other place of religious worship, in the funeral home chapel, at the graveside or crematorium, or even outdoors if permitted by regulations.

In designing funeral services that are appropriate, your funeral director will outline all the options available to you. He or she will assist with making an informed choice, always mindful that cost considerations may be an important factor in any decision making process.

Decisions will need to be made regarding matters such as the venue and time, place of burial or cremation, coffin or casket, notices and obituaries, flowers, transport, pallbearers, viewing, eulogies and refreshments. This may seem overwhelming at first but your funeral director will take you through the items one by one, guiding and advising you on the many matters which need to be considered.