Who to Inform When Someone Dies
A checklist of who to contact when someone dies
It is important to know who to call when someone dies. It’s helpful to compile a checklist of the people you’ll need to inform. You may well be asked by them to provide documentation confirming your loved one’s death and provide several forms of identification.
You will need to inform Medicare that your loved one has died. There is a simple form you’ll need to fill in, so that the Department of Human Services can update its records. This is called the Notification of deceased person form (MS033).
You’ll need to provide your loved one’s name, address and Medicare number and also details of your own.
You will also need to let Centrelink know about your loved one’s death, if they were receiving assistance such as a retirement pension, disability, unemployment, parental or other payments.
This involves filling in a short document providing your loved one’s name, address and the executor of their estate, if known. This is called the Advice of death form (SA116A).
You can visit the nearest Centrelink to pick up a form in person, fill it in online, or call 132 300.
When you contact the bank to inform them about your loved one’s death, they will restrict access to the account. If you shared a joint account, however, you will still be able to access your funds.
When you notify the bank of someone's death You’ll need to bring along a proof of death document. A death certificate, medical certificate, funeral bill, solicitor’s or coroner’s letter are among the accepted documented forms of proof of death when you are notifying the bank. You’ll also need to bring several forms of identification, with those accepted usually detailed by the bank. These can include a birth certificate, driver’s license, Centrelink pension card, Medicare card and utility bills in your loved one’s name.
The bank will also need the details of the person or solicitor who will be administering your loved one’s estate, if this is known. When the estate’s executors approach the bank to access your loved one’s accounts, they will need a copy of the death certificate which was issued after the death was officially registered.
You will need to cancel any direct debits being withdrawn, such as for utilities and telecoms bills, with the individual providers.
The taxation office
You should notify the taxation office if your loved one had a tax file number, or lodged tax returns during their lifetime, as there are likely to be tax and superannuation issues to be completed.
If your loved one had super, you may receive a ‘super death benefit’ payment. The super fund's trustee works out who the beneficiaries are. If you are the executor of your loved one’s estate, you may need to lodge a final tax return, known as a date of death return. You may also need to lodge a tax return for the tax year prior to their death.
To reduce the amount of junk mail arriving at your loved one’s house, you can register their details with Australia’s Association for Data-Driven Marketing’s Do Not Mail list. You can write to them at: ADMA, GPO Box 3895, Sydney, NSW. It can’t stop mail being sent from companies your loved one signed up to, so you will still need to cancel these accounts directly.
You may also need to contact people and organisations including:
- Utilities and telecoms providers
- Insurance companies
- Landlord or tenants
- Vehicle registration and licensing authorities
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- Australian Electoral Commission