What to do when someone dies – The Checklist
In the days following the death of a loved one, grief can be mingled with stress as you start to think about the mounting ‘to do’ list. Who do you need to inform? How do you close all their accounts? Where do you start?
To help, we’ve compiled a list you can work through to ensure you haven’t missed anything, and hopefully it will relieve some stress during this difficult time.
Apply for a Queensland Death Certificate – Generally your Funeral Company will take care of this on your behalf.
Get a copy of the Will. You may contact their Lawyer or The Public Trustee to find it. You’ll then need to make an appointment with The Public Trustee. If your loved one died without a Will, an Administrator will manage their Estate.
You will need to notify Centrelink:
If they were receiving income support – Download the Advice of Death for here.
And you may be eligible for a Bereavement Allowance, usually paid for up to 14 weeks if your partner has recently died. Apply here.
You may be eligible for a Bereavement Payment to help you adjust to changed financial circumstances following the death of your partner. Apply here.
Apply for an interest free Mortgage Relief loan from the Department of Housing and Public Works which is available to those in crisis, including following the death of your partner. Email: email@example.com or contact a Housing Service Centre.
Notify the Australian Taxation Office to complete their final tax return.
If their business needs to close down following their death, you can cancel the ABN with the Australian Business Register here.
Closing their Bank Accounts and claiming/cancelling insurance – you’ll need a copy of the Death Certificate, and the Will, or authorised legal representation to do this.
Update the Land Title of their property. You can find all the relevant forms here.
When someone dies, any land they own in Queensland will first transfer into a testamentary trust, which will have an appointed trustee.
As the trustee of a deceased estate, you are liable for land tax if the taxable value of the trusts land is $350,000 or more. You can apply for an exemption from the Queensland Government.
Contact Australia Post and arrange to have their mail redirected if you live at a different address to the deceased.
Contact the Department of Transport to:
Cancel their Driver’s License.
Close their Social Media accounts.
Other considerations: Utilities, rates, credit cards, store cards, reward programmes, passports, subscriptions & memberships, superannuation, Finance / Lease companies, mortgage holders, investments etc – Hopefully they have filed all these documents in an easy-to-find spot for you.
You may like to enlist the help of family and close friends to get through it all and we recommend you seek legal advice before taking any action. But most importantly, take your time and give yourself a chance to breathe.