​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

After someone dies

There are often many things to do after​ someone dies, including notifying​ peopl​e, making funeral arrangements and dealing with the deceased person's property. 

This topic has information about:

    ​Who ​​do you notify after someone dies?

    When a person dies, a doctor must confirm the death and issue a Medical Certificate Cause of Death. The doctor, executor, next of kin, relative or funeral director must then register the certificate with the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages within seven days. After registration, the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages will issue a​ Death Certificate to the next of kin or funeral director.

    If the person died of sus​picious or unusual circumstances, or if the cause of death is unknown then the doctor must notify the police in order to begin a coronial investigation. In some cases an inquest will be held before a coroner to find out information about when and how the person died.

    When a person dies particular people and organisations should be notified of the death.

    This section covers: 

    • Who is responsible for notifying a death?
    • Who do you have to notify? 
    • When does a death have to be reported to the coroner?

    For more information, see Who do you notify after someone dies?

    Funerals

    After the Death Certificate is issued, there are a number of things an executor or next of kin must do. If the person had a will, the executor of the will is responsible for making funeral arrangements. If the person did not have a will, the next of kin, relative or close friend is responsible for making funeral arrangements.

    The person arranging the funeral is responsible to pay the funeral director. The deceased may have a pre-paid funeral plan or insurance policy which will pay for the funeral.

    This section covers:

    • What is a funeral?
    • Who is responsible for arranging the funeral?
    • Who pays for the funeral?
    • Who can go to the funeral?
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander funerals
    • When there is no money for a funeral
    • Who owns the ashes?
    • Choosing the headstone

    For more information, see Funerals.

    The will

    A will is a legal document which explains how a person wants their assets to be distributed after they die. After someone dies, the next of kin must first find out if the deceased had a will. This section explains the steps you can take to search for the deceased's will.

    For more information, see The will.

    Assets and debts

    After a person dies, the executor or next of kin will need to work out whether it is necessary to apply to the NSW Supreme Court for probate or letters of administration. To do this they will need to gather details of the deceased's estate, including their assets (property and money) and debts.

    This section covers:

    • Working out assets and debts?
    • Superannuation
    • Notifying the bank 

      For more information, see Assets and debts.

      What to do with the estate

      After you have obtained details about the assets and debts of the deceased person, you will need to decide if it is necessary to apply to the NSW Supreme Court for probate or letters of administration.

      If the deceased had a will and you are an executor named in a will you have responsibilities to deal with the deceased person's property. A will is a legal document that explains who will get property after a person dies. You may also need to apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for probate.

      If the deceased did not have a will they 'died intestate' (which means they died without a will). Under the 'rules of intestacy' the relatives are entitled to a share in the deceased person's property. As the next of kin, relative or close friend of the deceased, you may need to apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for letters of administration to distribute the deceased's estate.

      If the deceased person has no living relatives who are entitled to the property under the rules of intestacy, the estate will be paid to the state.

      This section covers:

      • When there is a will
      • When there is no will
      • Is probate or administration always needed?
      • When to see a lawyer

      For more information, see What to do with the estate.

      Applying for probate

      If you are an executor named in a will, you may need to apply for and get a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court of NSW before distributing the deceased person's estate.

      This section covers:

      • What is probate?
      • Publishing a probate notice 
      • Making a probate application 
      • Requisitions from the court 
      • Problems with executors

      For more information, see Applying for probate.

      Applying for letters of administration

      If the deceased died intestate (without a will) or did not name an executor in a valid will, or the executor is unwilling or unable to act, you may need to apply for and get a Grant of Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court of NSW before distributing the deceased person's estate.

      This section covers: 

      • What is letters of administration? 
      • Who can apply? 
      • Searching for the will
      • Publishing a notice of intended application 
      • Making an application for letters of administration 
      • Requisitions from the court 
      • Entitlements where someone dies without a will

      For more information, see Applying for letters of administration.

      Grants from outside NSW

      If the deceased owned property in New South Wales and if you have obtained a grant of probate or administration outside of New South Wales, you may need to apply to the Supreme Court of New South Wales to reseal the grant before you can deal with the property in New South Wales.

      This section covers: 

      • Reseal 
      • Publishing a notice of intended application for reseal 
      • Making an application to reseal a grant.

      For more information, see Grants from outside NSW.

      After probate or administration

      After the court has made a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, the executor or administrator is responsible for collecting assets and paying debts, before the estate can be distributed to beneficiaries.

      This section covers: 

      • Publishing a notice of intended distribution 
      • Collecting (calling in) the assets owned by the deceased 
      • Dealing with the deceased's debts.

      For more information, see After probate or administration.

      Distributing the estate

      Once probate or administration has been granted (or if it was not needed), and the deceased's debts have been paid, the executor or administrator (or next of kin) can distribute the estate.

      This section covers: 

      • Distributing an estate when probate or administration is not needed
      • Distributing an estate after the grant of probate or letters of administration 
      • Paying specific legacies 
      • Transferring real property 
      • Transferring personal property 
      • Accounting to beneficiaries 
      • Spouse's entitlements

      For more information, see Distributing the estate.

      Family provision claims

      If you have been left out of a will or did not receive what you believe you were entitled to from the estate, you may be eligible to make a family provision claim.

      This section covers: 

      • What is a family provision claim? 
      • Who is eligible to make a family provision claim? 
      • How to make a claim 
      • What the court will consider

      For more information, see Family provision claims.

      Forms

      This section has instructions and sample forms as well as sample letters.

      For more information, see Forms.

      Frequently asked questions

      This section has answers to common questions that you may have when a person dies and when you need to apply for probate or letters of administration.

      For more information, see Frequently asked questions. ​​

      Icon - alertAn application for a grant of probate or letters of administration should be made within six months of the date of death, unless there is a reasonable explanation for the delay.

      The information in this topic was last updated on 22 April 2015.​​

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