Gather essential documents
Gathering the necessary Proof of Death documents upfront will save you time and effort when you start to notify institutions of the deceased.
A doctor will sign a certificate called the “Doctor’s certificate of death” that confirms the death. Funeral arrangements can then be started, and the funeral company can take the deceased into their care.
The doctor’s certificate and other proof of death documents enable next of kin to plan the funeral, formally notify organisations and other parties of the deceased’s death, and access funds from the deceased’s account to cover valid funeral expenses, if all of the executor/s or Next of Kin (where no Will exists) make a request. Proof of death documents include a Death Certificate, Doctor’s Medical Certificate, Funeral Bill, Solicitor’s or Coroner’s Letter confirming the passing of the deceased and/or their handling of the Estate such as Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or a Probate Bond.
Gather the following information about the deceased as soon as possible, for all further dealings with the deceased estate:
- Driver’s licence number
- Passport number
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate – where relevant
- Divorce decree – where relevant (outcome of a divorce, signed by a judge)
- A signed Will
- Locate member numbers of any memberships in professional, fraternal or military organizations
Keep all proof of death documents secure, as with any other identification documentation as these enable access to the deceased’s estate.
Make multiple copies of these documents and have these certified to make things easier when requested by other institutions during notification.