The determination that someone has died naturally is made solely by their normal medical practitioner’s ability and willingness to sign a medical certificate detailing the cause of death. The following general rules apply for the medical practitioner to do this:

• The doctor must have seen and treated the person while they where alive; and
• The doctor must understand the cause and condition leading to the person’s death. This must meet the criteria and guidelines of the Coroners Act and the doctor must indicate his or her willingness to sign a certificate of death.


All professional funeral directors operate a 24 hour service and are available to bring the person who has died into their care immediately, if required.

Once the doctor has been advised and has indicated his or her willingness to write the death certificate your next call should be to the funeral director for help with this.

The general requirement of private nursing or aged care facilities, private hospitals and/or your own private residence is the immediate transfer of the deceased into the funeral director’s care.

Public hospitals generally have specific facilities to care for your loved one until the next morning or the next working day.