After a death

The caring staff at Philpott Funerals & Monumental Masons in Coonamble understand that the time following a death is stressful, confusing and difficult. To help families cope with this difficult time, our funeral home staff have prepared this guide of what to expect following a death, from calling an ambulance and contacting Philpott’s, through to the funeral arrangements and funeral service and organising headstones from our monumental masons.

Please take time to read our guide to help you organise funerals in Coonamble.

When somebody dies

The first course of action when a person dies is to call an ambulance. As well as attempting resuscitation, the ambulance paramedics are also able to confirm a death if they are the first professional healthcare providers to arrive.

If the person’s death is confirmed, the next course of action should be to contact the deceased’s doctor or hospital and they will be able to outline what needs to be done for the completion of a death certificate. An undertaker cannot complete funeral arrangements until the signing of an official death certificate. If a person has died in a public hospital, staff at the hospital will perform most of the death certificate obligations.

Once the death certificate is signed, Philpott Funerals & Monumental Masons can be contacted and funeral arrangements can commence.

Please be aware that in instances where a person dies in an aged care centre or private hospital which does not have a mortuary, you might have to contact us and arrange for the deceased person’s timely transfer to the funeral home.

Registration of a death

The official registration of a person’s death requires an official death certificate bearing the signature of the medical practitioner who pronounced the death. The death certificate is then lodged with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the relevant state or territory where the death took place.

Funeral directors are able to register the death and organise for a certified copy of the death certificate to be sent to the relevant family member or authorised person. The death certificate is a document recognised in law as the proof of death. Organisations such as banks and legal firms often require proof of death when winding up estates and other legal procedures. In most circumstances, a death certificate takes about three weeks but events such as a coroner’s inquest, can extend the time frame by a number of weeks or months. Our undertakers will keep in contact with you regarding any possible delay with the death certificate.

Working with the coroner

Our duties extend far beyond the organisation of the funeral. In circumstances where a coroner is involved, we will, as your funeral director, liaise with the coroner on your behalf.

The office of the coroner would only become involved where a doctor is unable to determine the cause of death. This would usually occur in the following circumstances:

  • the death was unexpected
  • the death was violent or unnatural, such as a homicide, suicide or drug-related death
  • the death resulted from an accident or injury
  • the person has not seen a doctor in the last six months
  • the identity of the deceased is not known
  • where a medical certificate of cause of death is not signed where the cause of death cannot be determined.

In these circumstances, it will be the coroner who will seek to determine the cause of death so the death can be registered and a death certificate issued. The coronial investigation does not need to be completed before funeral arrangements can begin and we will liaise with the coroner and provide you with information regarding when the deceased is likely to be released from the care of the court.

Please contact Philpott Funerals if you require more information or any assistance with funeral arrangements.