When someone dies it can be difficult to know what to do. If you feel overwhelmed, take the time to call a family member or a friend who can support you at this time.
What you do next depends on where the person died, and how the death occurred.
If you are not sure, please call Townsville Funerals, any time of the day or night on 4721 0011 and we will help guide you.
If your loved one has passed away in a Nursing Home or Private Hospital and you are not already there, then the staff will usually contact the next of kin, and the nominated funeral director. If you wish to spend time with your loved one, or you would like to wait until other relatives or friends arrive, then inform the staff so that they can pass this information onto the nominated funeral director. You can call Townsville Funerals on 4721 0011 or 0427 626 127 at any time, as we do NOT charge you for transfers. All we require is a Cause of Death Certificate (signed by the attending doctor) or a Life Extinct Certificate (usually signed by a registered nurse) in order to transfer your loved one into our care as soon as practicable as most nursing homes and some private hospitals do not have their own holding facilities.
If death occurs in a Public Hospital, the hospital administration will complete formalities such as the Cause of Death Certificate; however, it will be up to the family to contact a funeral director such as Townsville Funerals. As most public hospitals have a holding facility (mortuary), transfer into our care would occur during weekday business hours.
If someone appears to have passed away at home under Palliative Care, contact the Palliative Care Nurse (make sure you have daytime and after-hours phone numbers available. Call a family member or a friend if you want them to be with you. When the Palliative Care Nurse arrives, they will verify that the death has occurred. The Palliative Care Nurse will also assist with any preparations that are required, including the issue of a Life Extinct Certificate and contacting the attending Doctor. Your loved one can stay at home in a cool, dry room for as long as you wish, (it is recommended to turn off, or remove, any source of heat). This is especially important if you need time for relatives and friends to come and say their goodbyes.
Then, when you are ready, contact Townsville Funerals on 4721 0011.or 0427 626 127.
We require a Cause of Death Certificate (signed by the attending Doctor) or a Life Extinct Certificate (usually signed by a registered nurse) in order to transfer you loved one into our care.
If someone appears to have passed away At Home, call an ambulance on 000. Ambulance personnel can verify that death has occurred. If the death is of a sudden or unexpected nature, the Ambulance personnel will usually call the Police. Once the Police arrive, they will assess the situation. If the Police believe there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, they will attempt to call the attending Doctor. If the Doctor is prepared to sign a Cause of Death Certificate, then once the relevant paperwork is done and you are ready, contact Townsville Funerals on 4721 0011 or 0427 626 127
Again, we require a Cause of Death Certificate (signed by the attending Doctor) or a Life Extinct Certificate in order to transfer your loved one into our care.
If the Police believe there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, or if they cannot reach the attending Doctor, or the treating Doctor is unwilling or unable to sign the Cause of Death Certificate, then the Police will contact the Government Undertaker (Coroner Contractor) to convey the deceased person to the Government Mortuary (which in Townsville is in the Townsville Hospital).
You do “NOT” have to use the Government Undertaker for a funeral service, as their contracted role is just to transfer the deceased.
If the attending Doctor could not be reached initially, but later agrees to sign the Cause of Death Certificate, then a post-mortem (autopsy) will not be carried out and you can call Townsville Funerals on 4721 0011 to transfer the deceased into our care. Otherwise, the Coroner will arrange to hold an autopsy in order to determine the cause of death.
At any stage of this process, you can call Townsville Funerals on 4721 0011 or 0427 626 127 and we will provide you with support, advice and guidance.
Once the autopsy has been performed, the deceased is available for release using a Coroner’s Order for Burial or Cremations. Townsville Funerals will submit the appropriate paperwork to obtain the Coroner’s Order, then transfer the deceased into our care.
When you contact us, or when we contact you at a later time, we will organise a time that is convenient for you to make the funeral arrangements with us. We will require information about your loved one such as: full names, residential address, date of birth and date of death, and details or their parents, marriages and children etc for the purposes of applying for the Death Certificate.
Townsville Funerals will also need to know who will authorise us to carry out the funeral service. This person is known as the Applicant and will be legally and financially responsible for the funeral arrangements. Details of the Applicant we require include full name, residential address, contact numbers (including date of birth).