What to do if your loved one passes away in residential aged care

What to do if your loved one passes away in residential aged care



When your loved one enters the residential aged care facility you will be asked you to nominate a funeral director. You can check options at the Australian Funeral Directors Association website.


Formalities immediately after death

  • The aged care facility will arrange for a doctor to sign the death certificate confirming the death.
  • The aged care facility will contact the nominated funeral director who will register the death, organise a certificate for burial or cremation, and arrange for the body to be transported to the funeral company.
  • You will need to collect your loved one’s personal belongings from the residential aged care facility.


Funeral arrangements

  • Decisions you will need to make include:
    • Date, place, and type of funeral
    • Public or private funeral
    • Will the body be embalmed or cremated?
    • Will there be a casket, and if so, will it be open or closed?
    • If body is cremated, what will be done with the ashes?
    • Where is the burial site?
    • Do religious traditions need to be respected?
    • Headstone
    • Obituary
    • Pallbearers
    • Catering
    • Post funeral gathering
    • Invitations


Funeral costs

  • Funerals can cost over $5,000 and vary depending on the kind of service and the funeral company used. Costs to consider:
    • Funeral director fees
    • Transport
    • Coffin
    • Death certificate
    • Permits
    • Burial or cremation costs
    • Cemetery plot
    • Celebrant or clergy
    • Flowers
    • Newspaper notices
    • Post funeral gathering
  • Establish payment of funeral: Does the deceased have any of the following?
    • Insurance policies which pay funeral expenses
    • Prepaid funeral
    • Prepaid burial plot
    • Funeral bond


Advise people

  • People and organisations you may need to contact:
  • Accountant
  • Australian Electoral Commission
  • Australian Taxation Office (a final tax return will need to be prepared)
  • Banks, building societies and credit unions (close accounts)
  • Chemist
  • Centrelink – aged pension
  • Clubs (e.g. the Returned and Services League)
  • Credit card / hire purchase companies
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Executor of the last Will and Testament
  • Family and friends
  • Financial adviser
  • Foreign pension authority
  • Foxtel / Netflix / Stan
  • Funeral bond company
  • Funeral insurance company
  • Health professionals – (e.g. doctor, physiotherapist, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist)
  • Insurance companies
  • Local council
  • Local library if they were a member – you may need to return books, DVDs etc.
  • Medicare
  • Passport office
  • Superannuation pension provider
  • Post office (arrange redirection of post if necessary)
  • Power of attorney
  • Private health insurance
  • Professional bodies (e.g. solicitor, accountant)
  • Religious advisor
  • Social media accounts
  • Solicitor
  • Telecommunication providers – (e.g. phones, internet)



Follow Chris Nothling:

Aged Care Financial Adviser

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