WHEN DEATH OCCURS

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 Burdekin Funerals at any time of day or night on (07) 4783-1608, and we will help you.

If someone has passed away at 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 on to the nominated Funeral Director. At Burdekin Funerals we do not charge for transfers, all we require to bring your loved one into our care 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 the deceased into our care. Transfer of the deceased into the care of our funeral home will usually take place soon after, because 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 of the deceased to contact the Funeral Director.

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 friend if you want them to be with you. When the Palliative Care Nurse arrives, they will verify that 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. The person’s body can stay at home in a cool, dry room for as long as you wish (it is recommended to turn off, or remove, any sources 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 Burdekin Funerals, as with Hospitals and Nursing Homes we require a Cause of Death Certificate  or a Life Extinct Certificate in order to transfer the deceased into our care.

If someone appears to have passed away At Home unexpectedly, call an ambulance on 000. In Queensland, 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 doctor has left, and you are ready, contact Burdekin Funerals on (07) 4783-1608. 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 to convey the deceased person to the Government Mortuary. You do not have to use the Government Undertaker for a funeral service, as their current 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 Burdekin Funerals to transfer the deceased into our care. Otherwise, the Coroner will arrange to hold a post mortem (autopsy) in order to determine the cause of death. At any stage of this process you can call our staff and we will provide you with support, advice and guidance. Once the post mortem has been performed, the deceased is available for release using a Coroner’s Order for either burial or cremation. Our staff 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. We will require information about the deceased such as: full name, residential address, date of birth, place of birthm, details of any marriage and any children and their names and dates of birth. Burdekin 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, and we will need to sight photo identification (including date of birth) at the time of the arrangement. It would also be helpful if you gathered the information that is required to register a death in Queensland. These details and other useful information regarding funeral arrangements are conveniently summarised in our Funeral Pre Plan Booklet.