Who to notify

Information about who to notify after someone dies.

When a person dies in NSW, a doctor or the Coroner will notify the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages about the death. 

The executor or next of kin is responsible for notifying organisations and others about the death.

All deaths which occur in NSW are recorded with the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM). The funeral director will usually complete the registration of the death with BDM.

If you are the executor or next of kin and prefer to do the registration yourself, you will need to complete the death registration form at BDM. You can apply online.

You will need to provide certain details on the form about the identity of the deceased, such as: 

  • their full name 
  • their date of birth 
  • the place of death 
  • their usual occupation 
  • the name of their spouse or de facto partner 
  • the names of their children
  • the names of their parents. 

BDM will issue a death certificate to the next of kin or a person authorised by the next of kin such as an executor or the funeral director normally within a few weeks. ​

For more information, see  Death certificates on the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages website.

You can apply for a death certificate after the death has been registered with BDM.

The next of kin can apply for a death certificate from BDM for a fee.

Counter services at NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages are no longer available. If you can’t apply online, you can either use a drop box at the Registry office or lodge a paper application in person at a Service NSW service centre.

From 1 May 2021, you can click & collect the death certificate from the Chippendale or Parramatta NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages if you purchase a priority certificate. 

To apply for a death certificate, see  Death certificates on the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages website.

The deceased person's executor or 'next of kin' is responsible for notifying people or organisations about the person's death.

Depending on the requirements of the organisation you are notifying, you will either need to provide a certified copy of the death certificate or show the original death certificate to be sighted. You should always keep the original death certificate.

There are no laws or legal rules about who must be notified about a death. If you are an executor or next of kin, you may notify relatives or friends of the deceased person.  

Some of the people that may be notified include:

  • the deceased's partner or spouse
  • adult children
  • guardians (or carers) of the deceased person's underage children
  • parents of the deceased
  • other relatives
  • friends.

If you do not know the contact details of family members or relatives of the deceased, you can ask the police or other family members for assistance.

It is also important to notify the following organisations that the deceased person may have had accounts with or received money from:

  • telephone, gas or electricity companies 
  • government departments 
  • banks 
  • insurance companies 
  • online accounts (for example, email and social media accounts).

Checklist: Who to notify after someone dies

You can notify some banks, utilities, superannuation and NSW Trustee & Guardian online using the Australian Death Notification Service (ADNS). 

For more information, see the Australian Death Notification Service website.

You may notify organisations by phone or in writing. Some organisations may request that you send a letter and a copy of the death certificate.

Sample: Letter notifying death

  • Alert


    If you own a property with a deceased person and if you want to transfer it in your own name, you should get legal advice from a private lawyer.