Your step-by-step guide in the event of a death.

What happens when someone dies.

  • You will receive a notice of death which states the identity, date, time and cause of death.
  • The deceased will be transported to a mortuary or a funeral home where an autopsy might be performed.
  • If it is ruled an accidental death, notify the police who will instruct the proceedings and arrange an autopsy at a state mortuary.
  • A death report will be issued along with a burial order. Note that cremation requires confirmation from a second doctor before the report is issued.
  • The Department of Home Affairs will issue a death certificate after receiving the notice of death and death report.
  • The executor of the deceased’s will requires the unabridged birth certificate and certified copies of claims on life insurance policies to finalise the estate.
  • The death must also be reported to the Master of the High Court.

Things to remember.

  • If the deceased is an organ donor, please notify relevant parties as soon as possible.
  • Contact a funeral home to help with the funeral arrangements.
  • Collect the deceased’s ID, birth certificate, passport, and other important documents like their will or insurance policies. Bring the deceased’s will to the attention of the named executor.
  • Don’t forget to take care of the deceased’s pets and livestock.
  • Make sure the deceased’s home is secure.