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legal Tip 21: Death: Who to Call?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Terry_w, 9th Jul, 2015.

  1. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Death: Who to Call?


    If someone dies at home do you know who to call?


    If there is any doubt, call an ambulance!!!!


    Where they have died from a long term illness or of natural causes generally you should call the person’s doctor so that they can confirm the death and sign a death certificate.


    However in some situations the death must be reported to the Police. The legislation is State based and in NSW a reportable death is one where the death occurs in any of the following situations:

    (a) the person died a violent or unnatural death,


    (b) the person died a sudden death the cause of which is unknown,


    (c) the person died under suspicious or unusual circumstances,


    (d) the person died in circumstances where the person had not been attended by a medical practitioner during the period of 6 months immediately before the person’s death,


    (e) the person died in circumstances where the person’s death was not the reasonably expected outcome of a health-related procedure carried out in relation to the person,


    (f) the person died while in or temporarily absent from a declared mental health facility within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 2007and while the person was a patient at the facility for the purpose of receiving care, treatment or assistance under the Mental Health Act 2007or Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act1990.


    (from s 6 Coroners Act 2009 (NSW))


    A doctor cannot issue a death certificate if the death ‘reportable death” as the police must investigate.


    However if it is a non reportable death, once a doctor has signed a death certificate the body of the deceased can be moved to a funeral home - don’t do this yourself! Call a funeral home to arrange for transportation of the body.


    Over the next few days the family can make arrangements for the funeral.
     
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  2. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking a little longer term, like: how do you find out where their will is? My parents have told me who's holding their will, but if you didn't know, what's the process for establishing whether a will exists and where it is? Is there a central database? (I'm suspecting not, that would be way too efficient.)
     
  3. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    What about if you live alone and are a recluse,and don't have a will in place..
     
  4. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    The smell will eventually cause someone to look.
    No will = intestacy laws.
     
  5. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Makes one wonder Terry I went along several years ago to a high end Barristers entire estate auction including his cars wine"entire floor",everything on the floor of the Brisbane public trustee office,apart from his property holdings and that gentleman may he rest in peace never had a will in place,i guess when you turn the superchargers on with german cars every corner tells a different story..
     
  6. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Ghost busters?
     
  7. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    While you are waiting for the Dr to arrive you might as well start looking for the will. Look through the files of the deceased.

    The family will have to make further arrangements to ask lawyers etc and look for a will, even if they find a will there could be later will. And when an executor applies for probate they will have to advertise for a will.

    Wills can be deposited with the Supreme court, but there is a fee for this and not many do it.
     
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  8. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    There are many cases where some family member has found a will and destroyed it because they would get (or think they might get) a better outcome under intestacy laws or they may want one of the gifts to fail.

    I recall one case where they examined a computer hard drive to find a will in there but no physical copy could be found. Did he not sign, or sign and revoke or was it destroyed by someone else after his death sort of thing.
     
  9. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    It is not just informing people where your will is but also leaving passwords and details of your digital life.
     
  10. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Yes, photos could be lost as well as access is need to information for tax returns etc.
     
  11. Meisterin

    Meisterin Member

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    I have been advised to call my parents ' catholic priest in the event I find them dead. Apparently in migrant communities the religious leaders know what steps to take in the event of death and they deal with the communication side of things..
     
  12. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Good point, I forgot about the religious aspects. Priests etc deal with death all the time and have a good knowledge of the worldly aspects too.
     
  13. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    Imagine D would mean 80% of them need to be reported to the police. Seems perfectly normal for a lot of the population not to have seen a doctor for 6 months.
     
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  14. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Good point - and how would you know? you may not know who their doctor is.
     
  15. Chrispy

    Chrispy Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    When my husband had an anaphylaxis attack caused by an anti inflammatory tablet, we phoned the ambulance immediately. We had more than one Ambulance attend but they were unable to save him and he died. The ambulance senior contacted the Police and the Coroner's Office. The Police had to stay with us until the Coroners personnel came to collect Alan. We were not able to arrange the funeral until the Coroner had undertaken an autopsy. It took a week before we could proceed with the arrangements.

    Alan and I had made our Wills together when our son was born which was 38 years ago!! We had copies of the Will but the original was with the original solicitor, who had retired and the business had been sold a number of times. However, it was not a problem as our current Solicitor was able to locate the original through the Law Society.
     
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  16. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    That must've been a dreadful time. Thank goodness the solicitor could at least sort out the will.
     
  17. Meisterin

    Meisterin Member

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    @Terry

    Not only that they know how to deal with D, but because of different perceptions regarding D and customs, apparently there have been many misunderstanding regarding circumstances of D and offsprings have been prosecuted in the past for murder.

    For example it was very common for Korean kids to say "it's my fault that my father has died" and on hearing this kind of comment the police has to investigate. And this would lead to a disaster.

    This type of comment was very common in the past and it is a humble way to show that you haven't been a very good son (even though you may have been and it's seen as having manners and polite) so in that case and you take some responsibility causing your parents death.

    Because of cultural differences that exists and the potential delay it can cause in preparing for the funeral etc priests in our community tell elderly people to tell their children to first report the D to religious leaders and they will take it from there on behalf of those that are left behind.
     
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  18. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Interesting. Must be a Confucian thing.

    내 아버지가 사망 한 내 잘못?
     
  19. Meisterin

    Meisterin Member

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    私のせいで父が死にました。
    Would be closer translation if you still remember Japanese from your Sydney Uni days.

    And probably rooted in Confucius as Korea had it as national religion for over 500 years and my father's side still site it as their religion even though they are more close to being Buddhists in my eyes. Goes to buddhist temple, recites buddhist mantra etc but when it comes to birthdays, seating when eating, and daily manners Confucius' teachings are deeply rooted without them being cognizant of it.
     
  20. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Interesting comments Meisterin.

    A think better translation of this would be "it is my fault that my father has died" which has a slightly different meaning to "I caused my father's death". the first implies more of an accident, not intentional I think, Its interesting how different translations can have consequences.