How To Search Death Records in Australia

Every area has different rules and regulations in terms of death certificates. For instance, Australia has different rules for birth certificates than many other areas. However, luckily, the vast majority of deaths in Australia are from natural causes. In 2020, for example, 91% of the deaths were due to natural causes.

Nevertheless, if you need to obtain death records in Australia, there are some steps that need to be taken.

death records

What is a Death Certificate?

For those who are not quite familiar, a death certificate is an official document that is issued by the government to confirm that someone has passed away. These documents can be useful for many things; most of all, they are necessary to administer an estate, collect on life insurance policies, and more. A death certificate is often confused with a medical cause of death certificate. However, the medical death certificate simply lists the cause of death, whereas the Australian death certificate includes the following details:

  • birth, death, and burial
  • family members and
  • home address and occupation
death certificate

Why You Might Need a Death Certificate

  1. In the case of establishing the identity of an abandoned house owner, when you have a real estate list with the name of the owner, but the house looks abandoned and you want to make sure the owner is dead or life. Or in the case of a will.
  2. Death records may be necessary if you would like to handle a loved one’s affairs after his or her passing. You will know if you have the legal authority to do so by finding the death records and having an attorney look over the relevant information.
  3. Death records are usually required when an interested party wants to file a life insurance claim. Therefore, you may need to search death records in Australia to obtain the documents you need to supply.
  4. You may want to remarry one day after being widowed for some time. Thus, you might need to furnish a death certificate or record to prove that you are eligible to remarry.
  5. If you operate a business, you may need to update your customers’ information and purge certain records. You might also have questions about whether someone is committing fraud by using a deceased person’s information. In that case, you will need to search death records to determine whether a person is still alive or has passed away.
  6. Your Australian employer is obligated to provide you with at least two days of compassionate leave if a family member passes away. Some employers may request that you prove that such a family member is deceased, and a death certificate is one of the most effective and indisputable ways to do so.
death certificate required

How to Get a New Death Certificate

To request the death certificate, you will need to provide funeral director with the following details:

  • Full name;
  • Dates and places of birth and death;
  • Occupation;
  • Residential Address;
  • Marital status and spouse details;
  • Details of previous marriages;
  • Parents’ names and occupations;
  • The names, birthdays, and ages of any children; and
  • Place of burial or cremation.

However, you should also keep in mind that there are restrictions in terms of who can apply for these certificates. In other words, only certain people can request death certificates. They are as follows:

  • The next of kin of the deceased (i.e. widow, de facto partner, child, or parent
  • The next closest relative, if the deceased has no immediate living family;
  • The solicitor acting for the next of kin.
  • If applying within two months of the death, the funeral director can apply on behalf of the family
  • The executor of the estate, if applicable.

Either way, death certificates can take around 10-15 days for the death certificate to be delivered.

death records search

How to Search Death Records in Australia

If you are wondering how to search for death records for free in Australia, you’re in luck. The process is pretty simple. This is primarily because death certificates are considered public records. Therefore, there are a few barriers and restrictions preventing you from. For instance, the National Library of Australia has an index in which you can search for these certificates. Better yet, most of the records are available online. Therefore, if you want to search for death records in Australia, you simply need to visit the website, go to ‘resources and tools,’ click the tab for birth, marriage, and death records, and enter the name of your deceased relative in the search bar.

death records needed

Ready to Search Death Records for Free?

Overall, the process is simple if you are searching for death records in Australia. As long as the death certificate already exists, you can simply search for the death records online. However, in extreme instances, you may need to contact the office directly and organize a way to receive a physical copy of the document.

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