In Victoria, recent changes have been made regarding distribution of death certificates. For those who are dealing with the arrangements of someone who has passed away, here is an explanation from SE Lawyer Bridgette Dempsey of the new changes, and what they mean for you.
As of the 11th of July 2022, there are now two types of death certificates available. They are called:
- Death Certificate – cause of death; and
- Death Certificate.
The first death certificate is the same as the previous standard death certificate you would normally receive – including important information such as the cause of death. The second certificate contains the same information as the first death certificate, except for the fact that it does not include a cause of death.
What is the point of two separate death certificates?
The point of the two separate death certificates is to allow you to complete certain processes more efficiently and maintain more privacy.
The certificate that the Supreme Court requires for the purpose of applying for Probate or Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed, is the ‘death certificate – cause of death’.The time it takes for this certificate to be processed and sent can vary, depending on individual circumstances. As a result, this delay can leave many having to manage or take over the non- legal aspects of the deceased person’s life, such as paying for the utilities of their home.
By having the second certificate or ‘death certificate’ in place, this can allow you to contact utility providers or banks, verify a person’s death, and arrange for their services to be stopped or accounts to be closed. This is particularly useful as most organisations do not require a cause of death to carry out these actions, meaning that the second certificate is acceptable. Another advantage of the second death certificate is that it allows you to keep the cause of death of the deceased person private if you wish to do so.
If you are intending to apply for Probate or Letters of Administration, you must ask your funeral director to apply for the ‘death certificate – cause of death’, as this is the only certificate of the two that is accepted.
- As of the 11th of July 2022, there are now two types of death certificates available: Death Certificate – cause of death; and Death Certificate.
- The ‘death certificate – cause of death’ can be used in all matters where a death certificate is required, e.g. applying for Probate or Letters of Administration, or contacting utilities and banks.
- The ‘death certificate’ can only be used in matters that do not require a cause of death e.g. contacting utilities or banks. It cannot be used when applying for Probate or Letters of Administration.
For more information and advice:
With these recent changes to death certificates, it is normal to have questions or concerns.
At South East Lawyers, the Wills and Estates team can help you by explaining your responsibilities, assisting in applications for Probate and any other matters you may need to complete the process of winding up an Estate. To chat about your needs and how we can support you, get in touch here.