The first 24 hours

William Sheahan Funerals at Drysdale has prepared the following information to assist you when someone dies and what to do in the first 24 hours.

When someone dies in a public hospital

Contact William Sheahan Funerals who will deal directly with the hospital. The body will be kept in the hospital mortuary until all paperwork is processed, usually within 24 hours. The body would then be transferred to our funeral home.

When someone dies in a private hospital/aged care facility

At the family’s request the hospital/aged care facility would contact William Sheahan Funerals who would transfer the body into their care. They would liaise with the doctor to issue the Death Certificate. After the transfer is completed contact would then be made with family to arrange funeral details.

When someone dies at home

Call the doctor/ambulance and the nearest relative or friend. If the death was expected, the doctor would arrange to issue the Death Certificate. William Sheahan Funerals would liaise direct with the doctor. In some cases the doctor might visit the home to confirm the death. When the body is ready to be transferred, contact William Sheahan Funerals.

Unexpected death

If someone dies unexpectedly, ring the ambulance, who will confirm the death. They will then ring the police and the police will attempt to contact the deceased’s doctor to see if they will issue a Death Certificate. If the doctor cannot be contacted or will not issue the Death Certificate, contact will then be made with the Coroner’s office. They would then arrange for a government contractor to remove the body and transfer it to Melbourne. The Coroner’s office would make contact with the family to discuss their procedure. Once the body is cleared William Sheahan Funerals would transfer the body into their care.

The Death Certificate and registering the death

The doctor’s Death Certificate is the official registration of death. It is signed by the doctor who pronounces the death and must be lodged with the relevant Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state or territory where the death occurred. After the funeral, William Sheahan Funerals will register the death with the relevant registrar and ask for the original copy of the Death Certificate to be sent to you. This is legal proof of the death and may be requested by a range of organisations including banks and solicitors. Death Certificates normally take two or three weeks to complete but in exceptional circumstances, if an autopsy or coronial inquiry is conducted, it may take eight weeks to several months.

Mortuary care

William Sheahan Funerals is one of the few funeral directors in regional Victoria to provide embalming services. William Sheahan has a Certificate in Mortuary Science and is a member of the highly regarded Australian Institute of Embalming.

As funeral directors in Drysdale we can help you through these first 24 hours. If you live in Drysdale or within the Bellarine Peninsula region feel free to call us to help you through what can be a difficult time.

William Sheahan Funerals can help with all funeral inquiries, including prepaid funerals.