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What to do when a person dies and you are the next of kin

Trusts and Estates

When a family member dies and you are the next of kin

A short guide for the next of kin, when a family member passes away.

  1. Should a person die at home, call the Undertaker

  2. If a person dies in hospital, the hospital will assist with the arrangements like the Undertaker and the medical certificate

  3. Should a person die of unnatural causes, inform the police – obtain information as to whom the undertaker can contact

  4. Inform the other next of kin, close friends 

  5. Make an appointment with the Undertaker - most Undertakers are equipped to give valuable assistance and advice relating to many of the immediate arrangements. 

  6. Start with funeral arrangements including the Minister, which kind of service, the refreshments etc

  7. The Undertaker will obtain the medical certificate, register the Death with the Department of Home Affairs and start with the funeral arrangements

  8. Obtain the original death certificate from the funeral home and make sure that all details on the death certificate are correct – if not, revert to the funeral home to amend accordingly 

  9. Inform the Executor of the death

  10. Plan for the intake of the estate by obtaining the list of required documents

  11. As soon as documents are ready, make an appointment with the estate administrator to take in the estate and discuss all relevant issues and the way forward:

-    Payment of creditors including bond where applicable

-    Hold on the deceased’s accounts

-    Debit orders which were usually paid from the deceased’s account

-    Insurance of all assets

-    Payment of consumer accounts

-    Policies payable to beneficiaries

-    Administration process including the responsibility of Executor and heirs

-    Continuation of businesses if any

Should you have any questions please contact our Trust and Estates division at