When a death occurs

What to do first

Please remember that there is no need for you to feel rushed. When someone dies many people feel an urgency to organise everything as quickly as possible. When you are grieving it is hard to think clearly so take your time and do not feel pressured. We are here to help you and to look after all that is required at this time.

Contact Heritage Funerals to Assist you

When someone you love passes away, contact us as soon as possible so that we may begin to give you our full support.


We will arrange to transfer your loved one from the place of death into the care of our funeral home at 314 James Street, Toowoomba, and will obtain the necessary medical certificates for the burial or cremation service. We provide a twenty–four hour service every day.

Contact family, friends & your minister

We suggest that you contact those people who will offer you support at this time, for example your family, friends, neighbours and church minister.


When you are ready, we will arrange to meet with you either in your own home or at our funeral home to make arrangements for the funeral service, the venue, newspaper notices, flowers, cemetery or cremation venues and all other individual requirements.

Please allow 1½ – 2 hours for this meeting to plan the details and complete the necessary paperwork. All our staff are caring professionals, who will listen to your needs and assist you with every detail.

When a death occurs at Home

When a natural death occurs in a family home, the doctor of the deceased will need to be contacted. As long as the doctor is satisfied as to the cause of death, a death certificate will be issued and the doctor will advise you to contact us. We are then able to transfer the person who has died into our care.

In a Nursing Home or Hospital

Many people die either in a hospital or nursing home. When this happens, the nurse in charge will make arrangements for the doctor to issue a death certificate. You will need to notify the care facility of your choice of funeral home. Usually the hospital or nursing home will contact us to take the person into our care. Some hospitals, such as public hospitals, will require the family to notify us of the death.


In cases where the doctor is unable to sign the death certificate, such as sudden or unexpected deaths, the local police must be called and the Coroner notified. In these cases a “Government Contractor” undertaker will transfer the person from the place of death to the Coroner’s mortuary to determine the cause of death. This may involve a post mortem examination. The Coroner will issue an order for release when the investigations are completed.
It is important to remember that in Coroners’ cases, the family of the deceased still always has the right to select the Funeral Director of their choice and arrange the funeral in accordance with their wishes.

Interstate or Overseas

As many people travel these days, sometimes the death of a loved one occurs away from home. If this happens, we can make arrangements to bring the deceased home from either within Australia or overseas and attend to all the legal and customs requirements.

It is also common for family of those born overseas to want to repatriate the deceased back to the homeland for the funeral. We can attend to all the necessary documentation and liaise with the relevant authorities on your behalf.

The cost of repatriation varies and is often much less than people think. It is worth making enquiries before a final decision is made as to the place of burial or cremation.
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