Dealing with the death of someone at home can be daunting as you are confronted not only with the passing of someone you cared for, but also have to deal with the arrangements that go with it.
Much of what will happen after the death of someone at home is regulated by law. This provides helpful guidelines that make it easier on those who have to take care of the arrangements after the death of someone who dies of natural causes.
Steps to take
- The first step after the death is to decide which funeral service / director to use and to have the deceased moved to a suitable mortuary. It is entirely up to the family of the deceased to decide which funeral service to use.
- The death must be reported to the Department of Home Affairs, also important to enable for the deceased estate to be administered. The Notification of Death form must be completed by a doctor or pathologist and handed in at the Department of Home Affairs, who will issue a Death Certificate within weeks. The funeral service would normally take care of this on behalf of the family.
- If the cause of death is unknown, the funeral service can arrange for a private autopsy to be done by a pathologist at the mortuary to determine the cause of death and issue the notice of death.
- It is helpful to decide who will identify the body, as this has to be done in order for the Notification of Death to be issued. Anyone familiar with the deceased can do this. The person who does the identification would need proof of identity, preferably in the form of an Identification Document (ID) or a valid passport, as well as proof of identity (ID) of the deceased.
- If the body is to be cremated, do not be alarmed if mention is made of a further examination of the body by a second doctor. This is required by law to confirm that no reason exists for the body to not be cremated. The funeral service will again take care of this.