Department of the Attorney General

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Department of the Attorney General
Law Compass

Dealing with death

If you have lost a loved one or you are acting as the executor of a deceased estate, you may need to know how to register a death, how to get a death certificate and how to carry out the instructions in a person's will.

Registering a death

You must register a death with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages within 14 days of the date of death.

Getting a death certificate

You may need to get a copy of a death certificate for purposes such as closing an account or changing a billing name with a utility provider.

All about probate

Probate is the process of proving and registering a will in the Supreme Court. The court will provide a 'grant of probate' which is a legal document proving that an executor is authorised to administer the estate of the deceased person.

Contesting a will

In certain circumstances you may be able to contest a will. The court will then make a decision as to the validity of the claim and how the will of the deceased should be changed.

Coroner's Court

When a person dies apparently from non-natural causes or where the cause of death is unknown, a doctor cannot issue a death certificate and the Coroner must be advised.

Duties of an executor

An executor is responsible for following the instructions of a will in accordance with the deceased's wishes. Among other duties, an executor has to look after any property or finances and pay bills.

When there isn't a will

When a person dies without a will it is called dying ‘intestate’. If a person dies intestate, the law sets out how their property will be shared out after all the debts have been paid.

Life events

Life events are significant stages in your life - birth, eighteenth birthday, marriage, change of name and address, retirement, and death. From here you can select which organisations you wish to notify of one of these major events.