What to do if someone dies

Arrange a burial or cremation

If there is a will, the person may have left instructions on how their body should be dealt with. It is the responsibility of the executor to carry out these wishes.

When there is no will 

If there is no will, it usually falls to the most senior next of kin such as a spouse, de facto partner, child over 18 or a parent.

You may have to get legal advice if there is any dispute over who has the right to deal with the body. It could be taken to the Supreme Court for a decision. 

If the person is Indigenous

If the person is Indigenous, how the body is dealt with may depend on the customs and traditions of their community or group.

Religion and culture

You should consider all religious and cultural factors when dealing with a body.

You can get fact sheets written by the Office of Multicultural Affairs about religious groups in the Northern Territory. For more information go to the religious fact sheets page at the Department of the Chief Minister website.

Print all pages in this section

Last updated: 06 February 2019

Share this page:

Was this page useful?

Describe your experience

More feedback options

To provide comments or suggestions about the NT.GOV.AU website, complete our feedback form.

For all other feedback or enquiries, you must contact the relevant government agency.