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's 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 years old 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 Aboriginal

If the person is Aboriginal, 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 about religious groups in the Northern Territory.

For more information, go to the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities website.

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Last updated: 24 August 2021

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