Grieving families will no longer have to share the cause of a loved one’s death as they navigate difficult administrative tasks following a loss.
The Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages now offers a new death certificate package, containing the original death certificate and a new legal death certificate, which has some sections removed.
The new legal death certificate excludes the cause of death and burial information and is available immediately, allowing families to start managing the estate of the deceased quickly. The new certificate will be accepted for administration processes at organisations such as banks, government entities and utility companies.
The original death certificate listing cause of death will still be available as it is required by superannuation and insurance companies.
The certificate package eases the burden of administering a deceased estate, by offering families the choice to censor sensitive information such as cause of death and cutting the waiting time for a certificate for deaths being investigated by the Coroner.
This new approach has been carefully developed in response to community feedback and advice from the Coronial Council of Victoria.
The Council’s advice has been informed by the experience of families and support agencies as well as insights provided by experts in bereavement and therapeutic laws.
The certificate package was made possible thanks to $750,000 in funding provided to Births, Deaths and Marriages from the Department of Treasury and Finance’s Regulatory Reform Incentive Fund.
Quote attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes
“The death administration process is a really difficult thing to go through – we're simplifying that and protecting the privacy of families and the loved ones they’re mourning.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Regulatory Reform Danny Pearson
“We know that end-of-life administration is a difficult step during already challenging times for family and loved ones, streamlining the process is a small way we can support bereaved families when they need it most.”
Quote attributable to State Coroner, Judge John Cain
“We welcome these important changes. The new certificates will offer families privacy and dignity – especially in the context of losing a loved one in distressing circumstances.”
Reviewed 08 July 2022