Author Topic: Query about NSW death certificates for people who died less than 30 years ago.  (Read 536 times)

Offline xiaolu

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I am facing the need to obtain a NSW death certificate for a person who passed away more recently than 30 years ago.

The NSW BDM website says:

This application form can only be used if the death occurred in NSW.  If you are the next-of-kin named on the death certificate i.e. spouse ( married, defacto, same sex defacto ) , parent, or child of the deceased, the death certificate can be issued to you.   If you are a relative not listed on the certificate,  the certificate can be issued to you if the deceased HAD ( my emphasis ) no living spouse, children or parents.

This seems to me,  somewhat ambiguous and also somewhat unworkable.

It is my understanding,  that a person has a single "next of kin",  and that spouses have priority,  then children, then parents.  I don't know exactly how the BDM department applies this.  I do know that in WW1,  there was a great deal of bickering over whether soldiers were allowed to name their mother as next-of-kin.

It also seems, from the BDM website,  that what was recorded when the death occured has precedence,  not the situation at the time when the certificate was sought.

Do death certificates now actually specify a "next of kin"?  I have bought a few and recently inherited many more.  But most of them are 50-150 years old.   None of them explicitly seem to name a next-of-kin, as such.

Many of them don't name children,  only something like ( 2 sons, 3 daughters ).

Here are some scenarios.  I know some of you are experts and would be able to clarify these.

(1)  My father died in 1991, less than 30 years ago.  At the time, he was married to his second wife,  who died in 1995.  I am the only child named on his death certificate.   In 1991,  his second wife was his next-of-kin,  not me.

How many hoops to do I have to jump through to prove she is dead, and therefore I am the next-of-kin?    Bearing in mind,  I am not her next-of-kin,  because she has or had a son from her first marriage, who I only met once,  don't know his middle name, may or may not be still living,  had a very common surname and lived in another state. Anyway,  the point is that I probably don't have legal standing to apply for my step-mother's death certificate either,  so how can I legally prove that she is dead then ?

(2)   Is it only the oldest child who can be the next-of-kin,  and apply for the death certificate ?

(3)  Suppose it was my grandfather who died in 1991.   He had no spouse and two living children at the time of his death.  My father is now deceased.  His sister, my aunt, had no children and is currently in a vegetative state in a nursing home.  The BDM website states that I need to get a letter of Authority, giving permission from the next-of-kin for me to apply to obtain a copy of the death certificate.  Including my aunt's address, phone number, and signature.  And also 3 pieces of ID,  which she may not have.

I don't think she has a phone,  and is probably incapable of signing anything.

(4)  What happens when, at the time of the person's death,  the death certificate lists none,  or only one of, the deceased person's children,  although there was more than one ?

(5)  What happens when the father died in 1991,  and his wife died in 1993, overseas,  and has no Australian death certificate ?

These seem to be highly plausible scenarios.

When I married my current husband,  a foreign citizen,  the rigmarole was absurd.  The foreign government demanded documentary proof that I had never been married in New South Wales.   The fact that I had married my first husband in Melbourne did not seem to have entered their minds.

So my question is,  how "practical" or alternatively "bloody-minded"  is the NSW BDM department concerning death certificates in these sort of cases.

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Offline xiaolu

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Just to be clear,  the situation is indeed for one of my own grandparents,   and not the unrelated situation I am currently looking into for a friend.

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Offline majm

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Re: Query about NSW death certificates for people who died less than 30 years ago.
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 30 June 18 00:17 BST (UK) »
Do you require proof of the NSW death for a legal purpose,  if so your legal representative should provide you with their expert advice.on NSW statute law re that matter.  If you jusr want 'proof' for family history purposes, try the  ryerson index for death/funeral annoucement mentions, which would lead to interment details.

Nominating a next of kin .... one does not have to nominate a spouse as one's nok nor is the eldest child automatically the nok.

A dc issued by NSWBDM for a death in 2014 has me as informant, names the deceased's spouses and names the  chikdren of those marriages.  It also notes my relationship to the deceased and my full residential address.  There is no mention of the words 'next of kin' on the certificate. The deceased was my cousin.  I have been informant on several OCcasions.


Re NSW BDM .... you shoulld ask them those questions and if you are not satisfied with their response, take it further ....

Responding after speaking on phone with my ollder rellie, a retired NSWBDM Officer


JM 
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Offline xiaolu

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Re: Query about NSW death certificates for people who died less than 30 years ago.
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 30 June 18 00:48 BST (UK) »
Thanks for that.

If there isn't a "next-of-kin" referred to on the certificate,  it's a bit curious that their website specifically mentions "if you are the next-of-kin named" on the certificate.

They don't seem to have an email address.  I might call them and ask them.

Offline majm

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The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 
Send me a PM to seek my express permission to use any information I post. Wait for my reply, do not take for granted you have any authority to copy paste my words.
Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.
Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   
All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline majm

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Re: Query about NSW death certificates for people who died less than 30 years ago.
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 30 June 18 02:01 BST (UK) »
This application form can only be used if the death occurred in NSW.  If you are the next-of-kin named on the death certificate i.e. spouse ( married, defacto, same sex defacto ) , parent, or child of the deceased, the death certificate can be issued to you.   If you are a relative not listed on the certificate,  the certificate can be issued to you if the deceased HAD ( my emphasis ) no living spouse, children or parents.

This seems to me,  somewhat ambiguous and also somewhat unworkable.


I read that to mean that if you are named on the certificate as a 'next of kin' relative, you are eligible to apply for the cert.  I think you may be considering the expression 'next of kin' in a very limited way ... I think the NSW BDM may be referring to family member/s named on the certificate.  There are others named on the document ... funeral director for example, medico certifying cause/causes of death/if a post mortem, then the name of the person conducting that examination ....

ADD, yes, any family member named on the cert can apply, each is as entitled as the other. (a return phone call just received  :D ). 

ADD, but unlikely you would be entitled to step-mum's d.c.  Legal Eagles sort these issues out all the time (further phone call  :D ).

 
JM
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Online Ruskie

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Re: Query about NSW death certificates for people who died less than 30 years ago.
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 30 June 18 07:43 BST (UK) »
If yours is situation #3, would it be worth being cheeky and applying with a letter of explanation about your Aunt's condition? A lot of people must lose contact with relatives (or have a situation similar to the one with your Aunt) and wish to apply for certificates. You would hope for a little leeway and common sense. :-\

Offline Billyblue

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Re: Query about NSW death certificates for people who died less than 30 years ago.
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 30 June 18 08:07 BST (UK) »
And if you do as Ruskie suggests, you may be wise to get a letter from your Aunt's nursing home / doctor to the effect that she is physically / mentally unable to provide anything written.

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Offline majm

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Re: Query about NSW death certificates for people who died less than 30 years ago.
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 30 June 18 08:12 BST (UK) »
 :)

RE 3.

Aunt ie.... lliving sister of your deceased grandparent ... she would NOT be named and identified as such on NSWBDM register unless  she was the informant.. Why  would you need her permission to seek your grand-Dad's official registration....  More than one person can apply for certified copy of the registrar's recorrds..  why do you need 1991 cert ... use  cemetery record or similar

Agh  ADD... aunt ... as in your DAD's sister  .... as you are named on your Dad's dc then why would  Aunt need to apply for you? .
ADD  Why  do you need grandather's cert ...  :-\

....
(1)  My father died in 1991, less than 30 years ago.  At the time, he was married to his second wife,  who died in 1995.  I am the only child named on his death certificate.   In 1991,  his second wife was his next-of-kin,  not me.

How many hoops to do I have to jump through to prove she is dead, and therefore I am the next-of-kin?    Bearing in mind,  I am not her next-of-kin,  because she has or had a son from her first marriage, who I only met once,  don't know his middle name, may or may not be still living,  had a very common surname and lived in another state. Anyway,  the point is that I probably don't have legal standing to apply for my step-mother's death certificate either,  so how can I legally prove that she is dead then ?

(2)   Is it only the oldest child who can be the next-of-kin,  and apply for the death certificate ?

(3)  Suppose it was my grandfather who died in 1991.   He had no spouse and two living children at the time of his death.  My father is now deceased.  His sister, my aunt, had no children and is currently in a vegetative state in a nursing home.  The BDM website states that I need to get a letter of Authority, giving permission from the next-of-kin for me to apply to obtain a copy of the death certificate.  Including my aunt's address, phone number, and signature.  And also 3 pieces of ID,  which she may not have.

I don't think she has a phone,  and is probably incapable of signing anything.

(4)  What happens when, at the time of the person's death,  the death certificate lists none,  or only one of, the deceased person's children,  although there was more than one ?

(5)  What happens when the father died in 1991,  and his wife died in 1993, overseas,  and has no Australian death certificate ?

These seem to be highly plausible scenarios.

When I married my current husband,  a foreign citizen,  the rigmarole was absurd.  The foreign government demanded documentary proof that I had never been married in New South Wales.   The fact that I had married my first husband in Melbourne did not seem to have entered their minds.


So my question is,  how "practical" or alternatively "bloody-minded"  is the NSW BDM department concerning death certificates in these sort of cases.


JM
The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 
Send me a PM to seek my express permission to use any information I post. Wait for my reply, do not take for granted you have any authority to copy paste my words.
Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.
Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   
All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk