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Practical procedures in case someone dies

In the midst of so much pain and shock, there are a number of measures that need to be taken in relation to death. It's good to know some steps to make the process simpler

Given the shock of death, especially when it is unexpected, taking practical measures regarding legal proceedings and the funeral is particularly painful for the family. It is usually a member of the family who is in better emotional conditions the person responsible for taking care of the necessary actions. And he/she, like others, needs support and guidance. We gathered here a small guide of the necessary procedures.


If death happens under the supervision of a doctor, he/she will issue a death certificate. If there is no monitoring of a doctor, though, the family should look for the nearest police station to file a police report. The police station will request the collection of the body and issue a death certificate.


The family should go directly to a Police Station that will send the Forensic or Technical Police to investigate the death. Then the body will be taken to the City Morgue to be responsible for their release and for issuing the death certificate.


Before completing 24 hours of hospitalization:
-The Responsible doctor will arrange for the body to be taken to the local Morgue or Coroner’s Service when in São Paulo, agencies that will issue the death certificate after the coroner’s report.
After 24 hours of admission:
The attending physician may sign the death certificate at the hospital, provided there is no legal impediment. Each case will be evaluated by the treating physician, who will take appropriate legal action, in accordance with ethical principles.


– Birth certificate, if single, or marriage certificate;

– ID;

– CPF (social security number);

– Professional contract/register;

– Electoral card;

– Military Discharge Identity (for men over 18 years old);

– Pension Card (INSS) for retired ones.

It is important to present all the documents so that the death certificate gets completely filled up, making all the process, family after-death measures easier.


With the deceased’s documents and death certificates, the family should contact the funeral home to take care of the body, transport to the viewing room, to the funeral and the cemetery, and make arrangements for burial, such as , buying a perpetual grave (tomb), if the family does not have one.


The following additional procedures are necessary, in addition to all the deceased’s documents:
• Declaration of the deceased’s intention, signed and registered or an authorization of the closest relative (spouse or children) also registered;
• Death Certificate signed by two doctors (in case of natural death);
• Death Certificate signed by a coroner and legal authorization (in case of violent death).


Check if the deceased person had any agreement, plan or insurance that provides coverage in case of death.
When receiving the death certificate, check all the information carefully and if there is any incorrect data ask for immediate correction. Any change in a death certificate can only be made within 24 hours after death.
It is the family’s responsibility to provide the clothes that will be worn by the deceased one.
With the death declaration given by the doctor, it is necessary to look for the Civil Registry to provide the death certificate.