Who will be responsible?

In 420 words find out just how prepared you and your family might be in the event of the unexpected death of a family member.

Have you ever thought about who would take responsibility if a family member died unexpectedly?

I suspect most people know who the person is in their family that steps in and takes control in a crisis. Family members know the person who has the greatest capacity to manage their emotions as well as apply rational and practical decision-making processes.

Part of the success of the people who are good in a crisis is their willingness to consider the more challenging aspects of being human. Death definitely qualifies in most people’s minds as a challenging part of being human.

If you didn’t think you were ‘that person’ but the responsibility does fall to you, how will you manage?

It seems that the less a person thinks about how they would go about organising a funeral the more difficult and overwhelming the task. So, this post is about offering you an insight in to the key areas of responsibility when a loved one dies.

Taking Responsibility

In the funeral industry there are two, interchangeable, terms that are used to identify the person who will be responsible for the process of organising a funeral. The first is the “responsible person” and the other is “senior next of kin”. Once this person is identified they become the key contact for funeral arrangements. The identification of this person, in most circumstances, does not prevent other people from becoming involved.

The responsible person or senior next of kin becomes the person who completed the legal documentation and is generally responsible for financial transactions.

Senior Next of Kin

The senior next of kin’s responsibilities might include, but are not limited to:

  • Selecting and engaging a service provider
  • Determining whether a funeral or memorial will be conducted
  • Agreeing on a time and place to hold a funeral
  • Selecting the services and products that the family chooses as part of the funeral process
  • Ensuring payment for services provided in a timely manner

Being Prepared

So many people, when meeting to plan a funeral service, express just how difficult the process and practicalities can be. At the very least, knowing what’s ahead is a solid first step in reducing the overwhelm people experience at the end of a loved one’s life. At the other end of the being prepared spectrum is taking the time to educate yourself about the range of information you will be asked to provide as well as the range of decisions you’ll need to make. Take the daunting out of planning a funeral. Ask me how!

We have just one life…

Jacqui Chaplin

Independent Funeral Information | Life Story Collector & Writer | End of Life Tributes | Easier End of Life Experiences | Funeral Arrangements and Celebrancy

Just One Life… doing and designing dying and death differently and with dignity and distinction.

For more information on doing dying and death differently or to start thinking about how to handle a death of a loved one before you are overtaken by grief, organise a conversation with Jacqui today.

Call +61 (0)412 741 531 or email jacqui@jacquichaplin.com

Check out what they’re saying about Jacqui’s end of life commemorations.

Find out about Jacqui’s end of life commemoration services here.

Follow Jacqui Chaplin Funeral Celebrant on Facebook.


Jacqui Chaplin is a Lifetime & End-of-Life Commemoration Specialist (a funeral celebrant among other things) based in Melbourne, Australia. She loves capturing stories about the nature of life and being human, as well as, celebrating and commemorating well lived lives and lives that have ended. Jacqui has a passion for bringing the conversations that many of us find difficult to think about, let alone speak about, out in the open so we can see how our stories, values and beliefs influence our attitudes.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s