What happens if the deceased died outside Australia?

If you are not represented by a lawyer, you may wish to get legal advice, as there are many complex rules which apply.

The deceased died overseas

Where the deceased was domiciled (had the intention of staying indefinitely) in South Australia but died overseas, you may be able to get a death certificate from Consumer and Business Services or telephone 131882

The deceased died in a Commonwealth country

A death certificate from a country that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations may be uploaded, if the certificate is in English. 

There are 53 member countries of the Commonwealth. A list of members of the Commonwealth can be found here.

What if the death certificate is not in English?

If the death certificate or part of it is not in English a translation into English is required. The translation must be by a qualified translator.

The translation should be headed “TRANSLATION FROM THE ITALIAN” (or other language). Any handwritten parts, such as dates, names and signatures, should be typed in.

The translation should be annexed to an affidavit of the translator. The affidavit must include:

  • the qualifications and experience of the translator, and
  • a statement that the annexure is a true and faithful translation of the original, and
  • the original death certificate should be exhibited to the affidavit, with the marking required by Note 6 to Form 22.

For the difference between annexures and exhibits, click here [Annexures and Exhibits link].

Many translators are available through the Interpreting and Translating Centre

The deceased died in a country that is not member of the Commonwealth

If you have a death certificate from a country that is not a member of the Commonwealth, there are complicated rules about how the death certificate must be verified.  You may want to get legal advice.

If the country is a signatory to, and has ratified, the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirements of Legislation for Foreign Public Documents, the death certificate must be authenticated as prescribed by the Foreign Evidence Act 1994 (Cth)

The list of such countries that are a signatory to, and has ratified, the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirements of Legislation for Foreign Public Documents can be found here.

For other countries, the death certificate must have been authenticated in the manner prescribed by sections 66, 66A and 67 of the Evidence Act 1929.