Death means the soul leaves the body. After the person dies i.e. the soul leaves the body and goes to other dimension which has been mystically puts as heaven/hell.
According to the past deeds that soul gets another body.
@neonlite - there are cases of what is called NDE- Near Death Experience in which people have come back after sometime they were declared dead.So there is some data regarding beyond death.
@barbara yulia - The place purgatory is here on earth while one is alive i.e. one has to cleanse oneself in this life itself. The time between death and new birth is just a time to get a new body.