When the death of a family member occurs, it is necessary to gather documentation, to notify the appropriate organizations, to apply for the various benefits, and to finalize the estate. The following checklist can help you with these processes.

  • Copies of the death certificate are needed. Federal and provincial governments, banks, trust companies, insurance companies, etc. will require copies of the death certificate. It is important to keep the original.
  • Surviving spouse may require copies of the marriage certificate.
  • Locate will and powers of attorney.
  • Notify lawyer or notary and executor. An executor is responsible for arranging the funeral, paying debts and taxes, and distributing property according to the instructions written in the will. The executor has the authority to act from the time of death.
  • To file for survivor benefits, investigate the following:
    • life and general insurance policies
    • employee benefits
    • private pensions
    • military pensions
    • income security pensions
  • Notify financial institutions including:
    • banks
    • trust companies
    • credit unions
    • credit card companies
    • investment brokers, etc.
  • Notify insurance companies including life and automobile insurance for cancellation and refund of premium.
  • Notify government agencies including:
    • provincial income security programs
    • provincial health insurance
    • Québec Pension Plan
    • Human Resources Canada Income Security Programs
    • Veterans Affairs Canada
    • Revenue Canada
    • Québec Ministry of Revenue
  • Check all debts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, etc.

Should you require legal information, you may wish to contact your provincial law association or lawyer referral service. Your local library may also be able to provide further general information, materials, and resources.


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