Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. The funeral director can assist with registering the death and obtaining Death Certificates but there are many other things to take care of during this difficult time. For instance, cancelling identification cards to make sure that nobody can open credit in the deceased’s name. In this blog, we will share some key logistical items (with links to checklists) that should be addressed following the death of a loved one.
Before we begin, while Consumer Protection BC does license and regulate the funeral industry, most of the content covered in this blog is not overseen by us. We would like to credit Service Canada and the Province of British Columbia websites for the information provided in this blog post.
1. Obtain a death certificate
After the funeral director registers the death, anyone can apply for a death certificate. A few different ways are listed here on the Province of British Columbia website.
2. Cancel government benefits and various IDs
Various links for these are listed on Service Canada’s website.
- Pensions and benefits including Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and tax-related payments
- Personal identification including passport, health cards and driver’s licence
- Social Insurance Number
3. Check to see if you are eligible for benefits
You may want to find out if you are eligible to receive survivor or death benefits. The Government of Canada has information on this topic.
4. Manage personal finances
If you are acting as an executor or administrator, you are responsible for the deceased’s finances. If the deceased had a legal representative (for example, a lawyer or an accountant), this person may help you with the process. The Government of Canada has information about being an estate representative.
We hope this information was helpful!
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Please add a section dealing with the deceased social media accounts & how to close them.
I never even thought about these things having to be done.. thank you I am going to save this page and maybe print it and put it with our wills and PA’s.
Hi Donna, I’m glad to hear that you find the information here useful. Thank you for your feedback.
Would CP-BC be open to providing clear information about home funerals, which don’t require the services of a funeral director? CP-BC does have a link to the permit for families to transport their dead themselves, but it would be useful if they also acknowledged the family’s right to do all of the post-death care and paperwork.
Hi Pashta, thanks for your comment. There is nothing in the law that says that a family can’t do aspects of the post-death care and paperwork themselves. For example, the form you mention that must be filled out to transfer the remains of a loved one yourself. The law speaks to anyone who handles and transports human remains and there are clear laws in place that address the licensing of funeral providers. At this time, we don’t believe it would be appropriate for us to provide steps on how an individual could perform post-death care.
i have a question about cremation. My mother has a prepaid cremation service. I have read recent articles that some funeral homes will not cremate if the deceased has medical device. My mother has a pacemaker. What steps should I take to ensure I don’t have difficulty with cremation.
Hi Jacqueline, thanks for reaching out to us here. Have you had a chance to confirm with the crematorium on what their policy is? I would start there. We’ve heard that crematoriums can remove the devices themselves before cremation and others do not offer the service. I’s my understanding that it is up to the business to decide. Again, best to check with the crematorium directly and then go from there. I hope this helps and best of luck!
Suggest the executor/exectutrix apply for the Death Benefit from the government. Check on-line for application.
I have a question…. my parents had everything jointly owned and a Will leaving everything to the remaining spouse. My father has just passed away and I am helping my Mum. We have the original signed Will. Does my Mum need to contact a lawyer to do anything at this point? Can she/we move ahead, once a Death Certificate is issued, without a lawyer to sort things out (update billing/banking/pensions etc)…. does she actually need a lawyer to do anything ?
Hi Carolyn, we’re sorry to hear about your loss. Although we have provided the information in this blog post, we are not experts on this topic – we license and regulate the funeral sector but that’s where it stops. We are not able to provide any advice on this, I’m afraid. Clicklaw is a website that is operated by the Courthouse Libraries BC. They have some useful information about this topic. Here’s their website. If you do need to talk to a lawyer, you can also try contacting Access Probono. You can be connected to an expert lawyer who will provide up to a half-hour of free legal consultation. Here’s their program information. I hope these resources are helpful to you, Carolyn.
Hi. I would like to know if I may “hire” someone I know to perform a funeral ceremony for me? I wish to pay him for organizing it and it may be at home. Is this allowed or do I have to use a funeral home or some kind of licensed employee or agent? Is there a list somewhere of such people? Thank You.
Hi Gretchen, thanks for reaching out to us here. It’s my understanding that there is no obligation to use a licensed funeral provider for ceremonies/celebrations of life. Sometimes families will organize a funeral or a celebration of life on their own or will have an event planner do it instead – you can choose the right option for you. To your second question, we licence and regulate funeral providers in BC. If you wanted to use a funeral provider for other aspects following the death of a loved one (such as picking out a casket/container), you could Google the businesses in your area and can confirm if they are licensed by us here: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/check-a-licence-search/. I hope this helps!