After the death of a loved one you may be overwhelmed with the many things that need to be taken care of. Here are some helpful guidelines to start you on your path.
Who to call first
Telling people about the passing of a loved one can be difficult and emotionally tiring. Notify
these people as soon as possible:
☐ The funeral home or transfer service to arrange the transfer of the your loved one.
☐ Family and friends
☐ Both yours and the deceased’s work colleagues and employers
☐ Religious organization or
(Please note that funeral homes will contact a celebrant and clergy for you, and if calling friends and extended family is too hard, make one call and ask them to help)
Planning the funeral
Arranging your loved one’s funeral or memorial service can be overwhelming. Please note: Your
loved one may have already made arrangements before they passed away.
Depending on how you would like to honour your loved one, you may want to consider these
options when making arrangements:
☐ Whether they are to be buried, cremated or entombed
☐ Service details: visitation period, type of ceremony and reception details
☐ Prepare an obituary (your funeral director can help you with this – or drop me a line!)
☐ If you would like a charity to receive donations
☐ Pallbearers, music, pictures, flowers, scriptures, eulogy
☐ Clothing that the deceased will be buried or cremated in
☐ Open or closed casket
☐ Casket selection
☐ Arrangements for a headstone
Documents to collect
After someone dies, you will need to gather important papers. You should have as many of the
following documents at hand as possible:
☐ Death certificate. You can request a death certificate online at Ontario.ca.
☐ Birth Certificate
☐ Social Insurance card
☐ Marriage certificate
☐ Birth certificate for any children
☐ Insurance policies
☐ Deeds and Title to property
☐ Automobile title and registration papers
☐ Stock certificates
☐ Income tax forms
When someone passes away, the Executor normally sorts out finances and distributes what’s left
according to the will. If your loved one has passed without a will, the estate will be distributed according to the law.
Please contact a lawyer for further advice.
The Executor has various responsibilities including:
☐ Notify the deceased’s insurance company
☐ Notify the deceased’s bank and other financial institutions as soon as possible and arrange to
meet with a representative to provide proof of death
☐ Cancel credit card accounts
☐ Pay all final bills
☐ Create an inventory of estate assets
☐ Complete an income tax form for the deceased. When someone passes away, the Executor has
to file a final tax return to find out if the deceased owes any income tax. The CRA has a guide
for the legal representative who has to file an income tax.
☐ Contact the following offices to find out eligibility for, or to cancel benefits:
• Canada Child Tax Benefits
• Veteran Affairs Disability Program Benefits
• Canada Pension Plan
• Canada Savings Bonds
• Goods and Services Tax
• Guaranteed Annual Income System
• Ontario Disability Support Program
• Ontario Drug Benefits
• Ontario Savings Bonds
• Ontario Works
For more information on benefits you may be eligible to receive and how to cancel your loved
one’s various benefits ask your funeral director or contact the Government of Canada.
The Ontario Government also provides Ontario residents additional information which can be
found on their website www.serviceontario.ca
There are so many things on your mind and heart, and grief can cloud the best of us. Here is a list that may help guide and remind you of things you need to look after once the funeral is complete. Many funeral homes offer aftercare at NO ADDITIONAL COST.
☐ Cancel telephone, internet and TV service
☐ Return government documents
• Return their passport with a copy of the death certificate to Passport Canada.
• Health insurance card and driver’s license. Send a copy of the death certificate, along
with the card cut it half (if available) to ServiceOntario.
☐ Terminate lease or arrange for sublet of any rental property
☐ Make sure residence is secure
☐ Cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions
☐ Contact utility companies: gas, electric, water
☐ Inform: GP, dentist, optician, pharmacist and anyone else providing medical care
☐ Cancel club memberships
☐ Cancel gardening and/or snow clearance contracts
☐ Cancel library card
☐ Inform charities
☐ Inform organizations where they volunteered
☐ Arrange for care or adoption of pets
☐ Re-route mail
☐ Cancel email and website account