What To Do When Someone Has Died
The following matters should be considered when a relative or a close friend dies. Not all of the points will apply, but many of them will.
- If the death occurs at home, and you have an Anticipated Letter of Death you may contact the funeral home. The funeral home should have a copy of the same letter.
- If the death occurs at home, and you do NOT have an Anticipated Letter of Death you will have to call 911, they will contact the local police as well a Medical Examiner who will then decide the next steps to be taken.
- If the death occurs in a hospital, give the hospital your permission for your chosen funeral home to bring the decedent into their care.
- If the Decedent wished, organ or tissue donation should be considered.
- Contact a funeral home to make an appointment regarding choices available and service selections.
- Give the funeral home verbal permission to bring your loved one into their care.
The following information is intended to provide you with direction during a difficult time.
A) Notify as soon as possible
- Employer of deceased
- Religious, fraternal, civic, unions - organizations
- Insurance agents (Life, Health and Accident)
- Lawyer, accountant and executor
B) Secure Vital Statistics - Obtain the following information about the decedent before meeting the funeral director
- Name, home address and telephone number
- Occupation, title and employer
- Social Insurance Number
- Military Service Serial Number (if pertinent)
- Employment Income Assist. Number (if pertinent)
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Father's name
- Father's birthplace
- Mother's maiden name
- Mother's birthplace
D) Collect Documents - Required to establish rights for insurance, pensions/ social security, and ownership
- Will (may need to be probated)
- Legal proof of age or birth certificate
- Social Insurance Number
- Marriage license
- Citizenship papers
- Insurance policies
- Bank books
- Deeds to property
- Income tax returns, receipts or cancelled cheques
- Cemetery certificate of ownership
- Investment Certificates
C) Arrangements which need to be considered
- Set an appointment with the funeral director, cemetery representatives, clergy or celebrant
- Type of service (religious, military, fraternal)
- Officiating clergy or celebrant
- Location of service
- Date and time of service
- Type of casket or urn
- Burial vault/ liner
- Cemetery plot or sectional crypts
- Clothing for deceased
- Special selection from scriptures or poems
- Providing information for eulogy to speaker
- Music for service
- Select pallbearers (if required)
- Information for newspaper notice
- Decide on charitable organization(s) to which donations are suggested in memory of the deceased
- Make a list of callers and floral tributes for mailing cards of thanks
- Arranging for meeting relatives who arrive from out of town
- Transportation for family and guests, including planning funeral car list
- Look after minor children
- Order additional death certificates (either Funeral Director's Statements of Death or Certified Copies of the Death Certificate from the Province of Manitoba)
I Am An Executor, Where Do I Start?
- Search for the official Will and collect personal papers of the Deceased.
- Search for assets of the Deceased and make a list of them.
- Secure the estate assets from loss, theft or damage.
- Determine whether probate is necessary. Retaining a lawyer is recommended if probate is necessary.
- Apply for CPP death benefits. (Monthly survivors benefit and one time death benefit if applicable)
- Determine if a provincial death certificate is required.
- Advertise for creditors and claimants.
- Pay debts.
- File income tax returns and order clearance certificates. Consulting and / or retaining an accountant is recommended. (If Death occurs from Jan.1–Oct. 31 file by Apr. 30 the following year; from Nov. 1–Dec. 31 file by 6 months after death)
- After everything is finalized, prepare accounts.
- Have beneficiaries approve accounts and sign releases.
- (Or apply to court for judicial approval if beneficiaries are minors or otherwise unable to consent).
- Distribute estate to beneficiaries.
Vital Statistics (official death certificate) - 204-945-3701 or (Toll Free) 1-866-949-9296 (254 Portage Avenue)
Courts: Winnipeg Will Probate Division - 204-945-0344
Manitoba Land Titles – Winnipeg Division - 204-945-2042 (276 Portage Avenue)
Canada Pension Plan (death benefits) - 1-800-277-9914 (Service Canada)
Service Canada Winnipeg Locations:
- Portage Place Mall; 393 Portage Ave. Unit 122, Ground Floor
- Rivergrove Shopping Centre, 2599 Main Street
- 1001 St. Mary's Rd
- Westwood Centre; 3338 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg residents: Information and assistance on Canada Pension Plan / Old Age Security can be found by calling the Service Canada toll-free number 1-800-277-9914, TTY/TTD: 1-800-255-4786 (deaf access).
Be deliberate and do not be hasty with decisions or distributions.
The death of someone, particularly a family member or friend, is stressful and everyone deals with that stress differently.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Cropo Funeral Chapel 204-586-8044 or visit our website at www.cropo.com.
From our family to yours, we are here to help along the journey of saying goodbye to a loved one.