Helpful Check List

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

  • Relatives
  • Friends
  • 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
  • Citizenship
  • 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)
  • Flowers
  • 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 -       844-737-5684  (276 Portage Avenue)                

Canada Pension Plan (death benefits) -               1-800-277-9914 (Service Canada)

Service Canada Winnipeg Locations:

  1. Portage Place Mall;  393 Portage Ave. Unit 122, Ground Floor
  2. Rivergrove Shopping Centre, 2599 Main Street
  3. 1001 St. Mary's Rd
  4. 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 

From our family to yours, we are here to help along the journey of saying goodbye to a loved one