What to Do Following the Death of a Loved One

 In Blog

When one of your loved ones dies, there are many things to take care of, often in a hurry, sometimes making the required mourning process more complex. Here is a short checklist prepared by the Montreal Crematorium, outlining the steps to take following the death of a loved one.

Organize the funeral
The first thing to do is to think about arranging the funeral. If the deceased had already made funeral arrangements, you will only need to consult this document to find out that person’s last wishes. Or the person may have left some instructions in his or her will. In any case, it is essential to respect the wishes of the deceased in order to ensure that you plan a ceremony that reflects his or her image. If an executor has been appointed, it is his or her responsibility to organize the funeral. Otherwise, it is the heirs who will have to look after all this.

Report the death
Following the death of a loved one, you will need to obtain a document called an Attestation of Death. This document must be filled out and signed by a doctor. In the event that a doctor can’t be present, the signatures of two police officers may be accepted. Upon receipt of this document, you will need to obtain the Declaration of Death. This document must be signed by a member of the deceased’s immediate family as well as by a non-family witness, often the funeral director. Once these two documents have been obtained, you will be able to request the official death certificate from the Directeur de l’état civil, so that the death can be recorded in the Quebec register of civil status. The certificate will then be useful to you for all subsequent administrative requests.

Settle the estate
In order to settle the estate, you first need to know whether the deceased had made a will. In the case of a holographic will or a will made in the presence of witnesses, it will have to be validated by a notary or by the Court, for a fee, and often with some delay. The advantage of a notarial will is that it doesn’t need to be validated, therefore, considerably speeding up the settlement of the estate. Once the executor has the will in hand, he or she can proceed with the various steps of the settlement: life insurance, family patrimony, income tax returns for the year of death, recovery of the deceased’s belongings, transfer of ownership rights to a building and termination of a lease (if any) are some of the things you will have to take care of in order to settle the estate. To learn more about all the steps to take when a loved one dies, consult the guide What to do in the event of a death, written by the Government of Québec—a real gold mine of information to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Close the deceased’s various accounts
Many government agencies must be notified when a loved one dies: Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, Canada Revenue Agency, government loans and grants, personal identification documents, vehicle registrations, various insurance policies and accounts (telephone, electricity, etc.). In addition to these various organizations, you will also need to look at any online accounts the deceased had, such as social network and personal messaging accounts (email, etc.).

Although these steps may seem tedious and complex, it is essential to follow all the related instructions to the letter. Once these steps have been completed, you will be able to gradually progress through your grieving process with peace of mind. For everything concerning the organization of the funeral and cremation of the deceased, don’t hesitate to contact the team at the Montreal Crematorium, for compassionate, respectful services.

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