Funeral expenses
Funeral expenses can usually be paid directly from the bank account of the deceased by presenting an invoice and the Proof of Death to the bank.

Income Tax
A final tax return on behalf of the deceased must be filed by the 30th of April in the year following that in which the death occurred.

Life Insurance
Each insurance company should be contacted to determine what documentation is needed to process the policy. For most insurance companies, the Funeral Director’s Proof of Death certificate will suffice. Some may request a certified Proof of Death, which is issued by the provincial government. We can assist you with the application.

Probating the Will
It is advisable to contact an estate lawyer to start this process. If the deceased died intestate (without a will), you are also advised to contact an estate lawyer and obtain advice on this matter.

Benefits
Different benefits may be available to the estate of a deceased. This information may not be pertinent to everyone, though we hope you will find some of these items of assistance in your particular situation.

Canada Pension Plan
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) provides benefits which are payable to the estate, the surviving spouse and the dependent children of the deceased CPP contributor. The deceased must have contributed one third (1/3) of the year since 1996 or since age 18 and for a minimum of 3 years.

There are several types of Surviving Benefits:

  1. Death Benefits- a lump of sum payment is paid to the estate of the deceased, the maximum amount in 2012 was $2,500.00
  2. Spouse’s Pension- A monthly pension is paid to the surviving spouse. Maximum monthly payment in 2012 spouse under 65 years of age- $543.82; spouse over 65 years of age-$592.00
  3. Orphan’s Benefits- monthly benefits are provided for the dependent child(ren). Maximum monthly benefit in 2003 – $186.71 per child.
  4. You must complete an application form. Application kits are available from any Service Canada Centre and many funeral homes. The kit contains the information and instructions as well as a list of documents you will need to include with your application.

NOTE: The above amounts will vary according to the number of years and earnings paid by the deceased into the Canada Pension Plan.

Making An Application

You should apply for these benefits at the nearest CPP center as soon as possible after the contributor’s death. The CPP CENTRAL INFORMATION LINE number is 1-800-277-9914 (toll free). They will inform you as to the closest client service in your area.

Documents which may be required when applying for benefits

  1. Birth Certificates and Social Insurance Numbers for these persons
    • The deceased contributor
    • The surviving spouse
    • Any dependent child or children
  2. a certified true copy of your original marriage certificate should be submitted or common-law form.
  3. Proof of full-time attendance at school or university for these children between 18 and 25 years of age.
  4. Funeral Director’s Proof of Death Certification.
  5. A copy of the funeral contact or receipt for the funeral expense indicating who has assumed the responsibility for the funeral costs.

For your convenience these Government forms can be printed from your home. Contact http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/isp/cpp/survivor.shtml
You should apply as soon as possible after the contributor’s death. If you delay, you may lose benefits. Canada Pension Plan can only make back payments for up to 12 months.
Note: If you are widowed more than once, only one survivor’s pension – the larger – will be paid.

Stocks, Bonds and RRSPs
The ownership of these will need to be transferred. Contact your broker or bank manager for assistance. Pension Plans can also be transferred or continued, contact the deceased’s employer for further information.

Ownership Changes
The ownership of automobiles, properties, bank accounts, etc. should be transferred from the name of the deceased to the name of the appropriate individual. You should contact the individual offices to find out what is required.

Bank Accounts
Banks will require that you make changes to all accounts held by the deceased, including joint accounts. Contact your bank to ensure that all pre-authorized withdrawals are transferred or informed of the changes in the accounts.
Some banks will require the closure of all accounts held by the deceased, and you may find that the survivors are without means to withdraw or access cash while these changes are being made.

Credit Cards
Credit card companies should be notified of the death and the cards returned or destroyed. Unless otherwise insured, outstanding balances should be paid from the estate.
If the surviving spouse uses a card which was in the decedent’s name, a new credit card account will need to be opened, which will require an application, credit checks and time to process.