What to Do After the Loss of a Loved One

What do I do now?

First thing to do is take a deep breath and try your best not to panic. You are grieving and not expected to be perfect, prepared or organized. Be kind to yourself; get some rest if you can.

Next, have the care home/hospital contact Clayton’s Funeral Directors in Quesnel, so your loved one can be taken into our care (If this is not in process already). If you wish to assist or simply be present when we arrive to pick up your loved one, we welcome you to do so. We also ask that the care home/hospital inform us if you will be present when we arrive.

How and when do we make arrangements with you?

On your own time, when you have rested and prepared yourself as best you can, we will be honoured to meet with you.

*NOTE: By law, we are not allowed to initiate contact with you. You will have to phone us to make an appointment when you are able. Feel free to phone us outside office hours to make an appointment (which will usually be during regular office hours) to meet with a funeral director in what is called an arrangement meeting.

Who gets to make the decisions?

Another very important reason for this information is to help establish who is in the legal position to be the person to make decisions regarding final disposition of your friend/family member.

Section 5 of the Cremation Interment and Funeral Services Act has a strict hierarchy to determine who this person may be:

  • Personal representative as appointed in a legal will (Executor/Executrix)
  • Spouse *with marriage certificate or Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union status
  • Eldest adult child of the deceased
  • Eldest adult grandchild of the deceased
  • If person is a minor (<18), then legal guardian at time of death
  • Eldest parent of the deceased

Note: A more exhaustive list appears in the act and is available online.

Any of the above persons, if unable or unwilling to meet their obligations, may sign over their rights and authority to the next available person in the hierarchy. Writing to us is the preferred method of doing this.

*The hierarchy regulations are the law in British Columbia and govern our actions in this regard. We are obligated to follow them without exception.

*The regulations were created to prevent social conflict from interfering in the dignified final disposition of deceased persons.

What do I need to bring to an arrangement meeting?

Clayton’s is the registrar for Vital Statistics BC and therefore we produce the death certificate needed for many financial and legal procedures following a person’s passing.

To meet the legal requirements for arranging final disposition of your loved one we require you to provide us with certain legal documents and information:

(All are preferred but not absolutely necessary, some substitutions can be obtained)

  • A legal will if one exists
  • Birth certificate of the deceased
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Personal health card (Care Card)
  • Marriage certificate or Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union
  • Spouse’s SIN Number and Birth certificate (for survivor’s pension)
  • Name and place of birth of father of the deceased
  • Maiden name and place of birth of mother of the deceased

Why do you need all this stuff?

We require it to produce the death certificate. Together with a document we obtain form the doctor or coroner called a Medical Certificate of Death (M.C.O.D.) we register the death via the Internet with the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency. Only when this is completed may we print death certificates and proceed any further with preparation of your loved one for final disposition.

We also need to copy the documents to assist you in applications for the CPP death benefit and survivor’s pension, if applicable.

Old Age Security Pension and CPP Cancellation

Do I/we have to cancel Old Age Security and CPP?

Yes. Please contact Service Canada as soon as possible to notify them of the date of death of the OAS/CPP pensioner/beneficiary.

If you contact Service Canada by telephone, have the person's Social Insurance Number on hand when you call.

If you notify Service Canada by mail, please ensure the following information (regarding the deceased pensioner/beneficiary) is included in your letter:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Social insurance number (if known)
  • Previous address
  • Name and address of the estate or the person responsible for handling the deceased's affairs (if known)

How can I return outstanding payments that have been received after the pensioner/beneficiary's death?

The estate is entitled to the pensioner/beneficiary's payment for the month of death. All payments issued after the month of death must be returned. If the payments have been redeemed they must be repaid.

If the pensioner/beneficiary received their payments by cheque, please return any cheque(s) received after the month of death to:

Cheque Redemption Control Directorate

Returned Cheques

PO Box 2000

Matane, QC G4W 4N5

If the pensioner/beneficiary received their payments by direct deposit, please have the bank return any payments deposited after the date of death to the originator or send a cheque in Canadian funds made payable to the Receiver General for Canada to the office responsible for paying the deceased's OAS and/or CPP benefit(s).

Please make sure to include the following information/documentation:

  • The name and address of the estate or the person responsible for handling the deceased's affairs (if known)
  • If the pensioner/beneficiary death occurred outside Canada, we require proof of the date of death (if not already submitted)

What else should I know about CPP?

Additional information for survivors:

In some cases, when a spouse or common-law partner dies, you may be eligible for additional benefits:

  • If you reside in Canada or return to reside in Canada, are between 60-64 years of age, have low income, and your spouse or common-law partner has died, and you have not remarried or entered into a new common-law relationship for more than 12 months, you may be eligible for the Allowance for the Survivor.
  • If the deceased person contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), you may be eligible for
      • The death benefit: a one-time payment to, or on behalf of, the estate of a deceased CPP contributor
      • The survivor's pension: a monthly pension paid to the survivor of a deceased CPP contributor
      • The children's benefit: a monthly benefit for dependent children of a deceased CPP contributor
      • The documents and information Clayton’s collects for Vital Statistics are also used to apply to CPP for the death benefit. These include certified copies of the death certificate, birth certificate and Social Insurance Number.
  • Two additional documents are needed for survivor’s pension; they are a marriage licence/common law partner declaration and applicant’s Social Insurance Number.
  • While the applicant (family) must fill out and sign these forms themselves, we are able to double check the information, include the documents required and mail the completed package to CPP on your behalf.

For information specific to OAP/CPP you may visit the online source of the above information at Service Canada’s website.

For further information your local Service Canada Office is:

Quesnel Service Canada Centre

283 Reid Street East

Quesnel, British Columbia

CPP/OAS Phone Line:


Does Service Canada require documentation to prove the pensioner /beneficiary's date of death when cancelling OAS/CPP benefits?

When the death occurs in Canada:

In most cases, if the pensioner/beneficiary's death occurs in Canada, Service Canada does not require proof of death to cancel OAS/CPP benefits. In situations where proof of the date of death is required, Service Canada will notify the estate or the person responsible for handling the deceased's affairs.

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