What To Do When Someone Has Passed Away
Many people are surprised by how much work falls to them after a family member passes. Despite reeling from the loss of someone dear to you, you have a list of duties to complete now that a loved one’s life has ended.
This task can be overwhelming and complicated. You may find it difficult to make decisions when you’re grieving. To help you navigate this process, we’ve listed a few things to do when someone passes on in Canada:
Contact a Hospital
Depending on where the person passed away, you may need to contact a hospital or hospice to obtain a legal pronouncement of the death.
If it happened at home, we recommend calling 911. This allows for proper care of the body, and if they have chosen to be an organ donor, this must be done as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can call a cremation business directly to pick up the body.
Once you have this statement, you can officially register the death with the federal government and secure documents like:
- Life insurance
- The authority to cancel payments to the CRA
Call Friends and Family Members
Notifying loved ones that someone has passed can be an incredibly difficult task. It’s undeniably important, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
However, you may find some comfort in grieving with others who had a connection with the deceased. You can ask other family members to share the news with people to divide up the task.
If the individual is employed, be sure to contact their boss or co-workers.
Gather Important Documents
When a death happens unexpectedly, there are a lot of loose ends to tie up. The deceased may have payments, benefits, and other bills that need to be ceased. But without the right documentation, you won’t have the ability to arrange these things yourself.
As such, you’ll need identifying personal information to move forward. In Manitoba, these documents include their SIN, benefit plan information, passport, CRA account, and tax information. When you collect this information, you can use it to move forward with the necessary paperwork.
Locate Their Will
Following and honouring their wishes gives you guidance during a confusing time. Someone’s will may contain important and time-sensitive information, like:
- What should be done with their pet(s)?
- How should you take care of the body?
- Who will be the executor of their estate?
If you need professional assistance when interpreting a will, you can seek legal advice.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to lose sight of your needs when you’re suddenly tasked with something that seems all-consuming. You have to deal with grief, the needs of your other loved ones, and the task of planning a funeral service.
Even though you may have all these time-sensitive tasks to complete, it’s still important to take a step back and address your own needs. You’ve just lost someone important to you, whether that’s a friend or family member.
Grief support can be tremendously helpful during this time, along with self-care practices. Consider taking time off work if you need to take care of yourself.
Start Arranging a Funeral
Your loved one may have deliberately expressed that they would prefer a cremation or a grave plot burial once they pass. Whenever possible, consult their will to plan their memorial service.
Share the story of their life with a thoughtful obituary. When you’d like to commemorate a lost loved one, we offer obituaries in Winnipeg. We can help you write and publish a piece that memorializes someone who was dear to you and to many others.