After a death

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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Service Canada is the main point of contact to report a death to the Government of Canada.

What to do when someone dies

If the death occurred in a province:

The Province will report the death to Service Canada.

However, if the deceased is in receipt of benefits (such as the Canada Pension Plan) you may wish to contact Service Canada to avoid any potential overpayments and to determine if you are eligible for survivor benefits.

For more information, please visit Pensions, benefits and personal identification.

If the death occurred in one of the territories or outside Canada:

You must report the death to Service Canada by providing:

  • proof of death, such as the statement of death from a funeral director, or a copy of the death certificate; and
  • the Social Insurance Number of the deceased person.

Submit the documents in person at your nearest Service Canada Centre or mail them to the following address:

Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration office
PO Box 7000
Bathurst NB  E2A 4T1

If the person died outside Canada, the Canadian embassy or consulate in the country where the person died can tell you what steps to take. Consult the list of Canadian embassies and consulates.

About the Social Insurance Number

If you do not know the Social Insurance Number of the deceased person, the executor of the estate can request it from Service Canada. For more information, see Social Insurance Number – After a death.

Order a death certificate

You may need several copies of the death certificate. For example, you may need it to make a life insurance claim, sell the house of the deceased person or apply for survivor benefits.

Contact the authority in your province or territory to order copies of a death certificate.

If the person died outside Canada, you must get the certificate from the country where the death took place.

Pensions, benefits and personal identification

If the deceased person was receiving a pension or benefits from an employer, you need to cancel them. You may also ask if survivor benefits are available.

People related to the deceased person may be eligible for Government of Canada benefits. Contact Service Canada to find out if benefits are available to the estate or legal representative from the following programs:

If you were married or in a common-law relationship with the person who died, you may be entitled to certain assets, even if you were not named in the will. Learn more about spousal rights in your province or territory.

You also need to cancel the personal identification of the deceased person:

Notify the Canada Revenue Agency

Contact the Canada Revenue Agency to settle the taxes of the person who has died, and to transfer benefits to a survivor. The Social Insurance Number of the deceased person is used to settle their taxes.

For more information, consult What to do when someone has died.

Close personal accounts

Once the estate has been settled, close any accounts that don’t need to be kept open.
For example:

  • chequing and savings accounts
  • registered accounts, such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans, Registered Retirement Income Funds, Tax-Free Savings Accounts or Registered Disability Savings Plans
  • investment accounts
  • utility accounts
  • credit cards
  • memberships or online accounts with regular fees

Contact the financial institution of the deceased person for more information.

To ensure that new credit is not fraudulently requested in the name of the deceased person, it’s a good idea to advise Canada’s two credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion, of the death.

Make a life insurance claim

To make a life insurance claim, you will likely need:

  • the policy number
  • a claim form from the person’s insurance provider
  • a copy of the death certificate

Find out how to make an insurance claim.

If you can’t locate the insurance policy, contact the OmbudService for Life and Health Insurance.

Once you’ve made a life insurance claim, there may be a delay before the beneficiaries receive the payment. This will depend on things such as how long the person held the policy and how they died. You may need to consider opening an estate account with the financial institution of the deceased person, to deposit life insurance proceeds payable to their estate.

Related Information

For more information about the roles and responsibilities of an estate representative, please consult: Being an estate representative and settling an estate.

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