Information & Guidance for the Family Following the Death of a Loved One
Canada Pension Plan Benefits - In order to apply for these benefits, we suggest that you contact our Funeral Home to find out what documentation you will require to apply for these benefits. An application should be made as soon as possible following the contributor’s death. Failure to apply within a year from the date of death will result in lost benefits. Benefits are payable from the month following the contributor’s death. If for some reason you are unable or incapable of applying, your representative may apply for the survivors pension on your behalf. Our Funeral Home will complete the applications on your behalf and submit them upon receiving the necessary documentation.
Human Resource Development Canada
Income Security Program
P.O. Box 2710, Main Station
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4C2
Alberta Widow’s Pension Benefits
As of April 1, 2004, the Government of Alberta announced a new Income and Employment Supports Program, which replaced the Alberta Widow’s Pension Program.
For further information contact your local office of Human Resources and Employment or phone the Information Centre at 1-866-644-5135.
Eligibility depends on your annual income.
Alberta Health Care
To cancel Alberta Health Care, you must forward a copy of the Funeral Director Statement of Death along with the personal health care # of the deceased, to:
Alberta Health Care
P.O. Box 1360
Edmonton, Alberta T5J2N3
Telephone: 1-800-272-8864 or Fax: 1-780-422-0102
Federal Old Age Security Guidance
The Federal Old Age Security Pension is payable for the entire month in which a pensioner dies. The final cheque may be deposited into the deceased’s bank account.
The Federal Old Age Security Benefits may be canceled by telephoning 1-800-277-9914. Please be prepared to answer the following questions.
Contact the company pension plans (human resources) regarding possible survivor pension or death benefits.
Chequing and Savings Accounts
Although it is necessary to notify the financial institution of a death, you may want to keep joint accounts open for a few months afterwards. This ensures a spouse can continue to deposit cheques in the deceased’s name and that these funds will be available to them. If accounts are not joint, funds may be frozen until the estate is settled.
Using copies of all credit and loan agreements, contact the appropriate institutions, advise them of the death and make arrangements for payment. Check with all companies where the deceased had credit cards. Some accounts are life insured and are paid up automatically upon the cardholders death. Find out any outstanding balances, pay them by the due dates and cancel the cards.
Government Death Certificates
To obtain a government death certificate a family may apply to either a local registry or to our Funeral Home. Please be advised that there is a fee to obtain an official government Death Certificate.
Check with the bank manager, financial advisor, stock broker or the institution where stocks, bonds, RRSP’s or certificates were purchased with regards to change of ownership.
Contact the agent and make sure you have access to the original policy as you may need it to settle the claim and receive final payment from the insurance company.
Have the post office redirect mail to the executor or to the individual handling the settlement of the estate if the deceased’s home is not occupied.
Real Estate and Personal Property
Within 30 days, insurance companies should be notified of a death. Check with them about the possibility of life insurance covering loans or mortgages.
If there is joint ownership of real estate and other personal property it generally passes to the surviving owner. A will should take care of other arrangements but may still require probate and the work of an estate lawyer.
Contact your Land Titles Department for specific action to take and documents to be completed.
J.J. Bowlen Building
620-7th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0Y8
An individual tax return must be filed for the deceased by April 30 the year following the year of the death or six months after the date of death (whichever is later).
If the residence phone was listed in the deceased’s name, you may want to have the directory listing changed. Contact the customer service department of your telephone service provider for changes in billing and listing or cancelation of service if the property is to be sold.
Within 60 days, the car ownership and license plates must be transferred to the surviving spouse or to the appropriate person according to the terms of the will. If the vehicle is not paid for, check details with the lending institution as there might have been life insurance coverage on the outstanding loan. Notify the accident insurance company of the death so that the policy can be kept in good standing.
Individual airlines vary with regards to Compassionate Air Fare policies. Airlines with policies may offer a rebate to a passenger who is flying for compassionate reasons. When booking the flight, notify the airline that the flight is to attend a funeral of a family member. Depending on the airline, the eligibility of receiving the rebate will be contingent upon the relationship between the passenger and the deceased. Most airlines will recognize a spouse, child, grandchild, brother or sister of the deceased as eligible passengers. Again, the relationship factor varies from airline to airline.
If you were not aware of the Compassionate Fare policies when your flight was booked, contact the airline and explain the reason for your call. You can expect to forward a Funeral Director Statement of Death (provided by our Funeral Home), the ticket stub and a short note explaining your relationship to the deceased. The rebate must be applied for within 30-60 days of the flight on the airline.