• Determine who will act as executor or administrator of the estate;
  • Record all decisions made, steps taken and financial transactions;
  • Contact a funeral service provider to make funeral arrangements;
  • Consider publishing an obituary (to place an obituary in the Vancouver Sun, www.legacy.com/obituaries/vancouversun/obituary-place-an-obituary.aspx);
  • Locate estate assets and a safety deposit box, if applicable;
  • Secure estate assets and ensure that adequate insurance coverage is in place;
  • Notify the post office or the deceased’s landlord to redirect mail, if applicable;
  • Obtain a death certificate, then conduct a will search at the BC Vital Statistics Agency online (vitalcertificates.ca/province/british-columbia/search-of-wills-notice) or by calling 1-888-876-1633;
  • Review the will, if there is one;
  • Obtain probate or letters of administration from the court, if required;
  • Contact Service Canada for information regarding the deceased’s social insurance number and benefits such as the Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Security (www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/benefits/family/death.html);
  • If the deceased received pension benefits or extended health benefits from a pension plan, advise the plan administrator of the death and determine eligibility for continued benefit coverage for dependents;
  • If the deceased had an unexpired passport, return it to Passport Canada to be cancelled (www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadian-passports/help-centre/general.html#passport_deceased);
  • Notify Canada Revenue Agency of the death (www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/life-events/what-when-someone-died.html);
  • If the deceased was receiving veteran’s benefits, or might be eligible for veteran’s death benefits, contact Veterans Affairs Canada (www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/information-for/families-and-survivors);
  • If the deceased was receiving the Seniors supplement or disability benefits for seniors, call the BC Seniors Supplement contact line, toll-free: 1-866-866-0800;
  • Cancel the deceased’s driver’s license at a local ICBC Driver Licensing Office or by mail (www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/Pages/cancel-retire-licence.aspx);
  • Contact a local Autoplan broker, or private insurer if applicable, to cancel or change car insurance;
  • Contact the deceased’s life insurance company to obtain benefits, if applicable;
  • Contact financial institutions to remove the deceased’s name from joint accounts or to transfer accounts held solely by the deceased into the name of the estate;
  • Contact credit card companies to remove the deceased’s name from accounts or to cancel accounts;
  • Notify phone and utility companies to change the billing name or the service;
  • Contact Land Title Office to remove deceased’s name from title to property (ltsa.ca/contact-us), tel: 604-630-9630;
  • Contact BC Gazette to publish notice to creditors, calling toll-free: 1-800-663-6105 or submitting online (www.crownpub.bc.ca/Content/documents/noticeToCreditors_form.pdf);
  • Examine claims against estate and defend any legal action against estate of deceased;
  • Contact an accountant to file tax returns and apply for clearance certificate;
  • Pay debts;
  • Prepare detailed accounting of assets and gather receipts for expenses of administering the estate;
  • Submit financial statement to beneficiaries or the court and obtain approval;
  • Distribute personal and household effects;
  • Pay legacies and make partial distribution to beneficiaries according to terms of the will or the Wills, Estates & Succession Act of BC, as applicable (first obtain signed releases from beneficiaries);
  • Obtain clearance certificate from Canada Revenue Agency;
  • Complete final distribution of estate assets; and
  • Contact a lawyer regarding general estate questions and procedures for probate or letters of administration, if required.