Skip to content

What Do I Do When A Death Occurs?

When a death occurs in your family, you will be faced with important tasks and decisions during an emotionally difficult time. You may or may not know what to do or when to begin making arrangements. Bearing this responsibility can look daunting and may appear overwhelming. Remember that you are not alone.

CARE Funeral Services has been helping people just like you for well over 2 decades and  is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist you with the details and offer our guidance. To date we have been entrusted to assist over 5000 families as they move through one of life’s most trying time.

We have compiled the following list to help guide you through the steps you will need to take when a death has occurred. Your funeral director will help coordinate all of the details when you meet for an arrangement conference.

After a death has occurred, notify CARE Funeral Services (Victoria office) by calling 250-391-9696 or our Sidney office at 250-655-9669 or our Sooke office at 250-642-2444.

1. The following are some questions that we may ask when you call:

  • What is the full name of the deceased?
  • What is the location of the deceased (Hospital, Nursing Facility or Residence)?
  • What is your name, address, telephone number and relationship to the deceased?
  • What is the deceased’s Doctors name?
  • Is there a pre-arranged funeral plan? (If yes, what is the plan name or number?)

2. We will then set an appointment time for you to come to the funeral home to complete the necessary paperwork and to finalize arrangement. We will ask you to bring in some items and information that will be necessary to complete that arrangement. These items will include:

  • Clothing for the deceased if you are requesting a visitation.
  • SIN number of the deceased if possible
  • The deceased’s birth date and city and state of birth.
  • The deceased’s parents names, including mother’s maiden name
  • Marital status of the deceased
  • A recent photograph of the deceased
  • Pre-arrangement paperwork (if applicable)
  • Cemetery lot information (if applicable)

3. Contact your clergy. Decide on a time and place for the funeral or memorial service (the services may be held at the funeral home)

4. The funeral home will assist you in determining the number of copies of the death certificates that you will need and will order them for you.

5. Make a list of family, friends and business colleagues, and notify each by phone or email. You may wish to use a “branching” system: make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people

6. Decide on an appropriate charity to which gifts may be made (church, hospice, library, organization, school)

7. Gather obituary information, which could include a photo, age, place of birth, occupation,  memberships held, military service, outstanding work and a list of survivors in the immediate family. Include the time and place of the funeral services. The funeral home can assist in writing the obituary and can submit it to the newspaper(s)

8. Arrange for family members and/or close friends to take turns answering the door or phone. Keeping a careful record of visitors and flower deliveries will make it easier to thank people later on

9. Coordinate the food supply in your home for the next several days

10. Delegate special needs of the household, such as cleaning, food preparation, etc., to friends and family who offer their help

11. Arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends

12. Plan for the disposition of flowers after the funeral (to a church, hospital or rest home)

13. Prepare a list of distant friends and relatives to be notified by email, letter and/or printed notice

14. Prepare a list of people to receive acknowledgments of flowers, calls, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgments, which may be a written note, printed acknowledgments, or both. Include “thank you’s” to those who have given their time, as well

15. Notify insurance companies of the death

16. Locate the will and notify the lawyer and executor

17. Carefully check all life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including CPP’s Death Benefit, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military. Check on possible income for survivors from these sources

18. Check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. If there is to be a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors and ask for more time before the payments are due

19. If the deceased was living alone, notify the utility companies and landlord and tell the post office where to send the mail

20. CPP Death Benefit and Survivor’s Benefit forms can be found by CLICKING ON THIS LINK. Or by visiting Service Canada local office.

21. At the time of the original appointment we will provide you with an Executor’s Checklist to aid you in the process.

Click here to get your Funeral Planning Kit today.