Here is a brief guide about the steps to take.
The Final Return for Canada Revenue Agency
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires a final return. This will report the deceased’s income from January 1 of the year of death, up to and including the date of the death. If income is earned (trusts, royalties, interest etc.) after the date of death, this is filed on a separate from. CRA has more about this, and guidance for the surviving dependents who may be receiving benefits, listed on their website.
File the Life Insurance Claim
If the partner had life insurance, the beneficiaries or their representatives must file a claim. Life insurance monies are tax-exempt and bypass the expenses of the estate. Agents and brokers are trained to assist families who are grieving by providing compassionate but efficient service, freeing up the funds if there are no complications in the claim as quickly as possible. At times, this can be within 30 days if the paperwork is in order.
Call the Bank
Joint accounts remain accessible by the surviving partner but accounts that solely belong to the deceased are frozen. Money in those accounts is released during probate. However, there are times when a spouse can access the funds from their partner’s account if the situation is very urgent. If there is such a need, speak to the bank to see which documents they require.
Cancel Identification Cards
Call and cancel the partner’s health care card, passport, social insurance card and drivers license.
Subscriptions and Memberships
Cancel subscriptions the partner had such as Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, gym or club memberships.
It can be difficult to talk about death with our loved ones, but a few proactive steps while both partners are alive and well make a very big difference when one partner passes.
- Have a will and living directive. Update and review it annually.
- Pre-plan and prepay for funeral arrangements. This relieves the burden of your loved ones planning the service after your passing. It also relives the financial burden, as many pre-need services include a payment plan.
- Keep all important papers such insurance documents, bank account numbers, a list of active subscriptions and passwords in a safe. Ensure both partners have access to the safe.
Take Care of Yourself
It is difficult to take care of the necessary arrangements when consumed with grief. Reach out for help and take care of yourself during this difficult time. Ask trusted friends or family member to help with the paperwork, and contact a financial advisor if guidance is needed on filings, wills and financial arrangements.