After a Death: Who to Notify When Someone Dies

Find the services or accounts to cancel

The list of services or accounts to deactivate is different for everyone. When you’re ready, use the information below to decide who to contact and when. You may discover some that aren't listed, but this is a good place to start. Many services require a death certificate (or copy) or other documents as proof.

Stay organized with a journal or print the After a Death Checklist (PDF, 3.8MB)

The checklist has the same tasks as this website, but you can mark them as complete or write your own notes.

Contact Government Services

Financials, Housing and Taxes

Benefits and Health Care

Community, Online Accounts and Other Considerations


Why is it important to cancel services?

  • Many accounts are not closed automatically after inactivity
  • Identity theft or fraud can happen
  • Accounts are often linked to payment methods or other accounts
  • Remaining accounts can be unsettling to others

For notifying people in other ways, see "Someone has died, what do I do?" and Writing an Obituary.


Contact Information for Government Services 

Government services can be Provincial or Federal, contact them individually. Not all services apply to every person. Some services may give financial benefits to the survivor, reducing the financial burden. Other services are important to cancel to avoid fraud, identity theft or unexpected charges.

Do this soon

Do this to reduce fraud risk


If the passport is valid, you should mail it to be cancelled:

Passport Program
Gatineau QC K1A 0G3
Canada

Include a copy of the death certificate and a letter explaining if the cancelled passport should be destroyed or returned to you. You don’t need to return an expired passport. However, if you want to securely destroy it, send a note and a copy of the death certificate along with the expired passport asking for its destruction.

Do This

  • If the person who died had an active Canadian passport

Urgency

  • Do this soon

What You Need

  • An uncertified copy of the death certificate

How to Contact

  • Passport Program
    Gatineau QC K1A 0G3
    Canada

Do this soon

Do this to reduce fraud risk


Let Service Canada know if the deceased held a Canadian Citizenship Certificate or Permanent Resident Certificate or if they had an open application for one.

Do This

  • If the person who died held a Canadian Citizenship Certificate or Permanent Resident Certificate or if they had an open application for one.

Urgency

  • Do this soon

What You Need

  • An uncertified copy of the death certificate, funeral home notice or newspaper report

How to Contact

 

Cancel Driver's Licence, BCID and/or BC Services Card

This can wait

Do this to reduce fraud risk


Bring the death certificate and driver's licence to any driver licensing office Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), or send the documents by mail.

Do This

  • If the person who died had an active driver’s license, BCID, and/or BC Services Card

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • An uncertified copy of the death certificate
  • Driver’s license, BC Identification Card or BC Services Card to be cancelled

How to Contact

  • ICBC Licensing Unit
    PO Box 3750
    Victoria, BC V8W 3Y5

This can wait


Contact an Autoplan broker. They will help cancel or change the policy.

Do This

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • Original or a certified copy of each of the documents in Checklist for Estate Transfers (PDF, 45KB)
  • A fully completed Transfer/Tax Form (pick up a form at the broker's office)
  • The current vehicle registration (usually in the car’s glove box)
  • If you are the surviving spouse and you want to keep the plate without a decal as a keepsake, a valid marriage certificate or a notarized statutory declaration (may get one from broker)

How to Contact

​​This can wait

Do this to reduce fraud risk

Has financial impact


Contact the Canada Revenue Agency to settle the taxes of the person who has died. Transfer benefits to a survivor.

Do This

  • If the person who died filed taxes in Canada

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • Social Insurance Number (but not the physical SIN card)

  • An uncertified copy of the death certificate

  • Complete copy of the will or other legal document such as the grant of probate or letters of administration

  • The mailing address of the estate

  • Form: Request for the Canada Revenue Agency to Update Records

How to Contact

​​This can wait

Has financial impact


If the person who died was a member (or a retired member) of a B.C. pension plan, contact the organization for information.

B.C. Public Sector Pension Plans include

  • College Pension Plan
  • Public Service Pension Plan
  • Teachers’ Pension Plan
  • Municipal Pension Plan
  • WorkSafe BC Pension Plan

The spouse or children of the deceased may be eligible for survivor’s benefits.

Do This

  • If the person who died was a member, or a retired member, of a B.C. pension plan.

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • Person ID (on pension statements)
  • An uncertified copy of the death certificate
  • Various documents and information depending on the scenario

How to Contact

This can wait

Has financial impact


WorkSafe BC needs to be notified if the person who died had an active claim.

Do This

  • If the person who died had an active claim with WorkSafe BC

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • An uncertified copy of the death certificate

How to Contact

  • 1-888-967-5377
  • WorkSafe BC
    PO Box 4700 Stn Terminal
    Vancouver, B.C. V6B 1J1

This can wait

Has financial impact


BC Housing needs to be notified when someone who has been receiving subsidized housing or rental assistance dies.

Do This

  • If the person who died was receiving subsidized housing or rental assistance

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • Nothing required, but you must be able to provide executor or administrator contact details

How to Contact

This can wait

Has financial impact


Contact BC Registries and Online Services. If a joint tenant dies, you will submit a notice to transfer ownership to the surviving joint tenant. If the person was the sole owner of a manufactured or mobile home, you will need to transfer ownership to a new owner.

Do This

  • If the person who died was the owner of a registered manufactured or mobile home in B.C.

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • An original or certified copy of the death certificate

How to Contact

This can wait


BC Land Title and Survey recommends that you consult with a legal professional to change title of a property after someone dies. You will need to transmit ownership in any interest in land to the estate or transmit the interest to the surviving joint tenant.

Do This

  • If the person who died was on the title of a property

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • Requirements may vary, contact a legal professional for direction

How to Contact

This can wait


Contact the RCMP if deceased had or may have had a firearms licence or firearm. In Canada, it is illegal to possess firearms without a possession licence or registration. An executor may possess firearms left in an estate for a reasonable amount of time while the estate is being settled.

Do This

  • If the person who died had a firearms licence or firearm

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • An uncertified copy of the death certificate or other official proof of death

How to Contact

This can wait

Has financial impact


Do This

  • If the person who died held a licence, permit or tenure related to Crown lands, forestry, water, mining, or other natural resource activity at the time of death

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • Requirements may vary based on the authorization held by the deceased
  • An uncertified copy of the death certificate is required in most cases

How to Contact

This can wait

Do this to reduce fraud risk


If a B.C. resident dies outside B.C., or if more than 60 days have elapsed and MSP records may not have been updated, please contact Health Insurance BC (HIBC) to notify them of the death.

B.C. Vital Statistics Agency will advise HIBC of any deaths that occur within the province of B.C.

Do This

  • If the person who died was a B.C. resident but died outside of B.C.
  • If more than 60 days have elapsed and MSP records have not been updated

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • No documents required, but you need to provide
    • Full name
    • Personal health number
    • Date of birth
    • Date of death

How to Contact

  • 1-800-663-7100
  • Health Insurance BC (HIBC)
    PO Box 9035 Stn Prov Govt
    Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E3

This can wait


To report a death that happened outside of B.C., contact Elections BC directly.

B.C. Vital Statistics Agency will advise Elections BC of any deaths that occur within the province of B.C.

Do This

  • If the person who died was a B.C. resident but died outside of B.C.

Urgency

  • In the months following

What You Need

  • No documents are required, but you need to provide:
    • Date of birth
    • Date of death
    • Your name
    • Your relationship to the person who died
    • Contact information

How to Contact

 


Financials, Housing and Taxes 

This can wait

Do this to reduce fraud risk

Has financial impact

You may need to cancel, settle or close out the accounts of the person who died. This will help you avoid fraud, identity theft or unexpected charges.

Banks and credit unions

  • You may need to access funds or close out accounts

Investment firms

  • You may need to access or transfers funds

Credit cards

  • This includes department stores or online banks

Credit bureaus

Mortgage broker

  • There may be an outstanding mortgage

Utilities

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Propane
  • Oil delivery
  • Telephone
  • Cell phone
  • Internet
  • Cable TV provider
  • Streaming services providers

Property manager or owner

  • You may need to terminate a tenancy

Municipal government

  • You may need to transfer billing and property taxes, if the person who died owned real estate

Provincial and Federal government services

Other provinces or countries

  • You may need to deal with assets, residency, documents or services in places other than B.C.

Benefits and Health Care 

This can wait

Do this to reduce fraud risk

Has financial impact

You may have access to benefits if the person who died had insurance or was part of an extended health program. Other insurance and health care services are important to cancel to avoid fraud, identity theft or unexpected charges.

Insurance companies

  • You may need to cancel payments or access life insurance benefits

Extended health programs

  • You may need to cancel payments and receive applicable benefits

Pharmacies

  • You may need to cancel prescriptions and dispose of medication

Community, Online Accounts & Other Considerations 

This can wait

Do this to reduce fraud risk

Online Accounts & Social Media

The person who died may have had online accounts:

  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Website logins
  • Phone or tablet applications
  • Online shopping

You should deactivate online accounts that the person who died may have had.

  • Many accounts are not closed automatically after inactivity
  • There is a risk of identity theft or fraud
  • Accounts are often linked to payment methods or other accounts
  • Remaining accounts can be unsettling to others

Deactivating these can be different for each account. In many cases, you will need to provide some information, such as:

  • Username
  • Death certificate
  • Link to their obituary
  • Your name and relation to the person who died

Make a list of online accounts the person may have had, see if the account’s main website lists deactivation steps, then contact them to follow through on deactivation.

Some online accounts can become memorials instead of being deactivated. Keep in mind that you might be telling some people about the death for the first time, when you deactivate an account, turn it into a memorial or post on behalf of the person who died.

Community — Clubs, Organizations and Religions

The person who died may have been in community groups such as clubs, organizations and religious groups. This could include non-profit organizations and charities. You should end the membership of the person who died, notify the other members and stop any recurring fees or donations.

Make a list of any clubs, organizations or religious groups the person may have been part of. Contact each club, organization or place of worship to find out what the next steps are.

Other Considerations

  • Pets and plants may need care
  • Perishable food in the pantry, fridge or freezer may expire soon
  • Appliances may be consuming power or set to timers
  • Secure properties, manage security systems and alarms
  • Contact any storage services or rental lockers
  • Cancel magazine subscriptions, newspaper subscriptions, or other mailing list memberships
  • Cancel recurring deliveries, such as food delivery services
  • Close retail or other membership accounts, such as cooperatives
  • Post office boxes or mail forwarding services may need to be updated or cancelled

Related 

After a Death Checklist (PDF, 3.8MB)

First Steps

Get Support

Common Definitions & Terms


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