What to do when you lose a loved one in MB

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A death in the family is one of the worst things that could happen. Newcomers may not know what to do. They may not know who to ask for help in Manitoba.

Who to inform first:

  1. Call the health care provider or doctor if the person was sick and confined in a hospital. If they died in the hospital, the staff will prepare the death registration.
  2. Call 9-1-1 if the death is unexpected. The Coroner’s office may also be involved if an autopsy or inquest is needed. If there is no need of an autopsy, the family can call a mortuary to pick up the remains. The doctor or coroner will complete the death registration form.

Who can make final arrangements:

The Executor or next of kin decides and makes the final arrangements.

  • An Executor/Executing Next of Kin is the person who is named in the deceased’s will to make final arrangements.
  • A will is a document that tells the family (or executor) what to do when the owner of the will dies.
  • If there is no executor or will, the responsibility falls on the next of kin. This means the spouse or the adult children.

Check the Manitoba Family Law Rights on Death for laws that apply to specific circumstances.

Immediate arrangements:

  1. Get a death certificate
    • The death certificate is the official registration of death.Application Form. You can also apply online: Online Certificate Application.
    • If you hire a funeral director, they can provide you with a copy of a proof of death. You may need to present this when you do not have the death certificate yet.
    • You will need the death certificate when you arrange the deceased’s financial assets and properties. You will also need it when claiming death benefits.
  2. If the deceased is an organ donor
    • Check the deceased’s Manitoba Health Card. See if the Donor Card portion is filled out.
    • The next of kin will be asked to confirm this.
    • Contact the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science at the University of Manitoba if the deceased wished to donate their body for medical research and education.
  3. If the deceased has an insurance plan
    • Call the insurance company or agent.
    • They will inform you how to claim the insurance benefit.
  4. If the deceased has a Pre-arranged Funeral Plan
    Contact the funeral director for the coverage and arrangements.

  5. Inform your family and friends.
  6. Inform the deceased’s employer or school.

Arranging the funeral

  1. A funeral director is a person who can do most of the final arrangements for the deceased.
  2. It is not required to have a funeral director in Manitoba. But it is recommended.
  3. Having an expert handle the arrangements can help ease your burden.
  4. A licensed funeral director would know all the requirements and regulations about funerals and burials in the province.
  5. You can also discuss with them any particular requests of the deceased (or the family of the deceased) on funeral and burial arrangements.
  6. The funeral director can present and review with you the cost of the goods and services required in the ceremony.

Burying the deceased in your home country?

  1. There are regulations for transporting the body or the remains the deceased outside of Canada. It will require documents and fees. Rules are outlined in Memorandum D 19-9-3.
  2. Airline regulations must also be followed. These will depend on the airline you choose.
    • Regulations could also vary depending on the country or province you transport remains.
    • Costs will depend on airline, schedule, distance, weight and other factors.
    • Cost for shipping cremated remains can be lower than transporting the deceased’s body.

    (Air transportation of remains in Canada, Canadian Funerals Online).

  3. A funeral director or funeral home can make the arrangements for you. You (or the funeral home) will also have to make the delivery and collection arrangements once the deceased reaches its destination.

Death and survivorship benefits

Allowance for the survivor – this is a benefit for people:

  • aged 60-64,
  • who have low income,
  • living in Canada, and
  • whose spouse or common-law partner is deceased

Sponsored/non-sponsored immigrants must meet certain conditions and residency requirements.

Death benefit –a one-time, lump sum payment to the estate on behalf of the deceased Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributor.

Child benefit – provides monthly payments to the dependent children (under the age of 25) of disabled or deceased CPP contributors.

Survivor’s Pension – this is paid to the person who, at the time of death, is the legal spouse or common-law partner of the deceased CPP contributor.

Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children Grant

Bereavement Leave – if you are employed, you may be entitled to unpaid time off to deal with the death of a family member. Employees are allowed to take up to three days leave (Employment Standards Code)

Compassionate Care Benefits – these are benefits paid to people who have to be away from work to care for a family member who is gravely ill and dying.

What to cancel:

Finally, you will need to cancel the deceased’s:

  • pensions and benefits
  • SIN
  • Manitoba Health Care insurance
  • driver’s licence
  • bank account/s and credit cards.

Go to: Dealing with death (Manitoba.ca) for a complete list.
Article updated February 14, 2022.

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