Financial Planning -> Wills and Estates -> What to do when someone dies
What To Do When Someone Dies
When a person dies, there are many tasks to be performed.
Government of Canada Dealing With Death
The Government of Canada web site provides a great deal of help in dealing with the many tasks to be handled in the event of a death. Go to the Estate planning, wills and dealing with death page of the site.
When executor, liquidator, or administrator fees are being paid out of an estate, the estate must register as an employer with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This is the responsibility of the executor. All applicable income tax and Canada Pension Plan contributions (not EI premiums) must be withheld from the payment. This only applies if the executor, liquidator, or administrator does not act in this capacity in the regular course of business.
You should familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of the executor of an estate before accepting this position, or before dealing with any estate assets.
Norton Rose Fulbright provides information on this in their article The role of an executor in administering an estate. These responsibilities may vary by province.
When an individual dies, they have a deemed disposal of all of their capital property immediately before death, for proceeds equal to fair market value at the time of death. Resulting capital gains, net of capital losses, would be reported on the final tax return for the year of death. Special tax rules apply for capital losses in excess of capital gains for the year of death.
If the deceased had
then hopefully they planned ahead, and have the information for these accounts/assets in a safe place and have let their executor know where to find the information.
See Digital Estate Planning on the All About Estates website, written by Dave Madan, Market Lead and Manager, Scotiatrust.What to do when someone has died
RC4111 What to Do Following a Death, which contains basic information that the family and legal representative should know to start settling the affairs of the deceased person.
T4011 Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons
T4013 T3 - Trust Guide
Special Payments Chart - what types of payments are subject to CPP, EI and income tax withholdings. However, executors and administrators of estates are not on this list, so see:
It is advisable to have your will reviewed occasionally by a notary or lawyer, in particular if the legislation in your province regarding wills has been revised in recent years. A review can help to ensure that your wishes will still be upheld under the latest legislation.
Family and Life Events - includes Dealing with death
Wills in Alberta includes link to Wills and Succession Act- Alberta Justice
BC Death and Bereavement - Death Registration/Certificates, Wills Registry, Wills & Estates
Your Duties as Executor - Canadian Bar Association BC Branch
Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) Checklist for Estate Transfers (pdf) of vehicles - Joint ownership with right of survivorship (JWROS) provides the simplest method for transferring the vehicle after death, and reduces probate fees.
Wills, Estates and Succession Act - came into force March 31, 2014
Wills, Estates and Succession Act - Courthouse Libraries BC.
Family Law in Manitoba - see their Public Information Booklet
The Wills Act - in effect since June 30, 2004
Wills and Estate Planning, including Probate of the Will
Wills and estates - Public Legal Education of Saskatchewan (PLEA)
See also: Probate Fees by Province
Tax Tip: Keep your will up to date, and ensure it complies with current legislation.
Revised: July 30, 2022
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