You will want to gather all the bills together and make sure you are aware of all the credit obligations of the deceased. Many installment loans, service contracts, and credit cards accounts are covered by credit life insurance, which pays off the account balance in the event of the death of a customer.

You should contact any financial institution where the deceased had a loan and inform them of the death. They will be able to inform you if the loan was covered by credit life and what needs to be done to file the appropriate claim. A proof of death certificate is required to file a claim.

You will also want to contact credit card companies to notify them of the death. If the card is jointly held, find out what documentation is required to change cards into the survivor's name. Ask the credit bureau to assist you in transferring your loved one's credit into your name. They may be able to assist you in determining any outstanding obligations of the deceased.

Make a prompt request for the release from each bank in which the deceased and you held a joint account. This is necessary before you can withdraw funds from that account. A bank will usually stop payment on all cheques as soon as a they are made aware of the death. The bank must also have the account cleared by the provincial tax authorities.

Our Family Assistance Program will assist families with many of these issues, and provide valuable information for those tasks that must be done in person.