Loss of a Family Member
If you've recently lost a loved one, finances are probably the last thing you want to think about. Take the time you need to grieve, and be aware that you don't have to grieve alone. If you need more help and support than you're able to get from your immediate family and friends, most communities offer counseling services to help you through the process. Simply consult the Yellow Pages or search your regional portal website for a counseling centre near you. If all else fails, contact your family doctor or any hospital for help.
If you have never experienced the death of a loved one, you may not know what steps you need to take to settle his or her affairs. Service Canada can provide detailed information on what you need to do next. servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/lifeevents/loss
Financial Planning for Survivors
After a loved one passes on, there are a number of issues to be resolved. If the deceased was a key provider, you may be worried about how the loss of income will affect you and your family. Is there life insurance? Who are the listed beneficiaries of RRSPs and RRIFs? What about jointly held property and other assets? If no beneficiaries are named, these assets may simply become part of the estate. Your financial institution can help — just ask.
Hopefully the deceased has left a valid and up-to-date will and named an executor. If so, the most important first step is to contact the executor. If there is no will — or if you have been named executor — contact a lawyer as soon as possible.