It is difficult to know what to do when a loved one passes away. Here are some concrete, practical steps that you can follow at this time.
1. Notify the Necessary People
When someone has died, the first steps are calling emergency services if necessary and/or talking to the medical professionals, then contacting anyone who needs to be immediately informed of the death, such as family members and close friends.
2. Obtain a Death Certificate
After a death has occurred, the physician or coroner will issue a medical certificate of death, after which you can register the death to obtain an official death certificate. You can register a death through a funeral home, if you are using one. If you are not using a funeral home, you can register the death with Service BC.
In order to register the death, you will need personal information about the deceased including their personal health number, social insurance number, and full legal name. Check the BC Government website for a full list of the information required.
Once the death has been registered, you may order a death certificate through the funeral home or, if the death has not been registered at a funeral home, through the Vital Statistics Agency.
3. Seek Support
There is a lot to deal with after the death of someone close to you, and it is important to seek out various types of support to help you get through this tough time. This means emotional, legal, and financial support as needed. The government of BC has various resources available for these times, including a bereavement hotline and resources specifically for Indigenous peoples and veterans.
For help with legal matters, Munro & Crawford is here to make these trying times simpler and less overwhelming.