Estate and Funeral Planning





The needs of survivors are a fundamental concern of estate planning. Without estate planning, a survivor ends up with what is left to chance. Having a pension plan, such as one of the superannuation plans, with a survivor benefit, as well as the survivor benefit provisions of the Canada Pension Plans certainly simplifies estate planning.


However, pension plans were never designed as a substitute for proper estate planning and, in particular, were never intended to provide all the income a survivor needs to maintain the same standard of living enjoyed while the spouse was still alive.

Estate planning and making pre-arrangements for your funeral, and leaving clear instructions where all important paperwork, bank account information, RRSP information, etc., may be found, are just as sensible, and essential, as having your WILL professionally completed and certified by a lawyer.


The First Thing To Do

When death occurs, the first thing to do after a doctor has confirmed the person has died; the doctor will fill out a “Medical Certificate of Death”, that contains the person’s name, age, date of death and cause of death. The form will be used to register the death with the province.

The next step is to contact a funeral home, or crematorium, and they will provide you with copies of the death certificate.

This certificate, together with the Statement of Death, must be completed in full before registration of the death can take place, and before a Burial Permit can be issued by the local registrar.


Prearranged Funeral and Burial Arrangements


All current and former Canadian Forces members, who have been honourably discharged are eligible for burial in the National Military Cemetery (NMC) of the Canadian Forces in Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. In addition, one family member, (Spouse – ), may be interred in the same plot.


The Beechwood Cemetery is located at:

280 Beechwood Avenue

Ottawa, Ontario

K1L 8E2

Tel No: 613 741-9530

FAX No.: 613 741-8584



You will be required to select a date, time and place where the funeral service will take place (at Beechwood Cathedral or in a Church).

Note: whenever consistent with the exigencies of the service and the wishes of the next of kin, the Canadian Forces will provide a military presence as a token of respect and Remembrance at all burials in the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces. The Commandant at Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) is responsible for the provisions of such presence or for recommending such presence in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Because we all served with the Canadian Forces Supplementary Radio System, you could ask the Commanding Officer – CFS Leitrim, to provide a military presence at the Church funeral service, and at the Beechwood National Military Cemetery.

Select the Scripture readings, Psalms, or any other particular readings, poems, etc., that will be read, and who will read them.

Determine who, (either a family member or a friend of the family), will deliver the Dedication / Words of Tribute (Eulogy).

Information Needed for Funeral/Cremation Director


  • First, middle and last name of the deceased

  • Date of birth

  • Social Insurance Number

  • Province and Country of birth

  • Marital Status

  • If married, widowed or divorced – name of spouse

  • Name of father

  • Maiden name of Mother

  • Birth place of father/mother

This information is needed for the funeral director to complete the Statement of Death form so the death can be registered and a Burial Permit issued. Determine if you would wish to have the death announced in the newspapers. Write the obituary and call your local newspaper. Costs vary per organization.

Visitation / Funeral and Burial Pre-Arrangements


At the Funeral Home visitation, these are suggestions on items to display: Guest Register with pen Military Shadow Box with Canadian Flag, Court-mounted medals, Navy Hat, In Memory cards,

Picture Display Board (you can select the family pictures that you would like to have displayed).

If a donation in lieu of flowers is requested, you may decide on an appropriate memorial (Memorial Donations) to which gifts may be made (Church, Hospital, Cancer Society, Charity, etc.)

Decide what you would like to do with the flowers after the funeral service. You may wish to keep a flower each, ask friends to take them or leave them in the Church.

Don’t forget about the Minister’s Honorarium and a stipend for the organist.



Dying intestate is a term that means someone has died without a will. Dying without a will means that the government gets to use provincial laws to decide how to distribute your estate and appoint your executor. Do not let this happen to you. Each province has it’s own rules governing the Intestate Succession Act, and here is the link to Ontario’s:,closest%20next%2Dof%2Dkin.

These are some of the consequences of dying intestate.

  • You have left your grieving family completely confused; dying intestate may be a shock for your surviving loved ones — family and friends are often surprised to learn you didn’t have a will. They may also be shocked to learn how much time, money and work will be required before your estate can be distributed.

  • Dying intestate means you did not name an Executor; someone will have to apply to the court to be appointed as the administrator (or personal representative) of the deceased person’s estate. In Ontario the person is called the Estate Trustee.

  • Your loved ones cannot get hold of your assets.

Bottom Line; Make a will!


Funeral Information Society of Ottawa

This ‘Final Planning Guide – Comfort Book’ was prepared using some of the information that was provided by the Funeral Information Society of Ottawa. Funeral Information Societies and Memorial Societies across Canada encourage pre-planning as a cost-effective way to protect family members at a most vulnerable time.

The Funeral Information Society compares costs of funerals, cremation, burial and all related matters.

Located in major urban centres of Canada, the Funeral Information Society and Memorial Society negotiate an agreement with one selected Funeral Home Service agency in each area of coverage to provide a full range of funeral services at much more economical costs than an individual could negotiate.


Telephone Number: (613) 828-4926.


Disposition of Remains – Cremation


Crematoria are operated almost exclusively by cemeteries. Ordinarily, the public does not witness the process by which the human body is reduced to cremated remains. If a family member does wish to be present, all they have to do is ask the National Military Cemetery/ Family Services Coordinator.

The body is always cremated in the casket purchased. Some funeral homes provide an inexpensive cardboard casket for this purpose.


Urn with Cremains

Urns and other types of containers to hold the cremains are available from the Beechwood National Military Cemetery.

Following cremation, the ashes may be stored in an urn and then buried in the burial plot at the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces, Beechwood Cemetery.


Hymn Suggestions

  • Eternal Father, Strong to Save

  • The Servant Song

  • What A Friend We Have In Jesus

  • O God, Our Help In Ages Past

  • Go Now in Peace

  • In the Bulb There is a Flower


Scripture Reading Suggestions


  • John 14: 1-6 – ‘Jesus, the Way to the Father’

  • Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 – ‘A Time for Everything’

  • Mark 4: 35-41 – ‘Jesus Calms a Storm’

  • 2 Timothy 4: 6-8 and 16-18- ‘To all Those Who Wait with Love’

  • Psalm 23 -‘The Lord Our Shepherd’


Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) – Pension

The Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) is the pension plan for all members of the Regular Force.

The Pension Office must be notified immediately after death, and the death certificate or the certificate issued by the Funeral Director showing the date of death, must be mailed, (recommend Registered Mail), to:

In writing

Public Services and Procurement Canada
Government of Canada Pension Centre – Mail Facility
PO Box 9500
Matane QC G4W 0H3




Canadian Forces Pension Call Centre

(to report the death of a pensioner)



When death occurs—Retired member—Canadian Armed Forces pensions:





NOTE: Within one month after the spouse calls, the Pension Office will send the survivor a letter outlining the benefits the survivor will receive and provide other related information.


Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB)


The Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) is a declining term life insurance that provides a lump sum to the designated beneficiary of a CF pensioner who paid premiums to the plan.

The Canadian Forces SDB contact is:


Telephone: 1 (800) 267-0325 or (613) 971-6012.


NOTE: Make sure that your spouse, (or some other person), has been clearly identified (the Beneficiary’s Name in Full on your Supplementary Death Benefits Plan DND 497-E (08-2015) CLF 2.0 as your beneficiary.

The SDB is initially twice the amount of the military member’s salary at the time of retirement and is NOT subject to income tax when paid to an individual designated as beneficiary.

NOTE: From the age of 61 to 70, the SDB will be reduced by ten percent per year. At the age of 70, there are no more deductions from the Pension, but the benefit is reduced to a lump sum payment of $10,000.00.

Canadian Forces Pensions Services:



Canada Pension Plan (CPP)


A lump-sum death benefit will be paid to the estate of a deceased person who contributed to the Canada Pension Plan for the minimum number of years. Contact Service Canada

office at 1-800-277-9914. Generally, it takes approximately 6-8 weeks for death benefit to be processed. CPP Website:

Upon the death of a contributor there may be a lump sum ($2500.00) benefit payable to the estate.

NOTE: This benefit must be applied for. It does not come automatically.

CPP Survivor’s Benefit – There is a monthly benefit available for the widow(er) whose spouse contributed to the plan, for the minimum qualifying period. This must be applied for. It does not come automatically.

CPP Disability Benefit – A Disability Pension may be paid to a contributor who becomes disabled and who has made sufficient contributions to the Plan.

For information concerning any up-to-date the changes to the Canada Pension Plan, write to:

The nearest Service Canada office listed on this site: Website:


Old Age Security (OAS) Pension




Cancel Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits after a death



The surviving spouse of a disability pensioner receives, for one full year, all the monthly benefits that were in place at the time the pensioner passed away.

At the end of the one-year period, a survivor pension is paid, based on the amount of disability benefit that was paid at the time the pensioner passed away.

For all information related to this disability pension, see the VAC Office. Claim in the office filing cabinet.

It is up to you to report changes in circumstances. You can contact the VAC National

Contact Centre Network at:

Tel: 1 866 522-2122 (Monday to Friday from 08:30AM to 4:30PM)



Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Assistance Services


The mission of Veterans Affairs Canada is to provide exemplary client-centred services and benefits that respond to the needs of veterans and their families, in recognition of their services to Canada, and to keep the memory of their achievements and sacrifices alive for all Canadians.

The Veterans Affairs Canada Assistance Service is for former Canadian military members and their families.

All questions on VAC Assistance Services and benefits may be directed to: Tel No: 1-800-268-7708 (toll-free) 24 hours a day 1-800-883-6094 or 613 995-1457.

To review the list of services and benefits, go to the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)



Continuing Medical Coverage Under The Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP)


The Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) is administered by Canada Life.

Public Service Health Care Plan Tel: 1-800-267-6542

Surviving spouses should be aware that all PSHCP deductions previously taken from a pension will be stopped when the pension office is notified of the pensioner’s death. This means that survivors will no longer have access to other benefits paid at the family rate by the pensioner.

Survivors who want to continue their coverage under the PSHCP will have to call the Canadian Forces Pension Office and then fill out an Application Form to have the premiums deducted from their survivor’s pension payment.

NOTE: You have 60 days following the death of the contributor to elect coverage. Canadian Forces Pension Office Tel No. – 613 971-6012

If the surviving spouse is in receipt of an allowance under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA), the plan contains an option for the surviving spouse to continue medical insurance coverage.

Once you have completed the paperwork received from the Pension Office, call Canada Life 1-855-415-4414 to advise them current status of: Contract________, Member ID________; Hospital Level_________

The Canada Life Company staff will assist you in completing a Positive Enrolment Form.

PSHCP Website:


Continuing Dental Coverage Under the Pensioners’ Dental Service Plan (PDSP)

The Pensioners’ Dental Service Plan (PDSP) is a dental plan sponsored by the Government of Canada for pensioners from the Canadian Forces. It is administered by the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.

Survivors in receipt of an annual allowance are eligible to apply for the PDSP membership at any time. Enrolment forms must be obtained through the Canadian Forces Pension Office and completed within 60 days of the death of the pensioner.

I recommend that you call the Pension Office to advise them that you want to continue coverage under the Pensioners’ Dental Services Plan.

Office of the Canadian Forces Pension Plan

Tel: 613 971-6012

Canadian Forces Pension Call Centre




Note: that under the PDSP, there is no requirement to complete a Positive Enrolment Form. Website:



(Have your Wills secured in a safe place)



Law Firm Name

Complete Address

Tel No: – –


Notify The Executor

Your executor will wrap up your affairs efficiently, in accordance with your last wishes. Be sure that your executor knows where all of your accurate records, relating to your estate, are located. This document has been prepared for this specific purpose.

Your executor will execute the instructions in your WILL after you have died. He or she will distribute your assets and attend to other matters related to the administration of the estate, like the payment of taxes, debts, funeral and testamentary expenses.

As spouses commonly appoint one another,___________ has agreed to act as the executor for me, and I have agreed to act as the executor for her.

Executor for______________ (SIN Number)_____________

Executor for______________ (SIN Number)______________


Alternate Executors

An alternate executor is named in case your first choice is unable to act or dies before you do.


Powers of Attorney


Many Canadians become mentally incapacitated because of accidents or illness. This is why many people draw up a legal document known as a ‘Powers of Attorney’ to ensure their affairs will be managed by someone they know and trust – a person they choose versus someone selected through government and/or court intervention.

For your own and your family’s peace of mind, a ‘Powers of Attorney’ should be part of your estate planning. In Ontario, separate Powers of Attorney may now be made for two key areas of decision-making:


Property and Personal Care

In order to ensure that the family’s interests and welfare are fully protected, and given the extreme important nature of the decisions outlined in Powers of Attorney, you can see why legal assistance in their preparation is highly advisable.


Powers of Attorney for Property

Many people leave the original executed copies of the powers of attorney with a trusted third party (such as your lawyer) with a direction as to when it may be released to the attorney. Your attorney must have an original copy of the power of attorney to act on your behalf.


Note: A Powers of Attorney may only be used during your lifetime and terminates at the time of your death. A WILL, in contrast, deals with the disposition of your property after death and only takes effect after your death.


Life Insurance Policy (SISIP – CAR)


Term Life Insurance Plan for Member (______) and Spouse (_______) is with the Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) Financial Services – Coverage After Release (CAR)

Date of Issuance of (Revised) Policy – ___________

Policy Number – ______________


Note: amount will be dropped on the first anniversary of your sixty-fifth birthday.

In the event of the death of both _________ and ________, the SISIP – CAR will transfer all of

the beneficiary money ($________ ) to the estate, to be divided equally among our ______

surviving sons/ daughters.


Call SISIP – CAR at 1-800-565-0701 (the Manulife Financial / SISIP Services Department in Halifax that looks after my policy), or SISIP Financial Services in Ottawa at 613 233-2177 to advise of the death and send them a certified copy of the Death Certificate.



Organ and Tissue Donation – Donor Card


The decision to donate your organs upon death is a personal choice to be made by you, preferably in consultation with your family.

Note: At the time of death, you should tell the doctor, or attending physician, of my decision to donate organs for transplantation, since time is of the essence.

Gift of Life Consent Form – Organ and Tissue Donor Registration:




Other Government Cards / Credit Cards Registries and Agencies

The executor should contact the following government offices and agencies:

Social Insurance Number

Contact the Canada Employment Centre (Tel No: 1-800-206-7218) to advise them of the status of: SIN Number and Name



Ontario Health Card


Contact the Service Ontario Office (Tel No: 1-800-268 1153) to advise them of the status of:

Card Number -______________TW (Name)

Card Number -______________MX (Name)


Names and Phone Numbers for: Hospitals, Credit Card Companies, Financial Institutions, etc.


The Last Post

Call 1-800-645-8106 to put a death notice in ‘The Last Post’ section of the Royal Canadian

Legion magazine.


Keep Informed

Read up on subjects such as hospice care, alternative housing, and estate planning. Your local library has books on these topics and also on bereavement and dealing with grief. Other sources of information are the inter-net, trust companies, funeral co-ops and law societies.


Review Annually

To ensure that ‘The Final Planning Guide’ is kept up-to-date, it should be reviewed on an annual basis and revised as necessary. Try to keep all of the information as accurate as possible.


Thank You Cards

All floral gifts, memorial donations and spiritual offerings (visitors and those who supplied food) should be acknowledged. Prepare a mailing list of those persons who should receive thank you cards and notes.

If a personal note is more than can be managed, acknowledgement stationery is available from the funeral director.


Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program (CFMAP)

As a retired member of the Canadian Forces, you, your spouse (___________) and your children (____________________________) are entitled to the professional services of the CF Member Assistance Program. It is a voluntary and confidential service to help members, and family members, who have personal concerns that affect their personal well-being and / or work performance.

The Member Assistance Program, offered by the Employee Assistance Services of Health Canada in partnership with the Canadian Forces, is a voluntary program that was developed to assist in overcoming almost every problem that can affect your professional or personal life.

CFMAP meets the member’s and the family member’s requirement for a confidential and timely response to a number of individual or family needs, for example, feelings of sadness and the grief experienced over the loss of a loved person.

Tel No: 1-800-268-7708 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)




Office of the Ombudsman

The services of the Office of the Ombudsman are available to both active and veterans / retired military personnel.

If you are not sure what procedure to use to address a concern, the Office of the Ombudsman can give you advice and refer you to the appropriate existing channels of assistance within the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces.

For a complete description of professional services provided by the Ombudsman of the Canadian Forces, call: Telephone No:1-888-828-3626

If you want further information about the Office of the Ombudsman;




The deceased’s bank(s) should be contacted and provided with a Proof of Death Certificate so that the accounts may be closed and an Estate account can be opened. Safety deposit boxes should also be opened. This article: goes into some detail about what takes place with your bank accounts when you pass away.


The Royal Canadian Navy – Benevolent Fund (RCN BF)

The Royal Canadian Navy Benevolent Fund provides assistance to eligible applicants who enlisted prior to 1 February 1968.

Assistance is provided in the form of grants and interest-free loans, to relieve distress and promote the well being for applicants and their spouse. Interest-free loans for educational purposes for dependants, including grandchildren are also available.

Telephone No: 1-888-557-8777 or 613-236-7389





Canadian Veterans: Owed or Missing Medals

Alright troops, I need your help sharing this with our veterans out there. So please get the word out.
Let’s dig deep and find some of those peacekeeping veterans out there who have never heard of the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal. If you have 30 days deployed on a recognized peacekeeping or peacemaking operation, you qualify. Some examples would be, Congo, Kuwait(1991), Golan Heights, Cyprus, Croatia/Bosnia, Haiti, Egypt, East Timor, Kosovo, etc.
While we are at it let’s find all of our veterans who served in France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium from 1951 to date. If you had six months accumulative service there, you qualify. Meaning you can combine your time over multiple trips. Also, the rules changed for folks after 2004. So if yo were there then, the qualifying time is a lot less.
For all you NAVY types out there, the SSM NATO applies to you as well. Mostly for you that served on the east coast. Again you need six months prior to 2004, but you can combine exercises and STANAVFORLANT deployments to reach your qualifying time. We just need the ships you were on and the dates.
So heading into the weekend and the lead up to Christmas holidays, please share this post and make folks aware. Share it in your veteran groups, on your personal pages, anywhere we can reach a veteran or their family that may be owed a medal.


Some Oldtimers have been asking about the Special Service Medal (SSM), with the Alert Bar, as well as the other six bars as described here.  If You feel that you are eligible for this medal, The Government of Canada has a website that describes the medal, as well as an application form. Also, if you require new medals, or ribbons, check out Defence Medals Canada.


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Note: Ray Lebeau has developed a Funeral Planning Guide, and if you require a copy, please contact Ray at:


If You come across a link that might interest fellow Oldtimers, please pass it along to


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