What is Proof of Death?


Proof of death is required to deal with the majority of estate matters. Proof can come in various forms. Below is an explanation of the types of proof of death, where they can be obtained and some examples of when it may be required.

1. Death Certificate

This is a legal document provided by the province to confirm an individual's death. It can be obtained through the provincial vital statistics office, and there will be a cost for each copy. You will find a list of provincial vital statistics offices at the end of this document.

      • A death certificate is required for real estate and property transactions and may be required to claim pension and insurance benefits. In most other cases, the funeral directors’ statement of death is sufficient proof of death.

2. Funeral Director's Statement of Death

This can also be referred to as the Funeral Director’s Proof of Death Certificate or Funeral Director’s Declaration of Death, depending on what province you reside in.

      • The funeral home provides this document as confirmation of the death. In most cases, this document is enough to verify an individual's death to utility/service providers, companies, organizations or institutions with whom the estate may be dealing.

3. Medical Death Certificate

A legal record of death that includes the circumstances of death. It is completed at the time of death by a medical professional or another authorized person.

      • This document is required when an organization requires a certificate with the cause of death. A Certified Copy of Death Registration can also be used for this purpose.

4. Other Forms of Proof of Death

In some cases, an obituary or funeral card may also be accepted as proof of death.

Where to Obtain Death Certificates In Canada

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