Forwarding or redirecting mail after a death should be taken care of as soon as possible, as there may be information sent that requires your immediate attention (such as credit card bills, mortgage payments, or other services that need notification of death).
Furthermore, if mail piles up at an unattended residence, two risks arise:
Identity Theft- Someone could steal the mail and use personal information to steal the deceased’s identity and commit fraud
Theft and Break-ins- An overflowing mailbox is a sign to criminals that the residence is unattended, giving them a perfect chance to break in without being noticed
Redirecting mail through Canada Post requires you to purchase a mail forwarding service. These can be bought for a 4-month or 12-month period at your local Canada Post office.
You can purchase the mail forwarding service online or at the post office; however, you will need to visit a post office location to complete the service either way. Purchasing online will allow you to fill-out and print the necessary documents ahead of time, which could save time.
How to Purchase Mail Forwarding Online
You can purchase the mail forwarding service in 2 ways:
To purchase online, complete the online form to specify whose mail is being forwarded and to where. The form can be found here.
Print the barcode provided and pay online.
To purchase at a post office, go to your local post office to complete the form, or fill out the form ahead of time and take a printed copy with you.
Next, take the barcode (if applicable) to a post office, along with the following items:
Barcode from online purchase
One of the following:
Medical examiner’s certificate
Funeral director’s proof of death
Another comparable certificate to authenticate the death.
Proof of your authority to act on behalf of the deceased (one of the following):
Copy of the Will naming you as the executor
Letter of Probate
Letters of Administration
Certificate of appointment of the estate liquidator/Certified statement of the liquidator
Statutory declaration form
Canada Post Mail Forwarding Prices
Below is the Canada Post Mail Forwarding prices as of March 2021:
Settling an estate is a process that can be time-consuming and frustrating. Cadence Executor Assistance Services can help you with the notifications, cancellations, and applications required following a death.
Probate refers to a court-supervised process for administering an estate and distributing the proceeds of the estate. Letters probate formally recognizes that a Will is valid and that an Executor is entitled to deal with the estate. The process can take up to one year to complete.
Letters Probate are not always required to settle an estate. If the deceased left any real property, Letters Probate are required. An institution, such as a bank, may also require Letters before they release funds to the Executor.
Eligibility to Apply
There is a Will
There is an Executor/Executrix named in the will (they must be the one(s) to apply)
There are two witnesses to the Will
If any of these circumstances do not apply, you may need to apply for Letters of Administration. The Courts of Saskatchewan defined Letters of Administration as follows:
"A court order that is granted when the deceased person died without a Will that proves the authority of the person or persons named therein to deal with the property of the deceased person."
The Court requires specific documentation to grant Letters Probate. Documents must be signed before a Commissioner for Oaths or by a lawyer. Cadence has a Commissioner for Oaths on staff and can assist you or you can find a Commissioner for Oaths by looking through the yellow pages of the phone book, online directories or checking with the courthouse. To find a lawyer in your region, refer to the Cadence Professional Services Directory.
Visit your local probate office's website to access the required documents and find information on fees. We have included a list of websites below. Information kits may also be available at your nearest Court of Queen's Bench.
A Judge will review the submission and if everything is in order, will grant Letters Probate. There is not a requirement to have a lawyer assist with the application, although in some cases it will be necessary.
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, some examples of when it may be required, and where they can be obtained.
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.
There are several places you can look to find important estate documents. These help you determine what accounts need to be closed and what agencies need to be notified. A comprehensive list of all the documents you should look for can be found here.
Here are some tips to help you find the necessary information needed to settle an estate:
Search the deceased’s wallet, filing cabinets and folders. Make sure you check all places of residence.
Check the deceased’s computer files and any cloud-based file storage you are aware of.
Check the mail for any paper bills, statements, policies or subscriptions.
If you have access to the deceased’s banking or credit card accounts, review the last year of statements to look for automatic payments and deposits.
Check the safety deposit box. Usually these are located at the deceased’s bank. It is better to document the contents of the safety deposit box with another person present.
Contact the previous employers to find out about pensions, death benefits and employer-based insurance plans.
If the deceased had a lawyer, insurance broker, accountant or financial advisor, they may have copies of important estate documents and information.