A Death Certificate is one of the most important documents you need to settle the affairs of your loved one. A Death Certificate is required as official legal proof of death, to settle the estate of the deceased, to apply for pension and insurance benefits, and to legally remarry.
Following the death, you must call a doctor or coroner. He/she will fill out a Medical Certificate of Death and give it to the funeral director.
To find a Funeral Home or Transfer Service, consult your local yellow pages, or contact your provincial or territorial funeral board. Funeral directors and funeral boards can help you make all the arrangements for funerals. Once the funeral director receives the Medical Certificate of Death from the doctor or coroner, he/she will fill out a Statement of Death form with the help of a family member. The funeral director will then submit both the Medical Certificate of Death and the Statement of Death form to the local municipality clerk’s office so that the death can be registered with Vital Statistics. The deceased’s next of kin will receive a notification letter when the death has been registered.
Once the death is registered with the Vital Statistics agency, a Death Certificate may be obtained online (see below “How do I order a Death Certificate”)
The Service Canada Web site provides information on how to cancel benefits following the death of a pensioner or beneficiary. Note: If the deceased was receiving a benefit from the Québec Pension Plan (QPP), contact the Régie des rentes du Québec.
The next-of-kin should return the SIN card along with a copy of the Death Dertificate or a Statement of Death to Service Canada. Note: You are no longer required to inform Service Canada of the death if the death occurred in the following provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario or Québec. The notification of death is received electronically from the Vital Statistics Agencies of these Provinces. If you do have the deceased person’s SIN card, you can destroy it.
The Passport should be returned to Passport Canada with a copy of the Death Certificate and a letter indicating if the cancelled Passport should be destroyed or returned to you.
The Canada Revenue Agency Web site provides information about how to notify the Canada Revenue Agency of a death. The Web site also provides information on cancelling benefit payments in the name of the deceased. It will also help you determine if you are the legal representative of the deceased.
Please contact Service Canada to find out if you are now eligible to receive certain Old Age Security Benefits.
It is important to have your benefits reviewed following the death of your spouse or common-law partner.
Documents you will need to complete these steps include the deceased person’s:
Additional Information for the Canada Pension Plan and other death related benefits
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada – Decedent Estates Program
Allowance for the Survivor Program
Canada Pension Plan Children’s Benefits
Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit
Canada Pension Plan Survivor’s Pension
Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits
Veterans Affairs Canada – Death Benefit
Veterans Affairs Canada – Funeral, Burial and Gravemarking Assistance
Veterans Affairs Disability Pension Program – Surviving Dependant Benefits
Canadian Death Certificates are issued by the government of the Province in which the death occurred. You may apply for a Death Certificate online:
Please note: Death Certificates are issued using the information from the original Registration of Death, completed at the time of death. If a record cannot be found, a search for a three year period is carried out automatically and the applicant will be notified.
Nova Scotia Regular Service (15-20 business days):
Nova Scotia Rush Service (8-12 business days):
The only payment currently accepted is credit card (Visa and MasterCard).
Information contained on a Short Form Nova Scotia Death Certificate includes the following:
Information contained on a Long Form Nova Scotia Death Certificate includes the following:
A Photocopy of Registration is a certified photocopy of the original Registration of Death, completed at the time of death. It contains all the information that appears on the Registration of Death, including medical cause of death. Photocopies are rarely needed by citizens and are, by law, for restricted use only. They are generally only required for genealogical, court or consulate purposes, and are not for use as identification.
It will take 15-20 business days with Regular Service or 8-12 business days with Rush Service.
The Death Certificate will be sent to you directly from Nova Scotia Vital Statistics Agency. It will arrive in the mail with the Regular Service option, or by courier with the Rush Service option.
Yes. If the death record contains any French accents on the registered names, please ensure they are clearly displayed on the Death Certificate application form.
If you are following up on the status of an already ordered certificate, as the applicant, you will need to contact the government agency directly. They will only discuss the status of the application with the applicant. Please contact Nova Scotia Vital Statistics at:
Toll Free: 1-877-848-2578 (Nova Scotia only)
Death Certificates are issued using the information from the original Registration of Death. If you are uncertain of the date of death or whether the person is deceased, fill out the estimated date of death on the Death Certificate application. If no record of the death is found for that date, the fee will be applied to the search process, which is conducted for a three-year period. If no record of the death is found during the search process, you will receive a letter advising you that a record is not available.
The Nova Scotia Vital Statistics office holds complete records from 1864, when civil registration began. Death records remain there until they are more than 70 years old which means they are no longer within the restricted period. These unrestricted death records are then transferred to the provincial Archives and are input into a database available for searching. However, the Vital Statistics Office cautions that not everything in the original record has been transcribed. To get all of the details, it is necessary to order a copy of the original document. Also, the information which was collected has varied over the years, with more recent records containing more details than those which are older. For example, the Vital Statistics office have some incomplete church records that date further back than their civil registration records, which their staff may be able to search if the applicant knows the denomination of the person whose death record they are seeking.
You can apply for a Nova Scotia Short Form Death Certificate if you are:
You can apply for a Nova Scotia Long Form Death Certificate if you are:
You can apply for a Nova Scotia Certified Copy if you are:
Yes. Occasionally death records need to be amended, such as when an error has been made to the original Registration of Death. If you would like to correct an error that was made in the original Death Registration, contact the Nova Scotia Vital Statistics office by calling (902) 424-4381 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.