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Information And Guidance

We have created this list of subjects to help you make informed decisions, however the funeral home provides this information to you as a guide only.

We sympathize with you regarding their rules and regulations but if you have any questions we ask that you contact the organization directly. Where available, the mailing address, a phone number or website is listed which should help you to contact them.


Following the death of a loved one the duties can seem overwhelming. As with each estate the circumstances are different and we can only provide you with a guideline. These are some suggestions to get you started:

Canada Pension Plan: The estate of the contributor is entitled to the CPP amount for the month in which the person has deceased. Upon death an application for continued CPP benefits must be made. The funeral director will have discussed this with you when you were in to make arrangements. At that time we will have asked you for supporting documentation and you will have signed the application. Please note that we will complete the applications as a service to you, however, after they are sent away any communication from Canada Pension will be directly with you the applicant. It is important to get the required documents to the funeral home as soon as possible so the application process can get started. Processing time can be between 8 and 12 weeks.

Benefits are made payable from the month following the contributor’s death.

If you choose to complete the application(s) on your own we can provide you with them.

Failure to apply within one year from the date of death will result in lost benefits.

If for any reason you need to contact Canada Pension (number listed below), you will have to provide the social insurance number of the deceased at the time of the call.

Human Resource Development Canada Income Security Program

P.O. Box 2710 Main Station Edmonton, AB T5J 4C2

Phone # 1-800-277-9914

Alberta Widows Pension Benefits: Replacing the Alberta Widow’s Pension is the Income and Employment Supports Program. As this is an income based eligibility for further information please contact: Human Resources and Employment at 1-866-644-5135

Alberta Health Care: To cancel the health number of the deceased, forward a Funeral Directors Statement of Death and the personal health care number of the deceased to:

Alberta Health Care P.O. Box 1360 Edmonton, AB T5J 2N3 Telephone: 1-800-272-8864

Federal Old Age Security: The Federal Old Age Security Pension is also payable for the entire month in which the pensioner dies. The Pattison Funeral Home, as a service to you, has a permission form that is filled out by the funeral home and faxed to Old Age Security. We will need the authorization of the nearest next of kin or the executor of the estate. This permission will cancel Alberta Seniors, Old Age Security and Canada Pension benefits.

If you prefer to contact the Old Age Security and cancel the benefits please be prepared to answer the following questions:

1. Name of Deceased

2. Social Insurance Number or Old Age Security Number

3. Address (former address of deceased)

4. Date of death

5. Did the deceased leave a will; if yes the name and address of the executor will need to be provided

6. If no will was left; they will ask if an application for letters of administration will be made. If yes, state the administrators name an address

7. Was the deceased receiving Canada Pension? If yes, was it transferred from a previously deceased spouse?

8. Next of kin name, address and relationship to deceased

9. Who has paid or undertaken responsibility for the funeral expenses: their name, address and relationship to deceased.

10. Name, address and telephone number of the person supplying information Company Pensions: Contact the company (human resources).


Chequeing and Savings Accounts

Although it is necessary to notify the financial institution of a death, you may want to keep joint accounts open for a few months afterwards. This ensures a spouse can continue to deposit cheques in the deceased’s name, and that these funds will be available to them. If accounts are not joint, funds may be frozen until the estate is settled.


Using copies of all credit and loan agreements, contact the appropriate institutions, advise them of the death, and make arrangements for payment. Check with all companies/creditors where the deceased had credit (or cards). Some accounts are life insured and are paid up automatically upon the cardholders death. Find out any outstanding balances, pay them by the due date and destroy cards. Identity theft is a huge concern. Always shred the cards and any communication with the card number on it.

Government Death Certificates

Government certificates can be ordered through any local registry. The fee is $20.00 plus the fee charged by the registry. If you have dealings outside of Alberta you may need a government certificate, otherwise for Alberta, the Funeral Directors Statement of Death (provided by your funeral home) is sufficient.


Check with you bank manager, financial advisor, stock broker or the institution where stocks, bonds, RRSP’s or certificates were purchased with regards to ownership.

Life Insurance

Contact the agent and make sure you have access to the original policy.

Mail Delivery

If the deceased’s home is unoccupied, have the post office redirect the mail to the executor or to the individual handling estate business.

Real Estate and Personal Property

Within 30 days, insurance companies should be notified of the death.

If there is joint ownership, generally property is passed to the surviving owner.

Contact Land Titles for specific action in your situation and documents to be completed.

Land Titles

J.J. Bowlen Building 1st Floor

620 7th Ave SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 0Y8 phone: 403-297-6511


Tax Return

An individual tax return must be filed for the deceased by April 30th or within 6 months of the date of death.

Canada Revenue Agency (formerly Revenue Canada) Suite 10, 9700 Jasper Avenue

Edmonton, Alberta

T5J 4C8 Toll free number: 1-800-959-8281


If the deceased had a land line or cell phone registered in their name, you may want to call the service provider. Contact Telus for changes to the listing or billing information.


Within 60 days, the car ownership and license plates must be transferred to the surviving spouse or to the appropriate person according to the terms of the will.

Compassionate Airline Fare

Individual airlines differ with regards to their policy of compassionate fare. Some may offer a rebate, some may have eligibility differences. You may have to provide the airline customer service with a Funeral Directors Statement of Death, which can be obtained by anyone from the funeral home. Usually a rebate must be applied for within 30-60 days.

Last Post Fund

Financial assistance for funeral and burial funding may also be available through the Last Post Fund. Financial eligibility is based on an assessment of the deceased’s financial resources at the time of death.

LAST POST WILL QUALIFY APPLICANTS. In general the qualification for funding is as follows:

As of September 2001:

if you are a married veteran (spouse still living) you are allowed $12,500.00 in assets if the veteran is single, $5,000.00 in assets.

For clarification on allowances please contact:

Last Post Fund

1130 Canada Place

9700 Jasper Ave

Edmonton, AB T5J 4C3 toll free: 1-888-495-3766 1-780-495-3766


It has been said that you must wait an appropriate amount of time before marking a grave. This is untrue, you may mark the grave at whatever time works for you. The Pattison Funeral Home has brochures available to you. If you do not receive one please enquire (403 526-2114). Hillside Monumental is our affiliate monument distributor (403-528-2221) or please stop in an see us anytime at 974 13th Street SW, Medicine Hat. Please note that there may be restrictions due to weather. Most quarries shut down over the winter therefore a stone may be chosen and ordered but probably will not be installed in the cemetery until late spring.

Executor Duties

At death, the property included in the will comes under the authority and control of the executor. It is then his/her duty to carry out the provisions of the will. More than one executor may be named in the will. If an executor is unable to act, he may be released from his duties by formal declaration in writing. If an executor is deceased, or none of them are able to act, the count will appoint an administrator to carry out the necessary duties. The executor’s duties involve certain legal and accounting formalities - it is usual for the executor to engage a lawyer and a financial representative to act for him in these regards.

What is probate?

Simply, it is the judicial process of validating the authenticity of a Will and confirming the authority of the person who will be administrating the Will. For this process, probate fees are charged and paid to the provincial government. ➜

Many probate offices (if you are lucky enough to have one in your area) will meet with the executor or provide information packages and instructions, fees and time lines to assist those who choose to probate on their own. This is the contact information for the regional Probate Office: 780-422-6689 or www.albertacourts.ab.ca./go.aspx?tabid=352&faq=103...

How do you know if you need to apply for probate? You may want to contact the probate office for information that will be helpful in settling your specific estate. (See above)


* Do I need to hire a lawyer to settle an estate:

As long as no organization demands that a lawyer assist with the transfer of an asset or settlement of an account and as along as no beneficiary or creditor contests their entitlement. However, often people prefer to entrust this task to a professional.

* What is probate and do I need to do it: see probate part of this guide.

* If I have chosen cremation and you are storing the ashes, is there a charge and what are the guidelines?

The Pattison Funeral Home and Crematorium can store ashes for a limited time at no charge. These ashes are yours to pick up anytime, however please call ahead. Ideally 24 hours notice would be valuable. Please call us at 403-526-2214 and we will arrange a time for you to pick up the ashes on as short a notice a possible.

* I may want to bury the ashes later is that possible? Yes the ashes can be picked up by you and delivered to the cemetery of your choice for burial (with required documentation). If you wish to have the ashes buried at Hillside Cemetery and do not wish to be present, we can assist you with this request. If you wish the ashes to be buried at Hillside Cemetery a later date, and the family will again be present, we can assist with these arrangements closer to the date of interment. Please consider discussing the date and time with the funeral home as there may be a conflict with another family.

* What is in my funeral package from the funeral home? (This package will need to be picked up following the funeral)

Usually but not limited to:

Funeral Directors Statements of Death (or commonly referred to as Death Certificates (12) are provided for your use. If you require more simply call the funeral home and request as many as you need.

Acknowledgment cards: you are initially given one box of 24, if you need more, again please call us or stop by and you can have as many as you need.

Guest Register and memorial cards: the guest book is available at the funeral for everyone to sign and at that time they are given a memorial card. Any cards that are left over are given to you.

Email condolences: if anyone sends a condolence by email to the funeral home we will print it. If they send an email after the funeral, we will then forward it to the email contact that we have on file. If there is no email contact we will print it and send it to you by mail.

Sympathy cards: cards that are brought to the funeral are collected in a basket in our lobby.

Valuables: Valuable items such as jewelry are itemized by the funeral home upon arrival and if it has been arranged by the family and the funeral home for those items to be returned whoever picks them up will be required to sign for them.

Memory table items: following the service, these items will be kept here at the funeral home until you come for them. If you need them to be delivered please call and we can arrange a time for that.

Flowers: remain here at the funeral home (for church see below) until you are able to pick them up with your other items or if you need them delivered, please call and we can arrange a time for us to come. For church services, the flowers remain in the sanctuary unless we are instructed by the family (or the church) to remove them after the funeral.

Questionnaire: We ask you to fill this out and return it to us at your convenience.

* When will I receive the statement of account: Once all the costs and any funeral insurance have been received, the account will be calculated and mailed to the contact person, bank or lawyer. For ease, if you wish, we can mail the contact person a copy of the statement as well as the bank or the lawyer.

* I see in the obituary in the Medicine Hat News “Gone but not forgotten”, what is this?

This is a service provided to you by the Medicine News but paid for by the funeral home. Anyone can access the obituary of your loved one. You may want to visit this site as often times

people will leave messages of condolence there. You can access this website:


Can we have a burial at Hillside Cemetery (owned by the City of Medicine Hat) any time of the year?

Interment at Hillside Cemetery takes place all year round with special time considerations in the winter. The cost for individual plots (for burial or cremated remains) are available through the funeral home.

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