If you've recently lost a loved one, finances are probably the last thing you want to think about. Take the time to grieve, and be aware that you don't have to grieve alone. If you need more help and support than you're able to get from your immediate family and friends, there are counseling services available in most communities to help you through the grieving process. Simply consult the Yellow Pages or search your regional portal website for a counseling centre near you. If all else fails, contact your family doctor or any hospital for help.

Financial Planning for Survivors

After a loved one passes on, there are a number of issues to be resolved. If the deceased was a key provider, you may be worried about how the loss of income will affect you and your family. Is there life insurance? Who are the listed beneficiaries of RRSPs and RRIFs? What about jointly held property and other assets? If no beneficiaries are named, these assets may simply become part of the estate.

Estate Resolution

Hopefully the deceased has left a valid and up-to-date will and named an executor. If so, the most important first step is to contact the executor and notify them. If there is no will - or in the event that you've been named executor - contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Alternatively, if you are a member of Coastal Financial Credit Union, we can refer you to the Executor Ease program offered by one of our system partners, Concentra Trust. (see more)

Even before the will can be executed, a final income tax return must be completed for the deceased. The final return must account for all assets of the deceased, and taxes must be paid on any capital gains accrued on those assets. Given the possible complexities of a final tax return, it is a good idea to have a tax accountant complete it. With this finished, the total value of the estate can be calculated and the will can be executed.

Ask Us for Help

With the loss of a loved one, you may feel that you're alone. The fact is your community is full of people and organizations that offer help and support. All you need to do is ask. From executing a will to supporting non-profit organizations that counsel the bereaved, Coastal Financial Credit Union is here to help you find the resources that will help you through this difficult time.