When Death Occurs

Whether a death is sudden or expected, the loss of a loved one is indescribable. When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. We are here to assist you. This section seeks to give some insight of what takes place and is necessary following death.

Expected Death at Home

We have a wonderful Palliative Care team and network in our area (and province). When plans have been made for death at home, there is no need to call 911 following death.  The palliative team will have  a contact person or agency in place for you to call to pronounce death and will have a physician to sign the Medical  Certificate of Death.

Unexpected death  at home or  outside the Home

If the person is not under Palliative care, the police will have to be notified immediately by calling 911.  The police will be dispatched to the home and will place the call to the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service.  From there, the  medical examiner will determine if  they will be looking after the deceased and if so, will arrange for removal of the deceased. Or, will release the deceased to the funeral home of the families choice for removal and arrange for the family physician or nurse practitioner to sign the Medical Certificate of Death.

The Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service must release the body before the funeral home can do anything.   

When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/ Health Care Facility:

The staff of a care facility, such as a hospital or nursing home, will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred.  If a funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of passing.  If you are present at the hospital or nursing home when the funeral director arrives, they will ask a few questions about the deceased's wishes and set up a time to make arrangements. If you are not present, a funeral director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements. It is best to be proactive and contact the funeral home following notification of death so the funeral director can begin to assist you immediately.

Informing a Funeral Director:

We are there to help you.  Call the funeral home as soon as possible for assistance.  They will assist you with understanding the "release" of your loved one, having him or her removed and transferred to the funeral home. They will help make a difficult situation better.

Meeting a Funeral Director

If is necessary the person-in-charge/executor/executrix  contacts the funeral home as soon as possible. The funeral home/funeral director relies on the instruction given by the person-in-charge to carryout her/her duties.  The funeral home/funeral director cannot act without instruction/direction given.  Authorizations must be given/signed by the person responsible to look after the deceased before the funeral home can act.

Once in contact with the funeral director, he or she will guide/advise/assist you through the necessary process.  

We are here to help.

Making Arrangements:

First, we will gather information required for the Registration of Death form, which is submitted to the Nova Scotia Department of Vital Statistics in order to receive a Burial Permit. (A Burial Permit is required for all disposition types ,namely burial or cremation.)  

The following information is required to register a death:

  1. Nova Scotia Health Card number
  2. Social Insurance number
  3. Surname
  4. First name
  5. Second name
  6. All other given names in order
  7. Usual residence (civic address, town, province (or country), postal code
  8. Date of birth
  9. Birthplace - city, province (or country)
  10. Sex: M, F, X
  11. Date of Death
  12. Age at time of death
  13. Place of death
  14. Name and address of hospital or institution: city, town, village, county - otherwise, exact location where death ocured.
  15. Marital status (never married, married, widowed or divorced)
  16. If married, widowed or divorced, give the full name of the husband or full maiden name of wife.
  17. Occupation (kind of work done during most of working life)
  18. Kind of business or industry in whish worked
  19. Surname and given name of Father or other parent
  20. Father's birthplace (town/city, province/country)
  21. Maiden surname and given names of Mother or other parent
  22. Mother's birthplace (town/city, province/country)
  23. Date of disposition
  24. Disposition type:  burial, cremation or other
  25. Name of cemetery, crematorium or place of disposition
  26. Address of cemetery, crematorium or place of disposition
  27. Informant - surname
  28. Informant - name
  29. Informant - address
  30. Informant - email address
  31. Informant - relationship to the deceased: (executor, executrix, person-in-charge)
  32. Informant - telephone number

We  will also need pertinent documents required to do all the legal paperwork, which may include:

  • Last Will (if available)
  • Written wishes of the deceased
    • Obituary items
    • Favourite music
    • Particular wishes, i.e., special item included in casket or urn.
  • Spouse/common-law  (to assist with Canada Pension applicatons)
    • Date of birth
    • Social Insurance Number
    • Marriage Certificate / Commitment Certificate

If no pre-planning has been done, necessary arrangements need to be made for the funeral service.   Please do not stress, we will guide and assist you to honour your loved one, personalized/tailored to his/her life, in keeping with his/her wishes. Our role and purpose is to best help you honour your loved ones life, not sell you services or items you do not wish.

 Our assistance includes but is not  limited to:

  • Meaningful discussion to best determine the most suitable method of disposition (inhumation (body burial) or cremation)
  • Options given for gathering, ceremony or advice for more intimate choices
  • Arranging for visitation(s), service(s), interment, etc.
  • Preparing an obituary notice with you and submitting.
  • Scheduling necessary events.
  • We have a caskets and urns available.

Our purpose is to listen and guide you through this difficult time.  It is purpose to assist you and lovedones to "say good-bye" in whatever manner best helps.

We believe "the funeral" exists to help, not hurt those going through the pain of loss.

We believe in personalized funeral service that helps.