Under the Civil Code of Québec, any death that takes place in Québec must be declared to the Directeur de l'état civil. The Declaration of Death form is used to declare the death.
To enter the death in the Québec register of civil status, the Directeur de l'état civil needs the information provided in the declaration of death, which is completed by a person close to the deceased, assisted by the funeral director, and the attestation of death, which is drawn up by the physician who attests the death. Once the entry is made, a certificate or a copy of an act of death can be obtained. These official documents facilitate the steps taken by the liquidator of the succession when the succession is settled.
Once it is signed and dated by the registrar of civil status, the declaration of death becomes the act of death. It is therefore important to be sure that all the information requested is entered and no error is made in completing the declaration.
If you wish to declare a death that took place outside Québec, please go to the section Insertion into the Québec register of civil status.
Under an agreement with the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec, the Directeur de l'état civil can be entrusted with the deceased’s health insurance card. The card can be given to the funeral director, who will send it to the Directeur de l'état civil, along with the documents concerning the death.
The attestation of death is a duplicate form that is completed by the physician who attests the death. The physician generally gives the two copies to the funeral director, who is responsible for giving one copy to the declarant of the death and sending the other copy to the Directeur de l’état civil. The physician can also choose to send the Directeur de l'état civil his or her copy.
The declaration of death is a triplicate form that is completed by the declarant of the death and the funeral director. It provides information about the death (for example: place, date and time of death), the deceased (for example: name, sex, address of last domicile, date of birth, place of birth, place of registration of birth, marital status, and names of father and mother), the spouse of the deceased and the disposal of the body (for example: date, place and mode of disposal).
On December 6, 2013, the National Assembly of Québec passed the Act to amend the Civil Code as regards civil status, successions and the publication of rights (2013, chapter 27) . The Act entails various changes regarding civil status, including eliminating the requirement to have declarations of birth or death signed by a witness.
Under this law, it will no longer be necessary to have the Declaration of Death form signed by a witness. Therefore, if an older version of the form is given to the declarant, it will not be necessary to complete the Witness section.
The declarant can be the spouse of the deceased, a close relative (father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, uncle or aunt), a person related by marriage or civil union (father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, uncle by marriage or aunt by marriage) or any other person who is able to identify the deceased (common-law spouse, friend, neighbour or hospital staff member).
The funeral director enters on the declaration of death the date and place of the death, the mode of disposal of the body and the number of the attestation of death, and signs and dates the declaration.
In principle, the deceased’s close relatives or the liquidator of the succession are responsible for informing the government departments and agencies with which the deceased had a file of the death, so that they can then apply for benefits or terminate the deceased’s participation in programs. Certain departments and agencies will require a death certificate or a copy of an act of death issued by the Directeur de l'état civil as proof of death.
In order to simplify the steps that must be taken in the event of death, the Directeur de l'état civil created the form entitled Application for the simplified forwarding of information relative to the death. The form, which is attached to the declaration of death, allows the declarant of the death to notify several departments and agencies of the death in one step. As a result, the deceased’s close relatives or the liquidator of the succession will not have to provide a death certificate as proof of death, thus avoiding the steps and costs of obtaining one.
Agreements with various departments and agencies authorize the Directeur de l'état civil to provide them with the information necessary for the application of the laws and programs they administer. The agreements set forth operating procedures in compliance with the applicable laws, particularly regarding the protection of personal information. Only authorized personnel in the departments and agencies concerned will have access to the information.
The Directeur de l'état civil automatically notifies the following departments and agencies of the death:
To cancel registration in the Health Insurance Plan and, if applicable, the public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan.
For the administration of its programs.
For the administration of the Social Assistance Program and the Social Solidarity Program (including the recovery of amounts owed).
For the administration of the Income Tax Act.
To cancel registration in the Social Insurance Register (social insurance number)
On the basis of the answers provided in the form, the Directeur de l'état civil may notify the following departments and agencies of the death:
To ensure that no proof of death is required from the deceased’s close relatives as part of the formalities they must complete to benefit from the deceased’s pension plan administered by the Commission administrative des régimes de retraite et d’assurances.
To ensure that no proof of death is required from the close relatives of a deceased person who was under protective supervision, or the legal representative of an incapacitated person, as part of the formalities they must complete with the Curateur public du Québec.
To ensure that the file of a deceased person who submitted an application for benefits under the Québec Parental Insurance Plan or received such benefits is processed.
To ensure that the public register of licence holders kept by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec is updated, where the deceased held a licence issued by the Régie du bâtiment.
To ensure that the Indian Register is updated, where the deceased had Indian status under the Indian Act.
Before completing the declaration of death, be sure to have a form in the language of your choice, either French or English. The act of death will be drawn up in the language of the form used and no correction regarding the language can be made unless it is demonstrated that an error was committed when the death was registered. The certificate or the copy of an act issued in respect of an act is in the same language as the act. For more information, see the directive Correction d’une erreur relative à la langue dans laquelle un acte d’état civil a été dressé (PDF, 41 Ko) (in French only).
To help funeral directors comply with the rules and formalities related to the declaration of death, the Directeur de l'état civil has prepared the guide entitled Comment déclarer un décès au Directeur de l'état civil (PDF, 141 Ko) (in French only).
My Québec Services Account , available through the Gouvernement du Québec portal or directly on the Internet, is a secure online space aimed at facilitating the steps you can take with Québec government departments or agencies at the time of a particular life event. For instance, you can complete the “What to Do in the Event of Death” questionnaire and obtain a personalized list of steps to take with government departments and agencies when a death occurs. You can then save your personalized list of steps for follow-up.