Dealing with a Death

  • Recorded on: November 14, 2023

  • Length: 55 minutes


Lawyers Amy Mortimore, KC and Allison Sharkey and counsellor Allie Huggins answer questions about dealing with the death of a loved one.


In this webinar, you will learn:

Planning in advance

  • Questions to ask a loved one experiencing decline to plan for their death in accordance with their wishes. [4:00]

  • How to prepare for difficult conversations with a loved one about their death. [7:35]

  • What arrangements an executor can make before a will-maker dies that will make it easier to manage their responsibilities and their grief. [10:35]

Immediately after death

  • Who to notify when a loved one dies at home, and whether a spiritual advisor is allowed to attend and give a blessing. [13:40]

  • What to do when someone dies unexpectedly in their sleep, including what to do with the body and how to know whether an autopsy is required or their organs should be donated. [17:25]

  • How to deal with conflicting emotions like loss, grief and relief when a loved one dies. [19:40]

  • Who is responsible for arranging and paying for the funeral. [21:40]

Dealing with grief

  • How to know if you’re grieving properly. [23:50]

  • How long you can expect grief to last. [26:45]

Tying up loose ends

  • Who deals with assets of the deceased, like RRSPs, that fall outside of the estate. [29:00]

  • How to deal with online services and accounts, including bank accounts, automatic payments and email and social media accounts, after someone dies. [31:00]

  • Who, between a common law spouse and an estranged ex-spouse, is entitled to CPP death and survivor benefits. [34:50]

Live questions

  • The difference between a representation agreement and an advance directive. [37:10]

  • Suggestions for dealing with passwords of devices and online accounts. [39:10]

  • What happens if a sibling under the care of the Public Guardian and Trustee, who will not show their will to their siblings, predeceases their siblings. [40:40]

  • Whether to create a joint bank account between parent and sibling. [42:10]

  • Suggestions for grieving the loss of a loved one to diseases. [45:00]

  • What level of detail is appropriate when making a list of assets and debts. [46:00]

  • Suggested resources for dealing with grief. [49:15]

  • Whether it’s possible to donate medical devices. [50:00]

  • Whether there are any free or low-cost services for funerals in British Columbia. [51:00]

  • Whether a person can legally advocate on behalf of a parent who lives in a care home in the absence of having a power of attorney. [51:30]

  • Factors to consider when choosing whether to appoint a trust company as an executor. [53:10]

  • Whether someone is still next of kin if they are common law and not married. [55:20]


Amy Mortimore, KC

Amy Mortimore, KC

Amy Mortimore, KC is a lawyer at Clark Wilson LLP in Vancouver. She is the co-chair of her firm’s estate and trust practice group. Her practice includes all types of estate and trust litigation, including wills variation claims, incapacity and undue influence claims, applications to approve a document as a will even where it was not properly witnessed, and applications for rectification. Amy is very committed to legal education and regularly presents to lawyers and other professionals on estate and trust topics.

Allison Sharkey

Allison Sharkey

Allison Sharkey is a lawyer at Legacy Tax + Trust Lawyers in Vancouver. She practices in the area of estate planning and administration. Allison assists clients with the preparation of wills, powers of attorney, representation agreements, and trusts. She also assists clients in obtaining grants of probate and grants of administration for estates and advises on the ongoing administration of trusts and estates.

Alison Huggins

Alison Huggins

Alison (Allie) Huggins is a registered clinical counsellor providing services online and in-person in Kelowna, BC. Alison has expertise in anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, and life transitions.

Attendee feedback

“It was a wonderfully informative webinar. Presentation format with scenarios is perfect.”

“Thank you for providing a good cross section of presenters.”

“Thank you for including the emotional aspect as well as the legal side of death.”

“This was a very helpful Q and A format. Thank you!”

“I like how the Q&A invites such a diversity in questions on the topic. All issues were handled with respect, knowledge and addressed each question. Keep doing this format — it works.”

“Thank you, it was welcoming, comfortable, engaging, and not stressful or boring. The language was not too lawyer-speak, so it kept the interest/understanding and was informative.”

“Thank you. Your presentation was helpful for planning purposes.”

“Thank you for sharing and the valuable insights for helping with my grief and mourning process, best wishes.”

Additional resources

From People’s Law School:

For dealing with grief:


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This website explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. The cases we refer to reflect real experiences, but names have been changed. See our full disclaimer.

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