Authentication and Legalization Services for Handling Estate Matters Following a Death
Death is a fact of life, but knowing that does not make accepting the decease of a loved one, or our own ultimate end, any easier. However, just as with most hard facts of life, it is best to prepare for our final journey and the tasks that will follow for this world after we or our loved ones have passed. For example, funeral preparations, debt and bill payments, conveying a message of the passing to colleagues, relatives, and friends, and handling estate matters following our death are just a few of the things we may want to prepare for while we still can. This preparation and due diligence may save our living loved ones much hassle and hardship at a time when they may not be in the right state of mind or heart to carry on these worldly activities. More-over, no one other than yourself will know your affairs better than you, so it is always a good idea to tie any loose ends if you have the opportunity. In all reality, there will always be something else left to do, but this ensures that you have done what you can to help make certain processes easier.
Your estates, meaning your properties, possessions, and assets, along with financial and administrative matters, will likely need to be addressed following your funeral. If you have a Will, an Executor to carry on these matters may have been appointed by you, otherwise, the Probate Court will assign someone to complete the administration of these tasks. Here is a list of the activities that may need to be managed:
- An estate proceedings will need to be started to determine what will happen to your assets, possessions and properties. If you have a Will, the Executor, possibly along with the aid of a legal counsel, will follow the instructions in your will and the state laws to distribute your assets.
- Your digital legacy, meaning your online accounts which will become your assets following your death, will need to be reassigned to a living relative or friend, or shut down as per your instructions.
- Any debt and bill payments that you have may have pending need to be accounted for.
- Your near ones may need to file for death benefit claims with insurance companies, social security, pension funds, or unions.
For many of these tasks, such as to file for benefits, social security, pension funds or any other such application, your loved ones will likely need to have the death certificate certified. If they need to prove your death for these purposes in a country other than the one where the death happened and the certificate was issued, they will need to have the death certificate authenticated and legalized as well.
In order to authenticate the certificate, it will need to be submitted to Global Affairs Canada (GAC), which is a government body in Canada responsible for all document authentication. They will validate that the signature on the certificate is true and matches one of their inventory of personnel who are eligible to sign. Once they are satisfied with the trueness of the document, they will place a large red stamp on it to verify that it has been authenticated by them. Once this process is complete, the document will need to be legalized by the embassy of the country where the death certificate will be used. This embassy will verify that the GAC stamp is authentic and that the document meets their requirements and standards. When they are satisfied, they too will either place their stamp or a certificate of legalization directly to your document.
While the process of document authentication and legalization need not be difficult, proper document preparation before starting the process is vital to ensuring that there is no delay or additional cost due to incorrect filing or submissions. Entrusting a professional such as Legalization Service Centre, who are experts in the field of document authentication and legalization can save you much hassle, stress, due diligence, time, and money in the long run. Our office is located in the heart of Ottawa where most embassies are located, meaning that we can track and follow your documents until completion locally. As well, we have a strong network within GAC which enables us to have documents authenticated in less than a week whereas the normal process can take up to 21 days. We are also able to provide next-day authentication for any rush items.
Knowing these tips on preparedness for your or your loved one’s death can certainly make an undesirable time one that is a little less of a worldly struggle to go through. At a time when you may need someone else to do the administrative work the most, trust us to get the job done with as little of your involvement as possible.