After-death Documentation Pathway
All deaths that occur in Alberta must be registered with the Alberta government. You can register a death for one year from the date of death at no cost. After one year, the delayed registration process including fees applies. A death certificate cannot be issued until the death is registered.
Medical Certificate of DeatH
The Medical Certificate of Death is completed by a Physician or Medical Examiner. It is a document that determines the manner and cause of death. It forms part of the death record.
Registration of DeatH
This document is the permanent legal record of the death. It is important that the information is completed fully and accurately. It is the responsibility of the spouse, next-of-kin or personal representative who has full knowledge of the facts surrounding the person who has passed away, to complete a Registration of Death Form. When the funeral arrangements are being made for a CMS member, our funeral service provider will help complete this form and will send the original documents to Vital Statistics. The funeral service provider should provide the family with two copies at no additional cost.
After a death is registered, death documents can be ordered from a registry agent in Alberta. All the information on a death certificate is taken from the Registration of Death form. If there are any errors on your death document, you will need to get the death record corrected. There is a fee to make the changes.
This is a legal document produced from information on the Registration of Death. Alberta Services Vital Statistics uses the information on the Registration of Death form to create an official Certificate of Death. The executor/personal representative or other eligible person should order a Certificate of Death as some organizations will require this document before decisions can be made on behalf of the deceased. Until you obtain the Certificate of Death, the funeral director will issue a Statement of Death that you can use. Many organizations will accept a notarized Statement of Death from a funeral home in order to close accounts that do not involve large amounts of money or property.
A burial permit is required in Alberta to bury, cremate or otherwise dispose of the body of a deceased person. Permits are managed by most funeral homes on behalf of the family when funeral service arrangements are being made (fee will apply). Burial permits may also be obtained from a hospital registrar.