Veterans Estates

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Only 1.5% of the population are military veterans (active or retired), but if the decedent (or his or her family) qualifies, there are a number of benefits potentially available for the estate and any surviving family. Some of these benefits relate to the actual burial service itself, so it's a good idea to look into these immediately upon a decedent's death. In addition, the executor of a veteran's estate may have some additional responsibilities as well (see below).


To qualify as a veteran, the decedent must have been either

  • A former member of the Canadian Armed Forces or any predecessor naval, army or air forces of Canada or Newfoundland
  • Or, a Canadian Merchant Navy Veteran of the Second World War or the Korean War
  • Or, an Allied Veteran who served during the Second World War or the Korean War, and lived in Canada

Burial in the National Military Cemetery

Serving or honourably released veterans may be eligible for a military burial in the National Military Cemetery (NMC) of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). If the decedent was an immediate family member of a veteran buried at the NMC, he or she may be able to be buried there as well: each plot can accommodate 2 people.

You can apply for a military burial using a Form DND 2277-E (see also National Defence: Apply for a Military Burial).

Funeral and Burial Assistance

If the decedent was a veteran and either died of a service-related disability or had limited means to pay for a funeral, the Last Post Fund will provide financial assistance for a dignified funeral, burial or cremation and grave marking.

Survivor Assistance

There are a number of benefit programs that may be able to help a veteran's surviving spouse, common law partner, and/or children, including a potentially sizable death benefit, Income Replacement Benefit (IRB), survivor's pension, educational assistance for children, and income support for low-income survivors. See VAC Death and Bereavement.


If the decedent was receiving VAC benefits or services, inform VAC of the death as soon as possible, by calling 1-866-522-2122.

If the decedent was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces Pension Plan or a pension recipient, you must also notify the Government of Canada Pension Centre.

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