Who is concerned
The declaration of death may be made by:
- the funeral home contacted by the family; or
- a relative of the deceased; or
- any other person.
How to proceed
Declaration of death
After a person's death, the doctor prepares a medical certificate known as a declaration of death that contains the causes of death (examples: 'natural death' or 'violent death not suspected').
The person tasked with making the declaration to the civil registrar of the commune where the death took place must present:
- the medical certificate attesting to the death;
- the deceased's family record book or, failing that, all identity documents and other documents pertaining to the deceased (birth certificate, marriage certificate, identifying documents, etc.);
- the certificate of placement in a coffin if the deceased is to be buried in another commune;
- in the event of cremation:
- the certificate of placement in a coffin and the medical certificate stating that there are no signs or indications of violent death;
- the medical certificate attesting that the deceased was not wearing a pacemaker.
The registry office of the municipality will issue a death certificate. It will provide extracts from this certificate as well as a permit to transport the remains and a burial permit.
One of the permits is for the funeral director, who can then transport the deceased to the mortuary of the place of burial or to the crematorium in the event of cremation. The other permit is intended for the commune of the place of burial of the deceased.
In the event of cremation, authorisation is granted by the civil registrar of the place of death, on the basis of a document expressing the will of the deceased to be cremated or, failing that, the request of a member of the family or any other person qualified to provide for the funeral.
Formalities to be completed after the declaration of death
As a rule, the communal administration of the place of death provides several extracts of the death certificate at the time of the declaration of death. Additional copies can be obtained by contacting the head of the registry office of the commune of death. They must be sent to various bodies for the purpose of paying the allowances and other benefits due in the event of death.
Several administrations and bodies must be informed after the declaration of death:
- the appropriate health insurance fund(s): a full copy of the death certificate and the paid invoices for the funeral for the lump-sum reimbursement called the funeral allowance;
- death benefit fund: a full copy of the death certificate (if the deceased was a member);
- medical-surgical fund (caisse médico-chirurgicale): a full copy of the death certificate (if the deceased was a member);
- appropriate pension fund(s): a full copy of the death certificate;
- the employer of the deceased and of persons on leave for personal reasons: a full copy of the death certificate or an extract thereof;
- schools attended by children and grandchildren: a full copy of the death certificate or an extract thereof;
- insurance companies (if the deceased held life assurance): a full copy of the death certificate or an extract thereof;
- banking institution(s): a full copy of the death certificate or an extract thereof and an affidavit prepared by a notary;
- notary if there is a will: a full copy of the death certificate or an extract thereof;
- if the deceased was the owner of a vehicle registered in their name, the Société nationale de contrôle technique (SNCT – National MOT centre): a death certificate and an affidavit prepared by a notary;
- if the deceased was a foreign national, the consulate or embassy : a certificate of death or an extract of the international death certificate, form C and the passport.
Formalities for the declaration of inheritance
Within 6 months of the death, a declaration of inheritance must be made to the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority (Administration de l'enregistrement, des domaines et de la TVA – AED) by submitting the following documents:
- a full copy of the death certificate;
- a Land Registry extract if the inheritance includes real estate; this may be requested from the Land Registry and Topography Administration (Administration du cadastre et de topographie);
- if there is a marriage contract, a notarised deed.