But now France’s Service Public web site has printed a set of guidelines that make clear the method of registering a liked one’s death and arranging their funeral or burial. 

24 hours to certify the death

If you’re in the corporate of a member of the family, good friend or relative after they die, you’ve gotten 24 hours to report their passing. That’s a obligation.

If they die at dwelling, contact their native physician, or name 112 or 15. A doctor will then come spherical and certify the death and challenge a medical certificates of death (certificat de décès/declaration de décès). If the individual passes away in a hospital, retirement dwelling or different facility it will likely be their accountability to report the death.

If the physician suspects a suspicious death or suicide an inquiry is held. This is usually the case if the death takes locations in a public place, so if an inquiry is held it would not essentially imply the authorities suspect foul play.

In these situations the accountability for issuing the certificat de décès and burial permission will fall on the general public prosecutor (Procureur de la République) in the native excessive court docket (Tribunal de Grande Instance).

Also 24 hours to register the death on the city corridor

A relative, formally appointed consultant or undertaker additionally has to register the death on the native mairie (city corridor) inside 24 hours, excluding on public holidays and weekends.

If you’re going to be accountable for reporting the death on the native registry workplace, you’ve gotten to take proof of your personal ID, proof of the deceased individual’s identification (both the carte nationale d’identité, passport, household e-book, marriage certificates or beginning certificates) and the medical certificates of death issued by the physician or authorities.

This ought to suffice for the registry workplace to hand you many licensed copies of the death certificates (acte de décès) there and then, freed from cost.

These paperwork embrace info on the place and when the death happened, not the reason for death. More copies of the death certificates could be obtained on-line, in individual or by submit. These will likely be wanted for issues like closing the individual’s financial institution accounts or utility accounts.

6 days for the funeral to happen (in most instances)

Once the death is registered, the mairie points a burial allow (permis d’inhumer).

Regardless of whether or not it’s a burial or a cremation, the deceased’s household or closest contacts have six days to prepare the service, though the time-frame can range if there’s an open investigation or if the death occurred on a weekend or public vacation.

Burial can’t happen inside the first 24 hours after death both.

If the deceased indicated beforehand what sort of ceremony they needed, their needs have to be revered.

If they didn’t specify, the choice has to be made by their closest kinfolk.

In the occasion of disagreement on the organisation of the funeral or burial, solely the decide can determine.


The burial course of in France consists of putting the physique of the deceased in a grave, most frequently in a cemetery, and all the time in a coffin in accordance to French legislation.

The chosen cemetery for the funeral could be in the place the place the deceased died, lived or the place the household vault lies.

There’s additionally the potential of the burial being carried out in a personal property, so long as this has been authorised by the prefecture (required paperwork often embrace proof that it’s the deceased individual’s will and a geological report approving the placement).

The paperwork wanted for a cemetery burial in France are a burial licence and a burial certificates issued by the French commune the place the individual handed away.

Keep in thoughts that cemetery concessions in France typically run for a interval of 10 to 99 years and do carry a charge. Families who can’t afford it are supplied shorter concessions of 5 to six years at a lower cost.


Cremation in France have to be authorised by the mayor of the commune the place the deceased individual died.

Unless beforehand said by the deceased, the cremation takes place in the closest crematorium.

The deceased’s closest member of the family – often their partner – additionally has the appropriate to request cremation or a totally different crematorium if their liked one didn’t specify in any other case in an official or non-document.

After cremation, the ashes are positioned in an urn which the deceased individual’s household have beforehand bought and offered.

Where you scatter your beloved’s ashes is regulated

If you need to unfold the ashes of the deceased in nature, you’ll need permission from the mayor of the individual’s native land.

You could have to present info on the place and once you intend to scatter their ashes, and bear in thoughts that it isn’t attainable to accomplish that in parks, roads, squares or different public areas.

The most suitable choice for an outside ceremony is spreading your beloved’s ashes out at sea, however even then there are specific circumstances relating to watercourses, and it’s unlawful to scatter ashes in rivers.

There’s additionally the choice of their ashes being put to relaxation in a cemetery, both scattered in a designated space, buried in an urn in the bottom, positioned in a columbarium or sealed in a tomb or memorial.

You have a 12 months to determine what to do along with your family members’ ashes after the cremation. Crematoria and locations of worship will retailer the deceased’ ashes till then, but when no person claims them after then native authorities will scatter them in a designated location.

You may also want permission from the préfecture the place the casket was sealed earlier than cremation when you plan to transport the ashes abroad.

The airline you select may also find a way to information you on the method to transport the ashes.

Repatriation of foreigners is complicated

If you need to repatriate the deceased individual’s physique to their dwelling nation, hold in thoughts that it isn’t a straightforward course of.

First, get in contact with the deceased individual’s closest embassy or consulate in France.

It will likely be crucial for a member of the family or a formally appointed consultant to make preparations with funeral administrators in each France and the deceased individual’s dwelling nation, though if the deceased individual was insured the insurance coverage firm will help with these preparations.

If they didn’t have repatriation insurance coverage, the household will likely be accountable for masking all transport and lodging prices.

A physique being repatriated has to first be embalmed and enclosed in a zinc-lined repatriation coffin, sealed on the level of departure by French police on the port or airport.

Recent modifications to flight safety have resulted in many airways now not providing the service of coffin transport.

Who pays for all the prices?

Funeral bills in France are deducted from the deceased individual’s belongings, often their checking account.

If the cash in their accounts is not sufficient, the individual’s heirs or relations should pay the distinction.

Funeral bills for a dad or mum are deductible from taxable earnings topic to sure circumstances.

Tying up all free ends

Within seven days of the individual’s death, you’ve gotten to notify their employer in the event that they have been working, their well being and life insurance coverage corporations, their financial institution (point out it when you shared a joint account), and their landlord in the event that they have been renting.

Within 30 days, notify France’s major medical health insurance fund CPAM and return the deceased’s individual carte vitale well being card.

Within 6 months, get in contact with the tax workplace with reference to earnings tax declarations and different related fiscal info. The course of could be executed on-line through the first two months after the individual’s death.

And bizarrely, simply because a individual is useless, that does not cease them from getting married, thanks to an obscure French legislation relationship from the Napoleonic interval that’s nonetheless sometimes used in the present day.

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