Economy What are the steps to take as soon as...

What are the steps to take as soon as possible after a death?

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IStock / City Presse

In the event of death, the long series of formalities begins with the worst. Indeed, the family has 24 hours to have the death declared by a doctor, who will draw up the “death certificate”, and declare it to the town hall in which it occurred, in order to obtain a “death certificate”. When the end of life has taken place in a health facility or retirement home, staff can take care of it. On the other hand, if the person died at home, it will be necessary to call their general practitioner or SOS doctors. In the event of a violent death, such as an accident or suicide, it is also necessary to contact the police or the gendarmerie.

It is also urgent to verify the last wishes of the deceased concerning organ donation, the possible surrender of his body to science and the organization of his funeral. It is therefore necessary to contact a funeral director as soon as possible since, with some exceptions, the law requires that the body be buried within six working days of the death. Besides the organization of the funeral, the chosen company can also take care of the declaration of the death to the town hall.

On presentation of the invoice, you can ask the bank to which the deceased had entrusted his accounts to pay the funeral costs up to a limit of 5,000 euros.

Inheritance and taxes in conclusion

The family of the deceased must also contact a notary. Although the law leaves the heirs ten years to come forward, unless there is a formal notice from a creditor, a co-heir or the State, it is in practice important to initiate the procedure in the weeks following the death.

This allows heirs to prove their status by obtaining a “certificate of notoriety”, which is required in particular to modify the registration certificate of a vehicle or to unblock accounts of the deceased containing more than 5,000 euros. In the following months, the public official will help you settle the estate and issue you a “declaration of inheritance” specifying the amount of tax payable. Finally, you will have to declare the last income of the deceased to the Public Treasury during the annual tax campaign.

The month of recommended

In the weeks following the burial or cremation, relatives must take care of a heap of paperwork, requiring a copy of the death certificate as the case may be, in order to inform administrations and businesses.

In particular, it is necessary to send registered letters with acknowledgment of receipt to the health insurance, mutual insurance company, the bank, any lessor and other service providers (gas, electricity, telephone operator, etc.). It is also imperative to ask the banking establishment to block the accounts pending the settlement of the estate.

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