Get our newsletter

Life is unpredictable, and it's essential to be prepared for all eventualities, including the end of your own life. Failing to plan ahead can have devastating consequences for you and your loved ones.
Get our tips now

Calendar of steps to take to find out what to do in the event of death

Calendar of notifications

Essential administrative formalities: what to do in the event of death?

While some post-death procedures can be delegated to undertakers or notaries, some others, on the other hand, are the family's responsibility.. This applies in particular to those close to the deceased (surviving spouse, descendant, etc.) who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the deceased's estate.

Calendar of steps to take to find out what to do in the event of death

Handling these formalities is becoming an important, if not essential, part of the process.This will avoid misunderstandings about what to do in the event of death, or conflicts within the family.

Each person's perception of the situation is based on their own experience, and their own feelings. For some, the sentimental and patrimonial aspects will be important, for others it will mean distress and financial difficulties.

You will need to send the correct documents (letters and CERFA), follow up on progress and keep other heirs informed. 

Each beneficiary should be able to help you, but lack of availability, distance and poor communication can unfortunately damage relationships and destroy the family unit.

computer and hourglass: what to do in the event of death?


There are solutions to help you through this difficult period when you don't know what to do after the death of a loved one, such as the one we offer with Postumo.

Our platform will help you stay informed and anticipate changes in your personal situation.. Indeed, loss of income, cessation of activity, support for school-going children, housing decisions (to name but a few) are all important issues.

And since every person is unique, each approach must take into account each situation to suit your needs.

It is important that a beneficiary, regardless of where they live (in France or abroad), should be able to participate and follow the progress of mailings (dispatch and receipt).

Administrative formalities after death

The death of a loved one is a difficult time to go through emotionally. In this context, it's difficult to keep a cool head when you don't know what to do in the event of death, or how to take the necessary administrative steps.

And yet, a number of formalities must be completed to settle the deceased's situation. Taking the necessary steps after death is essential to finalize the deceased's civil status, inform the various organizations, settle the estate and organize the funeral.

This can be a difficult time for those close to the deceased. To make this time easier, you can ask for help with formalities after death   

There are many steps to take when declaring a death To help you understand the steps involved, we've listed them in "chronological" order. There is, however, one point worth noting: Each approach is unique. Your personal situation is not the same as your neighbor's. You need to :

Within 24 hours

  • Notify the death 
  • Make a declaration of death at the town hall of the place of death 
  • Check whether the deceased has registered on the national register of organ donors

Within 48 hours

  • Check whether a funeral insurance policy has been taken out 
  • Contact funeral directors for a quote 
  • Consider death notice and announcements (if not included in funeral insurance)
  • Inform the deceased's employees 
  • If necessary, contact your employer or French public employment service (Pôle) 
  • Contact the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in the event of death abroad
  • Make a request to access the Last Will and Testament file 
  • Organize a funeral

Within the month

  • Bank(s)
  • The CPAM 
  • Insurance company(ies) (credit, car, home, etc.)
  • Mutual(s)
  • The notary to take charge of the estate (you will need to ask him for an acte de notoriété) 
  • Pension fund(s) 
  • Retirement home or EHPAD
  • Assistance services requested by the deceased 
  • The lessor, real estate agency, condominium manager or tenants 
  • CAF
  • Taxes 
  • The Chèques-Emploi Service Universel (Universal Service Employment Voucher) 
  • Suppliers
  • Associations and foundations
  • ANTS service (for vehicle registration certificates) 
  • Once again, the employer 
  • Appeal to the guardianship judge or family court judge 

Within 4 months

  • Accept or renounce an estate

Within 6 months

  • Declare the estate 
  • Pay the estate

Unfortunately, the process doesn't stop there.

Very often, the rightful owners forget about themselves in the steps following the declaration of inheritance. This is because you've been wondering what to do in the event of your death, and you've been under pressure for a long time to get your affairs in order. This situation can also arise when you want to grieve. You want to turn the page and move on with your life.

In some cases, we forget that we can benefit from social assistance. To qualify, you must provide the following documents: marital status, family situation, but also tax documents. Unfortunately, the tax notice for the year of death does not reflect the loss of income you are experiencing (in some cases).

That's right, to benefit from certain assistance,If you wish to claim a tax credit, you will need to send your tax assessment for the last two years.

lady listing what to do in the event of death

It is important, even essential, to deal with the formalities and respect certain deadlines. These include funeral arrangements and estate settlement, whether or not you wish to accept the estate.

Here are some important formalities for which the deadline is important:

  • Obtaining a will or funeral contracts to respect the last wishes of the deceased.
  • Notifying banks to stop payment on cheques written after the death.
  • Requesting capital death within two years, one month if you are a priority beneficiary.
  • Request widow's/widower's allowance, survivor's pension
  • Notify tenants or landlords
  • Notify the deceased's employees or employer

Where can I find the deceased's administrative information?

It's a complicated, yet necessary step, which involves searching for certain information in the deceased's personal belongings.

If the latter is organized, you may be able to retrieve some of the information. If this is not the case, you may be able to find certain information on the account statements, in particular anything concerning direct debits from organizations, associations, suppliers, etc.

Finally, if you can't find the information from the bank, you will need to contact the FICOBA file which will in turn contact financial institutions as part of a search. For insurance contracts, it will be AGIRA.

person searching on computer what to do in case of death

Important administrative documents after a death

Supporting documents to be prepared

For each request, you will need to submit supporting documents. Sending a simple letter will not suffice. Your request will not be processed, and you will have to contact the organization again. What you'll need:

Are you overwhelmed by all these terms? Don't worry, our glossary is here to help you better understand the steps to take and the supporting documents required. 


The term CERFA used to designate a public body (Centre d'enregistrement et de révision des formulaires administratifs). Today, the term is used to designate an administrative document linking a request to the administration.

There are many CERFA forms These documents are used by many administrative departments. These documents provide the administration with the information it needs to process the request.
CERFA logo: what to do in the event of death?

If you need to make a request for death benefitselling a vehicledeclare the loss of an identity card or even a declaration of inheritance... you will need to fill out a CERFA form and attach it to your application, otherwise the administration will not be able to consider it.

Where can I find the right form?

There are several ways to find a CERFA. You can start by requesting it from the relevant administration. Note that with digitization, CERFAs are available online. You can find them on by entering either the form number or the word CERFA together with the name of the form you are looking for.


How do I fill in the information on the CERFA form?

The information requested by the administration through the CERFA forms need your full attention. That's right,errors can lead to problems.We're always on the lookout for new products, especially on tax documents.
To help you with your application, the forms are usually accompanied by instructions. If this is not the case, you'll need to look for the CERFA notice concerned, as it is not always attached to the form.

image de la république française: what to do in the event of death?


Following a death, a doctor issues a death certificate . This certificate enables the town hall in the place of death or residence of the deceased to draw up an act of death.

This act of death is essential for carrying out the many formalities involved in a death. following the death. Insurers, banks, suppliers, tax authorities, social security, pension funds, employers, landlords, etc. will all ask for it. You'll need many copies to be able to modify or terminate contracts, block accounts, unblock insurance policies, etc. As you can see, this document is essential.Request several originals and certified copies.
How do I obtain an act of death?

Anyone can request an act of death, it is not necessary to be a member of the family.

Death occurred in France

To obtain this document, please contact ask in person at the town hall of the deceased's last place of residence.

If you go to the counter, they will be able to issue it immediately. You can also choose to apply online on the following link:

You can also request it by post from the relevant town hall.

Death occurred abroad

When death occurs abroad, it is necessary to contact the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs so that it can establish contact with the competent authorities of the country concerned. The certificate will then be established by the local civil status service before being transcribed by the French civil status. To request a death certificate, contact the Central Civil Status Service of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, 11, rue de la Maison-Blanche – 44941 Nantes Cedex 9. You can also make an online request.

Death of a foreigner in France

As in the case of the death of a French resident in France, you should contact the Mairie (city hall), which will draw up the act of death. To find out more: Easily manage formalities following a death with the Postumo platform

Sample administrative letters to send after a death

We are at your disposal, sample letters. If you wish to send them, don't forget to personalize them to suit your situation and enclose supporting documents, otherwise reminders will be unavoidable.

Warning about letter templates

These models can be used to contact the various services for administrative procedures following a death. They in no way exempt you from consulting a specialist at any time,  these letters do not guarantee that the request will be carried out.
As a result of the above-mentioned, Postumo cannot be held liable for the use of the sample letters below.

We recommend that you contact the relevant departments and to see with them to what extent they can accompany, advise and, if necessary, help you. If you are offered articles of law or administrative forms, they are provided for information purposes only and in no way constitute a guarantee of the direction and evolution of the law in force. So, if you're not sure what to do in the event of your death, we recommend that you seek professional advice to guide you through the process.



Public service website, If you need help with the formalities following a death, discover Postumo, a digital platform offering a unique, personalized service for these formalities.

postumo logo
The first 100 % online platform for automating death notifications
postumo logo
The first 100 % online platform for automating death notifications
Video: discover Postumo's online service