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Family Law: What are the consequences of a passing?

    Losing a loved one is not easy. Add to that the administrative procedures that follow a death. The circumstances are very complicated and inconvenient. 

    Lawrence explains the procedures to follow:


    1. The death certificate

    This document must be obtained following the death from the family physician or by contacting emergency services (144). If the death occurs in a hospital setting, the institution routinely prepares this document.


    1. Announcement of the death
    2. a) To the authorities

    The death must be reported to the Civil Registry Office of the place of death and to the commune of residence of the deceased.

    1. b) To others

    It is important to remember to inform the deceased’s relatives, employer, providers and clients, depending on the circumstances. 


    1. Funerals

    The last wishes and the burial desired by the deceased must be respected. Funerals can only take place after the death has been announced.

    Costs may be higher or lower, it is important to consider them and anticipate their impact on the inheritance.


    1. Dissolution of the matrimonial regime

    The surviving spouse must dissolve the matrimonial property regime with the competent authority. The couple’s property will be divided according to the chosen regime, the marriage contract, and the deceased’s last wishes.


    1. The succession

    Survivors should inquire about the progress of the estate. The competent authority is the canton of residence of the deceased. Specific measures may exist if a will or an inheritance agreement has been drawn up by the deceased.


    All heirs (legal heirs or those named in the will) must obtain a certificate of inheritance from the local council or the institution responsible for the devolution of property. This document will enable them to receive their share of the estate. 


    1. Discharge of the domicile of the deceased unmarried person

    If the last domicile of the deceased who remained widowed or single was subject to a lease, the lease must be terminated. As a general rule, it must be terminated within three months of the death, to allow the family or loved ones time to grieve and to retrieve the deceased’s personal belongings. 

    It is also their responsibility to make an inventory of the property in order to proceed with the succession and to follow the testamentary dispositions.


    1. Social benefits for survivors

    Survivors of the deceased may receive social benefits. Doing research and signing up for them is not a step to be neglected. Benefits include:

    • The widow/widower and orphan’s return;
    • Supplementary AHV/IV benefits;
    • Cantonal financial aid;
    • Assistance;
    • Survivors’ pensions from the employer (LPP);
    • Insurance policy and life insurance.


    1. Termination of benefits

    It is the responsibility of the relatives of the deceased to cancel the deceased’s accounts, subscriptions, taxes and to inform the post office, AHV, etc. of his death.


    When we lose a loved one, our minds are far from all these administrative procedures. To be as serene as possible, we recommend that you entrust them to a lawyer, who can take care of them during this difficult period. 

    Lawrence will assist you with the administrative procedures related to a death. Contact one of our specialized lawyers to take care of these procedures.


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