When a death occurs, there are a number of procedures to follow. You will find here those of the Canton of Geneva.

1 – Death certificate

Your doctor or an emergency room doctor will issue a death certificate. If the person dies in a medical facility, the facility will report the death. Once the death certificate has been issued, the deceased may be transferred to the morgue or to the funeral home.

2 – Announce the death

In addition to the family and employer, it is mandatory to notify the death within two days to the Civil Registry Office of the place of death. Funeral homes or Separate Ways can do it. The Office of Civil Status will then draw up the death certificate under presentation of the following documents :

  • Death certificate
  • Certificate of residence / family record book
  • Identity document
  • Settlement permit / residence permit (for foreigners)

This also applies to foreigners not domiciled in Switzerland. The Office of Civil Status will indicate the documents that must be presented.

When a Swiss citizen dies abroad, the foreign authority informs the relevant Swiss representation, which will forward the death certificate to the deceased’s commune of origin.

3 – Arrange the funeral

Funerals may only be held 48 hours after the death at the earliest and only after the death has been reported to the competent authority. The choice of funeral director is the family’s responsibility. It should be noted that some citizens may benefit from the free funeral service of the City of Geneva under certain conditions. Many decisions will have to be made based on the deceased’s last wishes, such as the method of burial, the choice of funeral rite, the details of the ceremony and the reception.