When you lose someone you love in death feelings and attitudes may surface that you did not expect these include-fear, anger, guilt, and depression. These feelings might overtake you and shroud your thinking ability. Adding more to the burden is losing a loved one in a foreign land. In this blog we provide you with a few helpful tips on what you need to do in case you lose a loved one in Switzerland.
There are a number of tasks that need to be completed when you lose a loved one before and after the funeral. Primarily your first priority when losing someone you love is to obtain a death certificate. You can obtain a death certificate from a doctor, if the person died in a hospital; retirement home, or prison; the institution itself will issue the death certificate. If the cause of death is an accident or a crime then the police must be notified.
Reporting A Death
When someone dies depending on the place of residence, the next of kin must be immediately notified. The next of kin are also obliged to report the death to the authorities within two days. Important authorities that need to be notified include the register office and the funeral office.
Once these authorities have been notified you will need to present important documents, i.e. medical death certificate, residence permit and identity card. The death of a foreign national in Switzerland must also be reported to register office at the place of death; the office will then provide the required information on how to proceed.
When all the legal information on the deceased has been presented to the authorities you will have to organize the funeral. In Switzerland the funeral may take place at the earliest within 48 hours after the actual death, and only after the relevant authorities have been notified.
You can discuss important details of the funeral with the register office or the funeral office, these details include the date, time and type of burial, how to transport the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home, and whether a coffin or an urn will be placed in the funeral home. To find out more about the costs, and what services are free of charge contact the register office or the funeral home, many communes offer free burial or cremation services.
What To Do After The Funeral
Once the funeral has ended you will have to sort out the legal procedure to distribute the inheritance. The respective authorities in the deceased’s canton will be able to provide you with more information about the specific procedures you will need to take.
The deceased’s next of kin will have to clear the home and cancel settlement or insurance policies, and inform the bank and post office of the death. It is also advisable to remove important documents from the deceased’s home and store them safely elsewhere.
Given the circumstances divorced or widowed spouses and their children can stay in Switzerland after the divorce or the death of one of the parents. If you happen to face this predicament it is advisable to contact the authorities to see if you can obtain a permit. If you are from an EU/EFTA country you can apply for your own residence permit, provided that you are employed and have sufficient means to live in the country.