FAQ's - Funerals in France

There will be lots of information to take in and so many aspects surrounding the death of a loved one in France,  rules and regulations are very different to what we are used to in the UK and it can become overwhelming.  At the bottom of this page I have provided some useful links to help guide you.  

Please remember every situation is different and rules and regulations in France change frequently.  The links I provide may be correct at the time they were published but may only act as a guide at time of reading.  

How do I register a death?

You will need to contact your local doctor within 24 hours to certify the death and also your Mairie.  All information regarding how the body is handled and other legalities are dealt with through the Mairie, Doctors and the Funeral Directors.   Please read the link at the bottom of this page to assist further.  

If death occurs in a hospital there will be an Assistant Sociale on hand to guide you through the process of who to contact, how to register and the procedures.  As each department varies on protocols I cannot say exactly how it will done.

Can I contact you direct to discuss our plans?

Yes absolutely.  You are able to contact me via the contacts page , Facebook messenger, telephone or email. 

Telephone: 00 33 6 73 02 88 17

E-mail: celebrantoflife@hotmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/celebrantoflife.com

Will you be able to create & deliver the ceremony in English?

Yes, this is absolutely no problem at all.  Although there are some Funeral Directors that do have an English speaker, it is understood and appreciated that having a native English Speaker can be a comfort. 

What am I able to have included in the service?

No service is the same.  You can include prayers, hymns, a reading, music etc.  At the same time it is appreciated that a service must be respectful and kind to others that are attending, yourselves and the services around you.

The time between death and funeral is so short! How will it ever be a real send off?

Please do not worry.  I totally understand and appreciate that the laws here in France are very different.  A funeral takes place within 6 days of death and it is not always possible within that time to have everyone attending or everything you wanted in place.  There are still ways to work around this.  For example a cremation can be led without a service and when the ashes are ready a service can then be held in a Garden of Remembrance or a separate service at a location of your choice, when everyone can be present, a Celebration of LIfe otherwise known as a Memorial. 

Is it correct we can not scatter ashes or keep ashes in the home?

Yes.  As of December 2008 it is no longer possible for ashes to be kept in the home.  At the bottom of this page I have provided a link in English which acts as a guide to help understand the situation a little better.  

Can you write and/ or deliver a Eulogy?

Yes I am able to do this.  Although I may not have known the person personally I will be able to identify and use the information and memories given by yourself, friends and family to build a picture of the person and write a Eulogy that will both honor and mark the life of your loved one.  

What is a Celebration of Life will it differ from a funeral?

A Celebration of Life is like a memorial that helps you honour and mark the life of your loved one in a special ceremony.  The ceremony can be longer than your average funeral service, it can be done on any date, time or location.  You can include many different elements to the ceremony that reflect the life of your loved one.  During the recent times of travel restrictions a Celebration of Life has become more common as not everyone has been able to attend a funeral and families and friends have not been able to unite in their grief.

A Celebration of Life at a later date after the death of your loved one is also considered to be an opportunity to assist in the healing and grief  journey and at ceremonies like these it no longer feels prudent to include humour, smiles and colour.  

Are you willing to conduct an end of life ceremony?

Having been in the situation where a loved one is nearing the end of life and requested the main ceremony be held with their loved ones before they die, I understand, appreciate and sympathise as to why people chose this option and I am more than happy to carry out their wishes. 

If I wish to plan the contents of my service before I die, can you do this?

Absolutely! Everyone's wishes are completely unique.  I am an open minded individual and understand how some people prefer to "ease" the burden as such for their loved ones as well as the need to ensure everything is planned exactly how they wanted. 

I haven't been able to find the answer and/ or I have more questions?

Absolutely no problem, I am always happy to talk if you need reassurance with the answers provided or you have more questions. 

Areas Covered

I am based in Department 87 of France.  I am in close proximity to Bellac (postal code 87300).  I usually travel up to 100km radius from 87330 for a Funeral or Celebration of Life Service.  My fees will be dependant on distance taking into account travel, possible accommodation costs & any other factors that may need to be considered.  

Death & Dying in France

This link contains links to relevant and informative French sites too as well as relevant words in French.

Scattering of Ashes in France

UK based website, simple & explanatory