Applying for a relative's death certificate

In the event of death, you as a relative of the deceased can apply for a death certificate.

The death certificate is a document that certifies the death of a person.
Any death must be reported to the registry office in whose jurisdiction the death occurred.

The death certificate is an important document that you can apply for as a relative in the event of death.

You can apply for a death certificate as soon as the death has been recorded in the death register.

Important is the death certificate for, for example:

  • the burial and its preparation (e.g. for the burial and transfer) as well as
  • the settlement of the estate
  • the use of statutory or private insurance benefits.

You can apply for a death certificate in person, in writing or electronically at the responsible registry office.

When applying, you must submit:

  • Identity card or passport
  • Proof of kinship, such as
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate
    • Civil partnership certificate
  • when picked up by a representative:
    • written power of attorney of the authorized person,
    • their identity card and
    • your own ID
  • for other people, such as close relatives:
  • Proof of legal interest, such as
    • Certificate of inheritance
    • Excerpt from the land register
  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: yes
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: no

Hint:
As a rule, applications can be submitted via the website of the responsible registry office.
 

Preconditions

An application for a death certificate can be submitted:

  • the last spouse,
  • the last life partner within the meaning of the Act on Registered Partnerships,
  • ancestors and descendants of the deceased person, or
  • siblings with legitimate interest,
  • closer relatives, such as aunts and uncles, who can credibly demonstrate a legal interest, for example by writing to the probate court

Related Links

  • § 55 Civil Status Act (PStG)
  • § 60 Civil Status Act (PStG)
  • § 62 Civil Status Act (PStG)

You must apply for the death certificate at the competent registry office in person, in writing or electronically.

Personal application:

  • Go to your local registry office during opening hours to apply for a death certificate.
  • You must present your identity card or passport for legitimation.
  • You can also apply for the death certificate by a person you trust and have it picked up. In addition to a written power of attorney, this person must present their own identity card or passport (original or certified copy).

Application by post, fax or e-mail:

  • Send the competent registry office an informal application for a death certificate by post, fax or e-mail.
  • Your letter should respond to your eligibility to apply.
  • The letter must contain the following information about the deceased person:
    • Surname, first name
    • Date and place of birth
    • Date and place of death
    • where applicable, details of the spouse of the deceased
    • Registry office and notarization number (if known)

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI)

Last update or date of publication
22.11.2021