Death

The relevant authorities do not automatically submit documents regarding a death to the Swiss representations abroad. It is therefore essential that the necessary documents are transmitted to the competent Swiss representation in order to have the various Swiss registers updated free of charge.

To keep the family registers accurate and up-to-date, Swiss authorities need to be informed about any changes in the civil status of Swiss citizens and dual nationals (birth, marriage, death and divorce).

In Switzerland the registration of this changes is based on various statutory provisions and has a tiered structure (communal / cantonal / federal) with clear areas of competence. The Registry Offices which are located in most communes, hold the following five registers:

  • Register of Births
  • Register of Deaths
  • Register of Marriages
  • Acknowledgement of Paternity Register
  • Family Register

The Family Register is held in the "commune of origin". Every Swiss national has the citizenship rights of a commune, known as the "place of origin" or "place of citizenship". This is usually the town or village which the family originally came from and descendants always assume the same place of origin, regardless of their place of birth or residence. This registry system enables a family tree to be traced back many years.

The role of the Swiss missions abroad is to report changes in the status of Swiss nationals which have taken place abroad to the relevant authorities in Switzerland so that they may be entered in the Family Register.

Swiss citizens are therefore asked to present the above mentioned documents to the relevant Swiss mission.

Required documents

Registration of death (PDF, 183.1 kB, Serbian)

Death abroad

To register a death abroad in the Swiss civil status register (Infostar), the following documents and information generally have to be submitted to the competent Swiss representation:

  • death certificate - original
  • Swiss identity documents (passport & identity card) for cancellation – at the written request of the family, the cancelled documents can be returned as mementos (please specify this when submitting the documents)
  • address and contact details of the surviving relatives

Death in Switzerland

The competent Swiss representation must also be notified of the death in Switzerland of Swiss Abroad or their foreign spouses, in order to update the personal details in the register of the Swiss Abroad. The following documents and information have to be submitted to the competent Swiss representation:

  • photocopy of Swiss death certificate (original not required)
  • Swiss identity documents (passport & identity card) for cancellation, if they have not been cancelled already by a passport office in Switzerland – at the written request of the family, the cancelled documents can be returned as mementos (please specify this when submitting the documents)
  • address and contact details of the surviving relatives