Death and Dying in Monaco

Find out how and where to report the death, how to arrange a burial or cremation, and where you may scatter ashes. Plus, how to repatriate a body...

In the event of a death of a family member, friend or relative in Monaco the first thing to do is to contact a local doctor, who will certify the death and issue a medical death certificate (certificat de décès). If the death occurred in suspicious circumstances or it is that of a stranger, it should be reported to the Urban Police (Division de Police Urbaine).

  • Division de Police Urbaine
    At: 19 Rue Suffren Reymond, 98000 Monaco (MC)
    Tel: 17 (emergencies) / +377 93 15 30 15
    Open: 08:30-20:00, Monday to Sunday

The death must be reported to the Monaco Town Hall (Mairie de Monaco) within 24 hours. A relative or formally appointed representative usually registers the death. This can also be carried out by undertakers.

  • Mairie de Monaco
    At: Place de la Mairie, 98000 Monaco (MC)
    Tel: + 377 93 15 28 63
    Fax: +377 93 15 28 42
    Open: 08:30-16:30, Monday to Friday

If the death occurred in a hospital, retirement home or other institution, it will be reported by that institution. In case of a violent or suspicious death or a suicide, it is necessary to contact the Urban Police. If the doctor who certifies a death is satisfied that no suspicious circumstances exist and the death was due to natural causes, no inquiries are held. However, an inquiry is held when the death occurs in a public place or when foul play is suspected. If the deceased was affiliated with a particular religion, their local religious organisation can be consulted for guidance regarding standard funeral practices and repatriation of remains, if applicable.

Reporting a Death

When reporting a death at the mairie, a number of documents need to be presented:

  • Proof of identity of the person declaring the death
  • Identity card, passport, family book (livret de famille), marriage certificate or birth certificate of the deceased
  • Medical certificate of death issued by a doctor or the police

A certified copy of the entry - a death certificate (acte de décès) - is usually issued immediately if all necessary details are available. No fee is charged for the medical certificate, but a small fee will be requested if the death certificate is to be posted.

Following the Death

Within seven days, the following groups should be informed of the death (a copy of the death certificate may be required):

  • The deceased's employer
  • Health and life insurance companies
  • Banks (make special mention if the deceased is the partner of a jointly-held account)
  • Landlord (if the deceased was renting property)

Funeral Arrangements

Monaco has a single crematorium and cemetery, and funeral arrangements including burial and cremation can be arranged through the Monaco Funerary Association (Societe Monegasque de Thanatologie, SOMOTHA).

  • SOMOTHA
    At: 14 Avenue Pasteur, 98000 Monaco (MC)
    Tel: + 377 97 98 40 40
    Fax: + 377 93 50 07 84

Repatriation of a Body

Repatriation of a body to the deceased’s home country will require the help of the relevant local embassy or consulate. Consular officials can assist in having the remains returned, obtaining appropriate documentation and inquiring about Monegasque exit requirements.

As Monaco is bordered by France both on land and at sea, at least two borders will have to be crossed if the deceased’s home country is not France. Fortunately, most consular officials in Monaco belong to the French embassies of their respective countries, and repatriation typically occurs as it otherwise would have done in France.

A relative or a formally appointed representative must instruct a funeral director in Monaco, France or the home country of the deceased for a body to be repatriated. If the deceased was insured it is necessary to contact the insurance company so that they can make the necessary arrangements. If there is no insurance cover, funds for repatriation or burial will need to be met by the family. Insurance cover may vary, but accommodation and travel for relatives is usually covered.

The length of time required for the repatriation of remains can vary greatly and is determined by a number of factors, including cause of death and location of death. When death is the result of natural causes, remains can be repatriated more quickly. When death is the result of a crime, a suicide or an accident, repatriation of remains can take much longer.

A body being repatriated via France will have to be embalmed and enclosed in a zinc-lined "repatriation" coffin. This is sealed at the point of departure by the gendarmes (port or airport authorities). The passport should always remain with the deceased and travel with the body.

Note: Recent changes to flight security means that many airlines are no longer prepared to carry coffins.

Further Information