Contact a doctor for the declaration of death
The first step following the death of a loved one is to contact a doctor for the declaration of death and death certificate. This formality is mandatory in Belgium but if the death occurred in a hospital or nursing home, a doctor present will do it automatically.
Choosing a funeral home
Once the death has been declared, you will need to choose a funeral home to take care of the body of the deceased. They will also help you with multiple administrative formalities and the organization of the funeral.
Contact a notary to determine the existence of a will
It is then important to contact a notary, who will confirm if a will had been prepared by the deceased and assist the heirs in the process of accepting or refusing the inheritance.
For example, the declaration of inheritance to tax authorities can be difficult to complete, with errors potentially leading to tax increases. A notary will help you prevent this.
Contact the banks to unfreeze the accounts
In Belgium, all of an individual’s bank accounts are frozen after their death. Unfreezing them requires contacting all financial institutions where the deceased had an account and providing proof of heirs. A certificate of heredity obtained from the registry’s office can be used for this purpose.
Notify the deceased’s employer and pension services
It is also necessary to contact the deceased’s employer and any other related services that may have been used, such as their pension department, accountant, lawyer, health insurance company, union, etc.
Termination of real estate and service contracts
All of the deceased’s real estate contract(s) must be terminated. Other related services such as gas, electricity, and water must be also cancelled.
The importance of being well-surrounded after losing a loved one
The declaration of death of a loved one is a necessary step that can be difficult to undertake, so it is important for you to have the right support in the process and know who to contact during every step.
To make this task easier and give you some peace of mind during these difficult times, you can download this checklist and follow the steps.
If you need any assistance in these steps, we invite you to contact us. Our team of specialists is available to help you and keep you informed throughout the process.