Death in France

This guide has been prepared in collaboration with France based English speaking volunteer group Bereavement Support Network (BSN). BSN helps English speaking residents throughout France to manage their bereavement or terminal illness. You can contact BSN by mail at or via their website at Bereavement Support Network.

  1. Introduction
  2. Registering a Death
  3. Funeral
  4. Repatriation
  5. Bank Accounts
  6. Inheritance/Succession
  7. Spouses's Pension
  8. Bereavement Grant
  9. UK Pensions/Benefits
  10. Income Tax
  11. Vehicle Sale/Transfer

9. UK Pensions/Benefits

Where the deceased was receiving a UK State Pension, the Pensions and Overseas Benefits Directorate of the Department of Work and Pensions must be informed, with as much detail as possible (name; date of birth and death; address; NI number; pension reference number as well as the spouse’s details).

A UK Bereavement Support Payment (lump sum) may be payable for up to 52 weeks from the date of death of the spouse/civil partner. Eligibility is dependent on your age, whether the deceased paid sufficient NI contributions and/or if the death was due to an industrial accident or disease. The deceased must have been under retirement age.

The bereavement payment may be claimed up to 3 months from the date of death to get the full amount.You can claim up to 21 months after the death, but you will get fewer monthly payments. Beyond 21 months, it is possible to claim IF the cause of death is only confirmed more than 21 months after the death – not generally relevant in France as cause of death is not stated but could still apply in cases.

The claimant not the person who has died must be under state pension age.

Current payments are as follows:

  • Higher Rate 1st payment of £3500 and then 18 monthly payments of £350

  • Lower Rate 1st payment of £2500 and then 18 monthly payments of £100

You need to contact:

International Pension Centre Telephone: +44 191 21 87608

Department for Work and Pensions Bereavement and widows’ benefits International Pension Centre Tyneview Park Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE98 1BA

If there are other occupational and/or private pensions, these companies must be notified to minimise any overpayments, whilst the surviving spouse/partner’s pension if any is calculated and paid.

Similarly, any companies providing life insurances should be notified and benefits claimed.

Premium Bonds need not be cashed in at once but within one year.

A death certificate should accompany each letter.

Some UK Insurance companies find it difficult to accept the acte de dècès alone. They require a documented cause of death, presumably because some policies may be invalidated by a suicide.

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