Before the funeral

What do I do if somebody dies from natural causes?

A death by natural causes is considered to be one which occurs without violence and in which the doctor can accurately certify the causes of death without having to carry out an autopsy. It usually takes place in a hospital, a care home or at home.

  • 1Have the doctor certify the death. If you're not in a hospital, call 112 and report the situation. Try to have the documents to identify the deceased ready.
  • 2Contact a funeral home. Call the nearest funeral parlour or funeral company branch and they will take care of the pick-up, transfer and funeral service process and inform you of everything. Locate the nearest ASV centre.
  • 3Transfer of the body. he body of the deceased is transported to the funeral parlour or funeral company chosen, where it must be stored in a cold chamber. Hospitals in Spain do not provide this service.
  • 4Identify the deceased. Grupo ASV Funeral Services complies with a series of protocols which guarantee that this requirement is correctly fulfilled, and includes confirmation by a relative.

Remember that at Grupo ASV Funeral Services we take care of all the paperwork after the death of a relative and we guide you through all the necessary steps to say goodbye to your loved one.

Documentation required for the funeral

Certificado médico de defunción

Death certificate

Issued by a doctor according to the form created by the General Council of Official Colleges of Physicians. It contains the identity of both the deceased and the doctor who signs it.

egistro de la defunción

Registration of death

It is carried out in the Registry Office of the municipality where the death occurred, within 24 hours following the death. With this step you are given the license for the burial and the deceased person is struck off the census.

Licencia de inhumación o incineración

Burial or cremation license

It can be used to proceed with the burial or cremation of the deceased, provided that at least 24 hours have passed since the death. It is issued by the Registry Office after delivery of the death certificate.

What happens if it is a judicial death?

A death due to a judicial cause is one in which a doctor cannot immediately and accurately establish the causes of death. These are usually deaths due to accidents, sudden deaths, suicides or murders.

  • 1The authorities takes care of the deceased Since it is essential to determine the cause of death by means of an autopsy.
  • 2An autopsy is performed. The body is transferred to an Office of the Coroner where the autopsy is carried out, usually the following day. During this process, the body cannot be removed.
  • 3Autopsy result. It may take some time to get a definitive result for various reasons. However, a provisional cause of death is usually issued in order to be able to carry out the burial.
  • 4Transport to the funeral home. Once the judge issues the pertinent documentation, the chosen funeral company transports the body to the chosen funeral parlour. Before performing the funeral service, the family must identify the deceased.
  • 5Paperwork to be filled in by relatives. The funeral home can take carry out most of the necessary steps, except to request the complete result of the autopsy, and, in some courts, the request for cremation authorisation, transport to another location or identification of the body.
What happens if it is a judicial death?

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We will give you advice and resolve all the doubts that arise, without any obligation.


Funeral Preparations

What should be taken into account when preparing the funeral service?

 Burial or cremation

Burial or cremation

If it is a burial, the funeral parlour contacts the local cemetery to establish the time of burial and, if the deceased person doesn’t have a niche, whether there is one available. If it is a cremation, the urn or other ways of storing the ashes will be chosen.

Wake and parts of the service

Wake and parts of the service

The tastes and preferences of the deceased, as well as those of the people who will attend the funeral, should be taken into account when planning a farewell ceremony. Although most people opt for a wake in Spain, the service does not need to include this part. This is also the time to select flowers, remembrance items, the type of coffin, etc.... An advisor is present at all times to help the customer make these decisions..

 Types of ceremony

Types of ceremony

In ASV Group you can choose a civil (lay) or religious ceremony, and also adapt it according to your wishes with music, symbolic acts or family speeches. Our team of advisers and civil celebrants provide our clients with options for all tastes.

 Inform family and friends

Inform family and friends

Tell your closest family and friends first and then the rest of your acquaintances. If you do it in an ASV Group centre, your funeral director will send you a link to a page with the details of the wake room and time of the ceremony so you can easily share it with family and friends.


After the funeral

What documents and paperwork has to be dealt with after a death?

  • 1Cancelling Social Security registration This is carried out in the Social Security Customer Service and Information Centres. The procedures for obtaining benefits for spouse, children or family members can also be carried out as well as the cancellation.
  • 2Last will and testament It is obtained 15 days after the death by delivering the death certificate and 790 form to the Regional Administrative Management of the Ministry of Justice. It tells us if there is a will and the notary who you have to see to find out about it.
  • 3Death cover insurance contracts certificate It is essential to know whether the deceased had life or accident insurance, and it is obtained 15 days after death by presenting the death certificate at the General Registry of Last Wills and Testaments or at the Ministry of Justice. If he/she did have this type of insurance, then the policy must be found, the beneficiaries checked and then the insurance company must be contacted.
  • 4Will or declaration of heirs It is requested from the notary, handing over the death and last will and testament certificates. If there is none, then a deed of declaration of heirs has to be made before the court or a notary, in order to be able to distribute the inheritance.
  • 5Public deed of statement, acceptance and award of inheritance It is carried out before a notary and is essential to register real estate in the Land Registry in the name of the heirs, although it is not obligatory to settle inheritance and gift taxes.
  • 6Tax payments Six months after the death, the inheritance and donations taxes have to be paid at the Tax Authority of the autonomous community of residence. If property is involved, then the gain on such property must also be paid to the Municipal Tax Office.
  • 7Change of ownership of assets Properties must be registered in the name of the heirs in the Property Registry with the deed of the property and inheritance. For vehicles, the Directorate General of Traffic must be informed; for financial assets or bank accounts, the financial entities must be informed, with the self-assessment tax forms.
  • 8Erasure of digital life We recommend cancelling all the deceased person's accounts in social media, email and other applications or online media.

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