What to do if there is disagreement about the organization of the funeral?

Verified 05 August 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The funeral must correspond to the last wishes of the deceased.

If no will specifies them, it is up to the relatives to make the necessary choices for the organization of the funeral (cremation/burial, location, religious/secular ritual, etc.),

If they disagree, only the judge can decide.

It designates the person best able to decide (we speak of the person authorized to provide for the funeral).

This is a person who has had a stable and permanent relationship with the deceased (e.g. surviving spouse, past partner, parent, child).

You must bring the matter before the court of law of the place of death by subpoena or by request spouse at the registry.


you can go through a joint motion if you agree to go to court together and ask the court to resolve your dispute.

The use of a lawyer is not mandatory.

Who shall I contact

The court decides within 24 hours.

You can appeal the court's decision within 24 hours, to the first president of the court of appeal. He decides immediately. The use of a lawyer is optional.

Who shall I contact

Please note

if the death occurred abroad, you must bring an action before the court for the place where the deceased was last domiciled in France.

Failing to respect the deceased's last wishes may be punished by up to 6 months imprisonment and €7,500 of fine.