What to do when someone dies

When someone passes away, this most often hits us unexpectedly and painfully. At the same time a lot has to be organised; deadlines have to be kept. Our outline affords you with some orientation; we will support you with our heart and common sense, reconciling the saying of goodbye and the funeral.

Junge Bestatter geben  Bestattungsunternehmen in Berlin neue Impulse.
support people to have good experiences of funerals

At death at the hospital, at the nursing home or at the hospice, the medical certification of death is instigated. At death at home, kindly inform the responsible general practitioner or the Medical On-call Service (Ärztlicher Bereitschaftsdienst) at the general emergency telephone number: 116117

+49(30) 98555609

Dear Martina, I have often thought that I needed to be in touch with you and thank you again for tremendous support you provided Tal Siegel (Shalom’s daugther) and me during our time of great distress. The attached picture is by a local Tsfat artist and depicts the 23rd Psalm from the Bible. The psalm appears in Hebrew in the picture, with an English translation on the back of the picture. I thought this particular psalm would be very appropriate for the work you do comforting families of the deceased. Tal Siegel and I thank you so much for the wonderful service and support you gave us when we were in Berlin. May God provide you with continued blessings and strength to continue the important work that you do. All the best to you and your family! With much love and appreciation.

Yocheved Abram, Israel, October 2019

A timeline of what to do when someone dies

  • Kindly, inform the family, relatives and friends of the deceased, at best personally
  • What comes first is an individual goodbye, the way you want it to be. A laying out in familiar surroundings, for instance at home, at the hospice or at the nursing home, is possible within the legal period of 36 hours.
  • We discuss the next steps with you. You kindly make an appointment with us for the transport to our climatised rooms. There you can also lovingly care for your deceased. A declaration of intent for an organ donation will change the first goodbye. 
Bestattungspflicht Berlin, Friedhof in den Kisseln

Before the Funeral

We will advise you on the choice of the suitable funeral form. If no declaration of intend for the funeral was signed in life, the relatives of the deceased are obliged to decide on the frame and the date of the funeral service. 

  • Coordinate the funeral date with the cemetery
  • Arrange a preliminary talk with a pastor or funeral speaker
  •  Place an obituary in the newspaper 
  • Compile address list for the mailing of In memoriam cards 
  • Relatives, friends, colleagues, associations … 
  • Design, print and mail In memoriam cards 
  • As may be the case, stones of existing graves may have to be moved by a stonemason 
  • Develop personal rituals together 
  • Select music, possibly book a musician 
  • Order floral arrangements 
  • Book a location for a funeral reception 

In the apartment left behind kindly remember to: 

  • Take care of pets and plants, close open windows 
  • Remove food 
  • Disconnect electrical devices
  • Turn off gas, water, electricity 

After the Funeral

We also do the following for you: 

  • Print and mail thank you notes 
  • Change or terminate insurances 
  • Change or terminate TV licencing (GEZ) 
  • See to digital heritage 
  • Order a stonemason for the tomb 
  • Arrange for cemetary maintenance 

If applicable, please also remember to: 

  • Terminate the tenancy within the legally stipulaled period of three months and dissolve apartment
  • Have nursing bed, rollator collected
  • Change or terminate direct debit mandates and standing orders
  • See to mail forwarding order
  • Apply for the opening of will and the certificate of inheritance at the district court or notary  


  • Gas / electricity / water 
  • Telephone / mobile telephony / Internet
  • Motor vehicle (KfZ)
  • Subscriptions of newspapers and magazines  

Mourning needs sharing and companionship 

We do not leave you alone with your grief. In addition to the care by family and friends, there is also professional support. Feel free to contact us at any time. 

Papers, Documents, Regulations
  • Declaration of intent for the funeral form
  • Burial provision contract

We also assist you withthe completionofall formalities. The issuing of death certificates at the responsible registry office requires the following:

  • Death certificate
  • Identification card/ Passport
  • Current vital records:
    • Single persons: Birth certificate
    • Married persons: Marriage certificate
    • Divorced persons: Marriage certificate and divorce degree with statement of legal effect
    • Widowed persons: Marriage certificate and death certificate of spouse
    • Same-gender partnerships: Corresponding certificate
    • Citizens of foreign countries require a certified translation of these documents

If death certificates are issued by the registry office, inheritance and pension affairs can be arranged, and memberships, subscriptions and contracts can be terminated. If applicable, the following would be required:

  • Will for opening at the district court
  • Pension number(s) and data of company pension(s)
  • Health insurance card
  • Severely handicapped pass
  • Death benefit, accidentand life insurance policies
  • Membership card of organisations, associations, trade unions, possibly death benefits are paid
Bestatter Bewertung – Funeral Home Reviews

I would like to whole-heartedly thank Martina Gohlke-Broneske and her husband Matthias for their big support after the passing of my beloved father in June 2020. As Americans living in Berlin I wanted to work with someone who would go the extra mile not only dealing with German bureaucracy but also knowing the American legal requirements. Mrs Gohlke-Broneske exceeded all expectations by not only supporting in legal issues but also advising in all others matters that being finding the right cemetery, navigating through the types of funerals and planning all necessary details for the funeral services including the creative process of designing the funeral invitation cards. Without her expertise and empathy my wife and I could not have managed through these tough weeks after losing a close loved one. Martina was not only available 24/7 on the phone but also met several times personally with my wife and me at our home in order to discuss all details. Her passion and dedication for her profession are one of a kind. On the day of the funeral Mrs. Gohlke-Broneske held an exceptional and touching speech for my father. Everything was perfectly organized from flower selection to photography;  a photo album and condolence book captured the essence of the day beautifully. My wife and I can’t thank Martina Gohlke-Broneske and her husband enough for their loving accompaniment during these challenging weeks.

Steven Dobbins, Berlin, Juli 2020