Living in the South of France is all about enjoying life. Where else do you go to find as good a combination of blue sea, clear skies, magnificent scenery, culture and food? No one in their right mind would relish changing the subject to the gloomy topic of bereavement. Why worry about that when the going is good, the sun is shining and life is for the taking? Yet all this can be blown apart by the loss – accidental or natural – of a loved one. And even if it is expected, the emotional impact is amplified by the administrative challenge of dealing with the immediate bureaucratic requirements, organisation of a funeral and picking up the pieces to restart life alone.
No one can simply switch off the emotional pain. But Sunny Bank and the British Association of Cannes have worked together to provide a set of guidelines at least to minimise the administrative hassle. What declarations need to be made? How to arrange a funeral at short notice? Who has to be notified? How to ensure access to bank accounts and pensions? What pitfalls to avoid? In what order of priority?
In developing these guidelines, they have depended greatly on the experience and advice of the BA of the Var, who, along with the Anglo-Info Riviera website, have edited some excellent information sheets. To this they have added a set of useful local contacts, checklists and examples to facilitate the administrative process and ensure that nothing of importance is forgotten. These information sheets can be downloaded by clicking the links below.
But the key message that comes through is the need to take short break from the pleasures of the Côte d’Azur and get prepared well in advance. The admin aftermath of bereavement can be immensely eased by some simple organisational steps taken up front, – while those concerned are still alive and well. With the ladies generally outliving the men, the latter, especially, owe it to their partners to prepare the stage for their own final bow.
Which of course never happens in a place as magic as the Riviera, – does it?
The chaplain of Holy Trinity Church, Cannes is, of course, available to conduct Christian funerals at the church or at the crematorium.