Death of a U.S. Citizen

The death of a U.S. Citizen in Switzerland and Liechtenstein should be reported as soon as possible to the U.S. Embassy in Bern.

The Special Consular Services Team can assist friends and families in the event of the death of a U.S. Citizen.  Although the Embassy cannot pay for relatives to come to Switzerland or Liechtenstein they can assist with the logistics in repatriating the remains of the deceased U.S. Citizen and/or personal effects.

The Embassy will also issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad (CRODA) that serves as a legal document to verify the death of a U.S. Citizen.

The Consular Report of Death Abroad (CRODA) is a document necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States.
The U.S. Embassy Bern will issue up to 20 copies of the Consular Report of Death Abroad.

This service is free of charge.

Next of Kin/Executor of the Estate should contact BernACS@State.gov and provide the following information:

Personal Data of the Deceased:

  • Full name (including middle names and maiden names if applicable)
  • Social security number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date and place of death
  • Disposition of remains
  • Last U.S. address
  • Last permanent address

Next of Kin/Executor of the Estate

  • Full name
  • Relationship to the deceased
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address

The Swiss authorities will seek to locate the Next of Kin and other family members and/or close friends living in Switzerland to inform them of the death. If the deceased’s next-of-kin lives in the United States and there are no relatives or friends in Switzerland who agree to notify the next-of-kin, the Swiss authorities will contact the Embassy and pass along all relevant information. The Embassy, will in turn, contact the next-of-kin at the earliest possible time to notify him/her of the death.

The Swiss Civil Registrar requires the following original documents for issuance of Swiss death certificate:

  • Birth Certificate not older than six (6) months
  • U.S. Passport and/or Naturalization Certificate/or other proof of U.S. Citizenship
  • Proof of Civil Status e.g. Marriage Certificate / Divorce Degree / Death Certificate of spouse if applicable
  • Attestation of permanent residence for non residents of Switzerland