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In Germany, funerals are generally carried out by funeral homes, commonly called undertakers. You can select different types of burial. Depending on the region, you can choose between

  • Inhumation
  • Cremation (forest burial, sea burial, urn burial)
  • Anonymous burial

A funeral is possible at the earliest 48 hours after the onset of death. Exceptions may be allowed by the competent health authority for good cause.

Are funeral debtors (relatives)

  • nonexistent
  • not to be determined,
  • cannot be found.


  • do not fulfil their duty or do not fulfil them in time


  • no one else arranges the funeral,

the local regulatory authority responsible for the place of death or discovery must take care of the burial.

Bodies should be buried or cremated within 8 days of the onset of death. Urns should be buried within one month of cremation. With the exception of sea burial, there is a legal cemetery obligation for all burials.

The following are obliged to bury in this order:

  • spouse or registered partner,
  • descendants (children, grandchildren),
  • Ancestors (parents, grandparents),
  • Sibling.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

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