Terminating contracts in the event of death – how do I proceed?
The most important thing is: No contract ends if the contractual partner is not informed about the death. So, remember to cancel insurance policies (health insurance, household insurance, accident and life insurance, etc.), subscriptions and memberships in clubs and associations, etc. and also to inform the driver and vehicle licensing office.
The right of termination under tenancy law provides for an extraordinary right of termination in the event that the tenant dies. The heirs of the deceased person may terminate the agreement on the next admissible termination date by giving the legally prescribed notice (three months’ notice for residential premises and six months’ notice for commercial premises). The relatives are also entitled to this right of termination if the rental agreement contains specific provisions for later termination. It is important that the heirs exercise their extraordinary right to terminate immediately.
Other areas also have special provisions in the event of death of a contractual partner: a mobile subscription, for example, is terminated on the day of death and does not pass to the heirs if they do not wish this. However, the condition is that neither relatives nor third parties continue to use the connection.
Checklist – which contracts must be terminated in the event of death?
First, gain an overview of all of the deceased person’s contracts. Then, inform the deceased person’s contractual partners and, if necessary, terminate the contracts:
- OASI/DI compensation fund, pension fund, pillar 3a
- Banks, insurance companies (household, life, accident, liability etc.), health insurance
- Driver and vehicle licensing office
- Rental agreement (see also: Terminating a rental agreement in the event of death – death is not an automatic reason for termination)
- Radio/TV/telephone contract, mobile subscription
- Credit card contracts, leasing contracts
- Newspaper and magazine subscriptions, memberships (e.g. clubs, see also: What happens to memberships in the event of death)
- Claim reimbursements from public transport subscriptions (Half Fare travelcard/GA travelcard)
We recommend terminating contracts by registered mail. Some companies have online forms on their homepage that a relative of the deceased person can fill out in order to terminate the contract. In order to save unnecessary costs, it is best to terminate contracts as quickly as possible.
Who else has to be notified?
- Inform the post office and redirect post (redirection order at the post office)
- For foreign nationals: the embassy or consulate
For the sake of completeness, you should always include the death certificate when notifying about death of a relative. In order to notify many contractual parties quickly, you can use, for example, a template with all relevant information about the deceased person and send this to many different places.
You might also be interested in:
- Death and no relatives left – who is responsible?
- House clearance after death – what to do with everything
- Notify the bank and post office in the event of death
- The loan agreement – what happens after death?
- Pension in the event of a death – an overview of the OASI survivors’ pension
- The pension fund in the event of death
- The death certificate