Often, I’m asked to provide English translations and certified English translations of many historic death certificates in French for official purposes. However, last year, I was asked to translate a death certificate in French issued in France for a grieving widow after her wife recently passed away. After losing a loved one in 2022, it brought back memories of all the legal formalities involved in losing someone you love. Legal formalities and admin that include registering the death and ensuring you have the death certificate in English for all the relevant parties for probate purposes and so that you can deal with their estate. Dealing with death certificates and other documentation is the last thing you need when grieving. However, unfortunately, it’s an important part of the process.

We live in a world where people move around and make a life for themselves in different countries, just like I have. In this recent case, a British couple had made a life for themselves in France, where the wife died. This meant that her death was registered in France, and her death certificate was issued in French. This does not pose a problem if all your assets and financial affairs are dealt with in France by a French-speaking notaire. However, what happens if the will is in English and is governed by English law? In such a situation, you must first get a certified English translation of the death certificate for the relevant authorities and allow your solicitor to deal with probate and estate administration. A death certificate in French will pose a problem as it’s very unlikely that they will speak French. That’s where I come in.

As a Chartered Linguist and a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), I’m a qualified and professional French to English translator. Therefore, I’m qualified to provide certified English translations of documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates for official purposes. This means that my certified English translations will be accepted by official bodies such as HM Passport Office, HM Land Registry and professionals such as solicitors and other legal professionals.

I take my responsibilities as a French to English translator who is qualified to provide certified English translations very seriously and always provide my clients with the best care. The client care skills acquired during my legal career dealing with vulnerable and bereaved clients come into their own when offering certified English translation services for death certificates issued in French. Yes, I can translate a death certificate from French to English and provide a certified English translation that will allow you to put your loved one’s affairs in order. However, I also provide a caring service. I always prioritise client care in everything I do. I pride myself on offering a service where my clients feel cared for and supported. This is particularly important when translating death certificates issued in French. I have been asked to provide a service at one of life’s most difficult moments. I feel a great sense of responsibility when a client instructs me at a time like this. Therefore, I tailor my service to ensure that I provide an accurate certified English translation that is suitable and that my service considers their feelings and situation. This is one situation where I like to go the extra mile because like Mrs K said, “your professionalism and sincerity has made a difficult time so much easier and I cannot thank you enough”.

As a former legal professional, I understand the legal process in England and Wales and France when probate is required after someone has died. This ensures I provide my client with a certified English translation that will meet the standards required for their needs. When solicitors and legal professionals  such as Williamsons Solicitors ask me for a certified English translation of a death certificate issued in French, they often don’t need my input once I’ve provided the certified English translation, as they are professionally trained to deal with the process. However, if you aren’t professionally trained, asking for a certified English translation of a death certificate issued in French is the first step in a long legal process. Therefore, I always assure my clients that they can pass my details on to their solicitors or legal advisors so that these legal professionals can contact me directly if they require further explanation or clarification of anything stated in the death certificate in French. This pastoral service is not part of your average certified translation service from French to English. However, it’s something that I’m qualified to do, and I’m also very passionate about taking on such a role. It’s one less thing for my client to deal with at a very difficult time. Therefore, I see it as part of my duty as a French to English translator qualified to provide such certified translation services for death certificates to offer this additional care and support. My clients have enough on their plates.

My clients always appreciate this tailored service because it gives them peace of mind regarding the certified English translation of the death certificate. I have provided them with the certified English translation and made myself available to them and anyone else involved to offer additional support if required. My approach to providing certified English translations is very different to my approach to providing certified English translations of a French birth certificate for British passport applications for HM Passport Office or a French marriage certificate for remortgaging purposes etc., for obvious reasons. My approach to providing certified English translations of death certificates issued in French is an approach that requires compassion and care, reflected in every aspect of my service, from initial contact via email or phone to delivery of the certified English translation.

If you require a French to English certified translation of a death certificate and are unsure where to turn, please contact me for a no-obligation chat. I’ll explain how I can help, and if you choose to use my services, rest assured that I’ll be there for you every step of the way. You can check my credentials as a French to English certified translator qualified to provide certified English translations for official purposes via my Chartered Institute of Linguist (CIOL) profile and Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI)  profile.