Life Certificate - How to Notarize a Life Certificate in Case of Illness and/or Incapacity


Every year the German pension and restitution offices send out so-called life certificates. These forms need to be notarized by a notary public, a German consular officer (Embassy or Consulate) or other specific institutions so that the payments can be continued. However, sometimes the notarization of this life certificate might be difficult, if not impossible, when the recipient of the German pension or restitution is too sick to leave home, is hospitalized or unable to sign.

Inability to Visit a Notary Public/Consulate:

In case the recipient is bedridden and/or not transportable, but able to sign for him or herself, we recommend a mobile notary come to the home or facility. Telephone numbers of mobile notaries can be found in the yellow pages. When hiring a mobile notary, please confirm with the notary that they offer the service of notarizing a life certificate.

Inability to Sign or to Make Legally Binding Decisions:

In case the recipient is incapable to sign because of his/her medical condition or in case the recipient is under conservator- or guardianship, the authorized person, conservator or guardian should provide the German pension/restitution office with the following documents:

1. Original Power of Attorney

notarized by a notary public (a simple photocopy will not be accepted). In case of conservator- or guardianship a notarized copy of the court order issuing said conservator- or guardianship.

2. Original Medical Statement

issued by the treating physician or hospital on their letter head including

a. patient's personal information

b. confirmation that the patient is alive

c. information on start of treatment and when last treated

d. medical reasons for incapacity

e. license number & original signature of physician

f. date (the Medical Statement shall not be older than one week after mailing it to the pension/restitution office)

In case such a medical statement cannot be provided, a confirmation by the care facility may be accepted.

3. Original life certificate form signed by the authorized person, conservator or guardian

4. Copy of the recipient's and authorized person's valid ID card (for conservator and guardian business card sufficient)

Top of page