What to do if someone dies abroad?

This can be extremely distressing particularly if you are not familiar with the practices in the country of death. You can get advice from the British consulate, embassy or high commission in that country.

Register the death:

With the local authorities in the country of death and also if possible
With the UK authorities in that country.

2. Bringing the body home

You will need:

A certified translation of the death certificate
Permission to remove the body from the coroner in the country of death
To tell a coroner in England if the death was violent or unnatural.

3. Bringing the ashes home

You will usually need to show:

The death certificate
The certificate of cremation
Any additional requirements from the country you are leaving – contact the British embassy, consulate or high commission for advice.

You will need to check with your airline whether the ashes go in checked or hand luggage and you will need to complete a standard customs form when you arrive home.

If you want a coroner to investigate a violent or unnatural death you should not have the body cremated abroad.

4. Burying the body in England and Wales

Take the death certificate to the registrar in the area you wish to bury the body. The registrar will give you a ‘certificate of no liability to register’, which you must give to the funeral director. This must be returned to the registrar within 96 hours of the funeral.

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