What to do when someone dies abroad

Funerals: a step-by-step guide


Death abroad and repatriation.

If a friend or relative dies abroad, while you’re in the UK, you should contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). They will advise you on the next steps.

If you’re abroad, and someone with you dies, you should contact the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. They will give you advice on what you need to do.

Frequently asked questions about death abroad include: 

Where is the death to be registered?

All deaths must be registered in the country where the person died. Information about how to register a death abroad can be found on the how to register a death page on GOV.UK.

Where does the funeral take place?

You can either arrange for the body to be returned to the UK (known as repatriation), or have the funeral overseas. Before you can bring the body home, you’ll need a death certificate from the country in which the person died, authorisation to remove the body from the country concerned and a certificate of embalming.

How much does repatriation cost?

This varies widely, depending on place of death. However it can be expensive, so you need to make sure you can meet the costs before making arrangements.

Can I claim repatriation or overseas funeral costs on travel insurance?

Possibly, if the deceased person had travel insurance with repatriation & funeral cover included.

Burial or Cremation?

What does the law say?

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