What to do when someone dies abroad
1. Notify the authorities
If you are with your loved one when they die abroad, get in contact with the closest British Authorities, such as the British embassy. The authorities will help to guide you through the next steps and put you in touch with the right people.
2. Register the death
It is important to register the death as soon as possible in the country where your loved one died. When you have notified the relevant authorities, they can help you through this process. Once you have registered the death abroad, you will need to then register the death with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
3. Check travel insurance documents
Before your loved one’s body is returned to the UK, you will need to find out if they took out a travel insurance policy before travelling. Check their policy documents or get in touch with their insurance company to check that the cost of repatriation is covered.
If your relative or friend dies while they are overseas, get in touch with us straight away. We will take care of everything and arrange for them to be brought back home as soon as possible. For more information on repatriation, the Foreign Common Wealth office also has useful bereavement information packs relating to each country to help you deal with practical arrangements for your loved one.
Bringing the deceased back home (repatriation) can be an involved process but we will make sure all the appropriate paperwork is completed, including:
- A death certificate registering the death according to the local regulations (or an authorisation to repatriate the deceased)
- An authenticated translation of the death certificate, showing the cause of death
- Certificate of No Liability to Register (from the Registrar in England and Wales)
If you decide on a cremation, we will also arrange:
- A cremation order from the Home Office or a Cremation Form 6 from the coroner
- Application for cremation, Form 1
- All original documentation from the country where the death occurred
- Translation of documents if necessary
5. Carrying ashes home
If your loved one has been cremated and you wish to leave a country with human ashes, you will need to take the death certificate and the certificate of cremation with you. Different rules apply to each country, so it is best to contact the British consulate, embassy, or high commission for advice. If you are bringing ashes home on an aeroplane, you must first contact the airline to check their guidelines.
6. Plan a funeral
We can help you plan a dignified funeral service for your loved one from start to finish. We have several funeral services available, from traditional funerals to woodland burials. If you are bringing your loved one’s ashes home to the UK, there are many different things you can do with ashes to celebrate your loved one’s life.
If you are worried about the costs of planning a funeral, read more about help with paying for the funeral. Depending on your circumstances, there are several options available to ease the financial burden.
7. Bereavement support
If you are struggling to cope with the death of a loved one abroad, there are counselling and bereavement support options available. Speak to your family doctor to learn more about their services or join a local bereavement group in Dorset. Find out more about the bereavement support available.
At Douch Family Funeral Directors we are always here to help you, day, or night. We have years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to help you make the right funeral arrangements for your loved one. If someone you love has died abroad, call us at any time on 01202 367 307 or get in touch with our online contact form.