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Death abroad

All deaths must be registered in the country where the person died.

If you are living in the UK and a relative or friend dies when abroad, then you should contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office  on 020 7008 1500.

If you are abroad, you should contact the relevant Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The correct Embassy, High Commission or Consulate can be found by calling the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on +44 20 7008 1500 from abroad.

If the person who died was travelling with a tour company, the company will often contact you, as the next of kin themselves.

If the death of a British national abroad is reported to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, they will ask the UK police to tell you as soon as possible. If you are not in the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will ask their consular staff in the country where you are to do this.

You will need to provide documents about you and the person who has died, including, for example, the full name, date of birth and passport number of the person who has died.

What the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can do to help:

  • Their consular staff in London can pass on to staff overseas your wishes about dealing with the body. However, post mortem examinations may be carried out without your permission. In some countries, organs may be removed and kept during these procedures without your being informed or consulted.
  • They can tell you about the cost of local burial and local cremation (where local authorities allow these for foreigners) or transporting the body and personal belongings back to the UK.
  • They can provide lists of local and international funeral directors. If an English speaking firm is not available our staff can help you with the arrangements.
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