Dying Abroad And Repatriation

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What To Do When Someone Dies Abroad

When someone dies abroad and needs repatriating, it can be a difficult time for all those involved which is why we’ve created this guide to help you through the process.

What do you do when someone dies abroad and you’re with them?

If you’re travelling or holidaying abroad with someone and they pass away, the first step you need to take is contacting the nearest British embassy or High Commission/Consulate. In addition to this, you will need to let a resort representative be aware of the situation as well as the tour operator. If you are staying in accommodation that hasn’t been organised by an operator, you should make contact with the local police force in order to take the necessary steps according to international law. You must register a death with the local authorities in the country where the person died.

You must register a death with the local authorities in the country where the person died and in many countries, you can register the death with the UK authorities. To bring the body home you must follow these steps:

  • Get a certified English translation of the death certificate
  • Receive permission to remove the body, issued by a coroner (or equivalent) in the country where the person died
  • Tell a coroner in England if the death was violent or unnatural

To find out what you need to do in the specific country where the person died, you can see more information on the government website.

What do you do when someone dies abroad and you’re not with them?

The British consulate in the country where the person has died is legally required to inform the next-of-kin (you may find out from the police force or British embassy). If you’re notified about the death by someone else, for example, a tour operator, you should phone the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who’ll be able to keep you informed and help with arrangements.

If your loved one was cremated abroad, but you want to bring their ashes home, you’ll need two documents:

  • Death certificate
  • Certificate of Cremation

When dealing with death abroad and the repatriation process afterwards, a UK-based funeral director will work with you, an overseas funeral director and the British Consulate or Embassy to organise the necessary documentation and transport of the deceased to the UK.

What else do you need to think about?

When someone has died abroad and the cause of death has been confirmed by a GP or coroner, you will then need to register their death. Once the death has been registered, you will receive a Certificate for Burial or Cremation and the next steps will be guided by your funeral director. You will be responsible for the travel costs and overseas funeral directors’ fees

How Can A.H. Freemantle Help?

Whether you would simply like advice for when someone dies at home, or a director to administer all the arrangements on your behalf, at A H Freemantle we have the experience and expertise to guide you through this difficult time. Established in 1856, we are an independent family run firm, owned and managed by John Freemantle.

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Over 100 Testimonials and Reviews

Sarah's kindness, genuine warmth, understanding of the personal character of how people say goodbye to a loved one, and inclusive approach, together with her knowledge and professionalism made me feel 'held' throughout the process of organising and being at my mum's funeral. It made such a difference at a difficult time. Highly recommend this company to anyone.

Kes

Extremely kind & considerate. Very professional. I felt supported throughout a very difficult process. Jane was fantastic, sensitive and caring and made me feel that she truly understood and cared about us all.

Jill Spence

I would like to thank all the staff at the Eastleigh branch of helping me through a very difficult time when my mother passed away recently. All the staff were so helpful, considerate and compassionate, Clair in the office was always helpful and kind and helped me through the whole process of arranging a funeral.

Robert Duma

Excellent personable service. Caring and sensitive - Sarah always seemed to be available no matter what time. The attention to detail and everything was brilliant. We all felt very happy with the choice that we had made for our Mum's funeral and burial that we did not hesitate to use again for our Dad. Our Mum and Dad had such lovely "send offs" managed so well by A.H. Freemantles.

Susan Grace

We sincerly thank the staff and in particular Sarah and James at Freemantle's Titchfield for their understanding and kindness in organising and conducting the recent funeral of our son John. The whole process was guided with much empathy on such sad occasion.

Michael Coward

I would like to thank both James and Jane for the courtesy and respect shown to me and my family. They appreciated the tragic circumstances and were able to guide us gently through the Church service and subsequent committal at Wessex. You were as a company stars that day, showing us the way.

Brian Stoker

James and the team at A H Freemantle did the most fantastic job for us when my brother died suddenly and unexpectedly. They were very clear about the things I had to make a decision on - not there and then but in my own time - but they also completely took over and seamlessly managed all those other things that have to be booked and paid for. They also gave me great advice about how to handle the things I needed to handle. They contributed hugely to giving my brother the send off that he deserved and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend A H Freemantle to anyone else when that time comes and you need a funeral director.

Kevin Briscoe

Freemantles handled the funeral for my son - firstly they had to collect him from Leicester where his post mortem took place. From the start they were so caring and attentive to our distress as it was a sudden death. Kate the lady we dealt with was absolutely wonderful. She dealt with every detail with so much sympathy and feeling. The Celebrant they appointed was also terrific and dealt with the ceremony exactly as we wanted. If you find yourself losing a loved one I would highly recommend Freemantles. They totally helped make a nightmare of losing your child bearable.

Helen Sallis

I’ve never lost a parent and didn’t have a clue what I should be doing - James made us feel very relaxed, made sure that our mum would be well looked after with him which gave us comfort. The celebrant he chose was absolutely brilliant and really made the whole experience extremely personal to us. James even sourced out a Leopard print coffin for us - the first in 22 years apparently! Would really recommend

Kerris Smith

James handled the funerals of both my mother and father, and in both cases everything went very smoothly and was done with great dignity. We could not have asked for more.

Peter Allday

Having had experience with this company earlier in the year they were the natural choice when my wife died. Clair was absolutely brilliant from the initial enquiry and compassionately and clearly explained the whole process. Nothing was too much trouble and the whole range of options clearly laid out and explained. We really didn’t have to do anything ourselves. I would gladly recommend when the the time comes to anyone else.

Customer

Exemplary and highly professional service throughout, with every effort made to accommodate the wishes of the family. Would highly recommend to anyone faced with having to arrange a funeral.

Robert Greaves

From my first phone call to the completion of the funeral the staff at A H Freemantle gave outstanding service. They were professional and compassionate, taking time to listen to our requests and discuss the options. They made a difficult time easier and I knew I could trust them absolutely with the arrangements.

PM

Recently I was sadly in need of the services of A.H.Freemantle. I cannot find words to thank James and his staff enough. They guided and comforted me through the whole sad process. James's quiet steady professionalism both before, and during the ceremony made a dreadful experience much much easier to endure..highly recommended to anyone facing this inevitable ordeal. Thank you all.

Robert Leake

Sarah really put our family at ease and was very helpful. Made a very difficult thing to do a lot easier. Would highly recommend their services.

Verity Maddocks

I can’t praise Claire at the Botley branch enough, who looked after my husband’s funeral. She was very professional, but more than that she was kind, caring, and nothing was too much trouble. Going above and beyond, which made this very difficult time so much more bearable for my family and I.

Nicola Abbott

Jane and her colleagues went above and beyond to support and guide my family and I through the most traumatic time. From the moment of instruction to the service itself, I received true professionalism coupled with empathy. Every detail was discussed, every request was met, with kindness and thought. Thank you.

Nicky Goga

James and the team really are who you need by your side when you are facing your most challenging times in life. I've been in need of the services of A H Freemantle twice in a year having lost both my mother and father. Honestly I couldn't recommend them enough, at such a challenging time they really did do everything to make it as bearable as possible. I can not recommend James and the team enough, they were truly incredible from start to finish.

Chris

We as a family would like to thank James and everyone at Freemantle’s Titchfield for all their help and guidance, James you made us feel so relaxed and calm, the day went without a hitch, we laughed we cried, our mum would of approved of everything, also a very big thank you to Martin the celebrant, you were all amazing thank you so much.

Sarah Bartlett

We sincerely thank the staff and in particular Sarah and James at Freemantle's Titchfield for their understanding and kindness in organising and conducting the recent funeral of our son John. The whole process was guided with much empathy on such sad occasion.

Michael Coward

James and his team were extremely kind, thoughtful ad professional. As a family we appreciated the help and advice that was given.

Connie

Although my review is simplistic it comes from the heart. Without A H Freemantle's Park Gate & Titchfield offices I could never have got through what was and always will be my darkest hour. Thank you for looking after my beautiful mother, Gwen. Special thanks to Jane and Dawn. And thank you Jane for recommending the wonderful Rev. Boggust. My brothers, sister, and myself will always remember the kindness, respect, and compassion shown by all at A H Freemantle.

Eleanor Campbell-Loveday

James was incredibly understanding and dealt with a difficult situation with care and attention. Nothing was too much trouble.

Tim Quinlan