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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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
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.Get In Touch
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.
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.
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.
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.
James was incredibly understanding and dealt with a difficult situation with care and attention. Nothing was too much trouble.
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.
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.
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.
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.
James and his team were extremely kind, thoughtful ad professional. As a family we appreciated the help and advice that was given.
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.