Deaths that occur abroad
Please accept our condolences on your loss. We hope that the following information will help you.
Registering the death
When a death occurs abroad, you should register the death according to the local regulations of the country where the death took place and get a death certificate. Depending upon the circumstances of the death, this may have to be reported to a coroner (or equivalent) in the same way as if the death occurred in England or Wales.
You may choose to have the funeral abroad. You can arrange a burial or cremation in the country where the person died. The British consulate, embassy or high commission can give you advice about this. You should not have the person cremated abroad if you want a coroner in England & Wales to conduct an inquest into their death.
If you choose to have a cremation abroad and wish to bring the ashes back to England or Wales, you should seek advice as each country has its own rules about travelling with human ashes. You should contact the British consulate, embassy or high commission in the country where the cremation took place for advice.
You may wish to have a memorial service when scattering the ashes, instead of a funeral.
Alternatively, you may be able to bring the person who died back to England or Wales. Most funeral directors will be able to advise you on the practicalities and the likely cost of repatriation.
You will need a certified translation of the death certificate and permission to remove the body, issued by a coroner (or equivalent) in the country where the person died. You can ask for advice from the British consulate, embassy or high commission in the country where the person died.
Arranging the funeral in England or Wales
Your funeral director will be able to assist you with all the paperwork needed for the repatriation of the person who has died, including liaising with the Coroner’s Office to organise the issue of paperwork to allow the burial or cremation to take place.
If it is needed, the registrar in the district where the burial or cremation will take place may issue a ‘Certificate of No Liability to Register’. This document is issued on production of a letter from the local Coroner confirming that they are not taking any action in relation to the death, and also confirming that they have issued the relevant document to allow burial or cremation to proceed. Your funeral director will apply to the local register office for this certificate as part of their preparations for the funeral.
Bromley Registration Service offers a funeral celebrancy service and can work with you to create a unique and fitting tribute to the person who has died.
Tell us Once
Information regarding the Government’s Tell us Once service.
We can issue you with a unique code to enable you to access this service.
Please email us with the following information:
- Death certificate (and translation if applicable)
- Proof of address for the person who has died
- And in the covering email, please confirm that you as the person applying are the next of kin or have the permission of a surviving spouse/civil partner
We will email the code to you, and this will enable you to access the service and inform Government departments that someone has died. The code must be used within 28 days of issue, and further information regarding the process is included in the covering email.
We know that this will be a difficult time for you and others. For bereavement and loneliness support, the organisations listed below can give you help and advice: