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  British Death of a British Citizen Abroad British



Taking the body back home

To bring a body back home to the UK it will need to be embalmed and placed in a zinc-lined coffin before it is allowed to leave the country where the person died. The whole process may take some time, especially if there is a post-mortem held.

Along with the special coffin requirements you will need the following documents:

  • certificate of embalming
  • proof you are authorised to move the body from the country, usually issued by the coroner (or equivalent) in the country where the person died
  • a certified English translation of the death certificate, if the original is not in English

As always it is best to contact the British embassy, consulate or high commission in the country you wish to depart from, as policies may vary.

When the body is back in the UK

You will need to contact the register office where the funeral is planned to take place and take the death certificate to them. You will already have registered the death abroad so you need to ask the register office for a ‘certificate of no liability to register’. You will need to give this to the funeral director so the funeral can go ahead.

Please note: If the cause of death is unknown or was violent, sudden or unnatural, then a coroner in the UK will need to set up an inquest.

Coping with a death is often difficult and is often more so when it happens abroad. Please click HERE for a leaflet from the British government on how to cope with death overseas.



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