funeral costs dying abroad repatriation foreign office travel advice

Most expensive funerals in the USA and Japan – what to do if someone dies abroad

A death abroad is a tragedy but unfortunately there’s a lot of adminstration needed in order to register the death and organise the reptriation of the body. This is the travel advice for what you need to do.

According to figures from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), more than 4,000 British travellers die every year.

Research shows that Spain is shockingly where most Brits die abroad, however, when looked at proportionally it is the Philippines which is the deadliest country for British travellers. 

Travellers also need to take extortionate costs into consideration. Repatriation can cost up to £17,000, if the body is as far away as China, South America and Japan and it can often be cheaper to bury or cremate abroad, according to funeral directors Rowland Brothers International.

The most expensive place for a funeral in the world in the USA, international currency service Caxton told Express.co.uk.

“In Santa Barbara, California, a plot with a view of the Pacific can cost as much as $83,000,” they said. “And if you want a family mausoleum at Forest Lawn, in the Hollywood Hills, you’ll be shelling out up to $825,000. In Japan the average cost of a funeral is 2.31 million yen, which is roughly £14,257, making the Asian country also one of the most expensive places to die in the world.

At the other end of the spectrum, average funeral costs in Mexico come to just £500, according to Caxton.

Most expensive funerals in the USA and Japan – what to do if someone dies abroad

So what do you need to do if you’re with a friend or a relative when they sadly die abroad?

Firstly, you must register a death with the local authorities in the country where the person died,” say the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

“In many countries you can also register the death with the UK authorities.

“Contact the International Pension Centre if the person was getting a pension or other benefits.

You can use the UK government’s Tell Us Once service if the person died in a Commonwealth country, a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland which lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.

funeral costs dying abroad holiday travel insurance FCO travel advice

Dying abroad: In many countries you can also register the death with the UK authorities

Next you need to start thinking about repatriating the body. Your first move should be to check if this is covered by your travel insurance. 

To bring the body home to will need to do three things: get a certified English translation of the death certificate and get permission to remove the body, issued by a coroner (or equivalent) in the country where the person died.

Thirdly you will need to tell a coroner in England if the death was violent or unnatural.

If you are bringing ashes home, you will need the death certificate and the certificate of cremation. 

Although if you want an inquest into the death in the UK you should not have the person cremated abroad.

funeral costs dying abroad foreign office travel

Dying abroad: You will need to tell a coroner in England if the death was violent or unnatural

“Each country has its own rules about departing with human ashes and there may be additional requirements,” say the Foreign Office. 

“Contact the country’s British consulate, embassy or high commission for advice. You’ll need to fill in a standard customs form when you arrive home.”

You will also need to think about the method of transportation.

The FCO add: “Contact your airline to find out whether you can carry the ashes as hand luggage or as checked-in luggage. 

“They may ask you to put the ashes in a non-metallic container so that they can be x-rayed.”

Source of Travel News

SIGNUP AND GET ACCESS TO EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL OFFERS!