The death of a loved one is a difficult time for anyone, but when that death occurs in a foreign country, it can be even more complicated. There are a few things that you will need to do in order to make arrangements for the repatriation of the deceased.
If you’re abroad together
If you’re travelling or holidaying abroad with someone and they pass away, the first steps you need to take are:
Contact the nearest British embassy (or High Commission/Consulate)
If you’re on an organised tour, let the organisers know what’s happened
If you’re staying in a resort, let a representative know
Most holiday resorts and organisations have welfare representatives who can help you during this emotional time. You can also contact family at home and speak with them if you’re at a loss of what to do.
If you’re travelling abroad and staying at an Airbnb, or accommodation that isn’t booked under an organisation, you may want to contact your family first. Then let the local police know, as they’ll be able to help you get in touch with the nearest British embassy.
If they’re abroad and you’re not
If a loved one dies abroad while you’re at home in the UK, the British consulate is legally obligated to contact the next-of-kin. You may find out from the embassy itself, or the police force may be instructed to tell you.
If you find out through a package holiday representative, or tour operator for example, it’s important to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening and can help you decide arrangements.
Finding out about a loved one’s death when you’re not with them is a confusing, difficult situation. There are steps you must take when this happens but remember you can always ask family or close friends to help you.
First, you will need to contact the embassy or consulate of the country where the death occurred. They will be able to help you with the paperwork and other requirements for returning the body to your country.
Next, you will need to make arrangements with a funeral home. They will need to know the date and time of the funeral, as well as where it will be held.
Finally, you will need to make travel arrangements for yourself and any other family members who will be attending the funeral. This includes booking flights and hotels, as well as renting a car.
The death of a loved one is never easy, but by following these steps, you can make the process of returning the body to your country as smooth as possible.