What To Do When Someone Dies Abroad

What to do when someone dies abroad

We understand how overwhelming it can feel when someone dies abroad. Not only are you and your family coming to terms with their death, but you are also confronted with navigating the practicalities of their death to ensure they are safely brought home during a time that is already heightened with emotions.


Our step-by-step guide on what to do when someone dies abroad has been created because we realise how challenging it can be to find the information you need and access to providers in order to bring your loved one back home safely, especially if you are in a foreign country or you are looking to arrange a repatriation remotely. 


At Homeland International, we are a global repatriation provider, supporting the repatriation of remains to and from any country worldwide. Our goal is to remove any stress and to bring your loved one back home safely.  We are a multi-lingual team with a network of local providers on the ground in every country worldwide who can step in and manage arrangements on your behalf. 


Often the instruction is to contact your local embassy in the country of death and a local funeral director, however in our experience this can lead you into complicated territory. Before anything else, the first most important thing is to find out if your loved one had an insurance policy.


If you have an insurance policy:

If you have obtained the details for your loved one’s insurance policy, make contact with them and they will advise if they have a supplier or protocol to follow. Most employee insurance and travel insurance policies will include the cover for the repatriation of mortal remains. Please note that the insurance policy may be void if you start working with another company first so it’s imperative that you contact the insurer in the first instance. 


If there is no insurance policy: 

In the instance that you do not have any insurance, we would propose the following:


    1. Contact Homeland International immediately, we can then help support you right from the start. A member of the team will be on hand to provide the advice and support you need to bring your loved one back home. We are a multilingual team and via our global network of providers on the ground we can ensure your loved one is cared for and brought back home safely. Our services are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365-days a year. If you would prefer to appoint a local funeral home in the country where your loved one died it is imperative that you ensure they have the relevant experience to support a repatriation service. You will usually be able to tell quite quickly if they are going to be able to help. If however, you do not feel comfortable then contact a member of our team who can advise further.
    2. Register the death in the country of death, if you can. Often it is best to contact the embassy in the country of death for further support in registering the death of your loved one. They will be able to advise on where to register in the country that your loved one died and will also be able to update the records held with your own government. If it’s not possible to register the death of your loved one then please do not worry. Most countries will allow us to register the death on your behalf and obtain death certificates for you. We can also have these translated into your own language if needed.
    3. Work with your repatriation company to facilitate the repatriation of remains. By this stage, if you haven’t done so already, you will need to instruct a repatriation company/ funeral director to support you with the repatriation of your loved one. They will manage all the procedures and paperwork required prior to repatriation and once complete will ask for your instruction to arrange the travel back to your home country. It is important to remember that it is not possible to reach every airport, only customs airports can accept reparations due to the facilities required. This may mean that if the airport is not close to your home town, then a further collection will need to be arranged with transport by road. Homeland International can support this in every country worldwide and we are able to provide a truly ‘A to B’ repatriation of remains service. Finally, you will need to provide the contact details of the funeral home in your home country who will be caring for your loved one prior to the funeral service being held. 
    4. Organise funeral arrangements in your home country. Once your loved one has arrived home, you can begin to make arrangements with your local funeral director. There is usually a final police check to ensure all the paperwork is in hand and to confirm agreement on the cause of death. For this reason, as well as the potential for flight delays and cancellations it is highly important that you do not confirm funeral dates and arrangements until your loved one has been repatriated home. 

Homeland International is available anywhere in the world. 

If you have experienced the death of a loved one overseas, contact us for assistance. We can provide support with the repatriation of remains to and from any country across the globe. 

Begin Arrangements

We hope that this helps answer some of your questions. To proceed with our services, we require you to complete our authorisation form which can be emailed, posted or completed at one of our offices in the UK. Once we have received the death certificate and passport, we can begin the repatriation procedure and will keep you updated at every stage.

Contact us to begin arrangements or ask any further questions you may have


Fill in the form below and we'll get back to you