Death abroad
Death abroad

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Death abroad
  • Deaths at sea and abroad
  • Other deaths abroad
  • Bringing the body back to England or Wales
  • Application for leave to swear death
  • Affidavit evidence where a person has disappeared
  • Insurance policies
  • Deaths in disasters

Deaths at sea and abroad

The death should be registered by the relevant service department and then with the General Register Office where it occurred:

  1. on a merchant ship

  2. on an offshore installation

  3. on a civil aircraft

  4. on a hovercraft

  5. on a naval ship

  6. on a military aircraft

  7. among service personnel or their families overseas

Other deaths abroad

Where death occurred abroad:

  1. the death must be registered in the country and area concerned

  2. the doctor's medical certificate of the cause of death obtained

  3. the death certificate obtained

It may be possible to register the death at the British Embassy or Consulate by an Embassy or Consular officer as well. If so, it is possible to buy a UK-style death certificate and the record will be sent to the General Register Office within 12 months.

If the body is to be brought back to England or Wales and is to be cremated, this must be reported to the coroner since they need to issue a Certificate for Cremation (form E).

It may not be possible to register the death with the British authorities in certain countries including:

  1. the Ascension Islands

  2. Australia

  3. Bermuda

  4. Canada

  5. the Cayman Islands

  6. the Christmas Islands

  7. the Falkland Islands

  8. Gibraltar

  9. the Republic of Ireland

  10. Nevis

  11. New Zealand

  12. St Helena

  13. South Africa

  14. the Turks and Caicos Islands

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