When a loved one passes away abroad or in the UK, the process of repatriating them into the UK or to another country can be a difficult task for anyone to deal with. Our Funeral Arrangers here at Alfred Smith Funeral Directors have years of repatriation experience and can take the worry and complexity out of your hands.
We understand that it may take several days to make a decision on whether or not to send your loved one to the chosen location. During this time, you may have some questions about repatriation so we’ve answered the most popular questions below to help guide you.
Your questions answered
What does repatriation mean?
When a death occurs overseas, repatriation is the returning of the deceased to their own country. Some British nationals who pass away in the UK plan to be buried or cremated abroad. Our international repatriation services cover both incoming and outgoing repatriation.
How do repatriation services work to or from the UK?
Repatriation services are here to help transport deceased loved ones to their final resting place.
The first step in this process is to register the death with the local authority in the country where the person passed away. This can be done by contacting the British Embassy, high commission or consulate.
UK residents planning repatriation abroad can call the Foreign Commonwealth Office 24/7, 365 days a year on 0207 008 1500.
How does repatriation from the UK work?
We can help those who would like to repatriate their loved one overseas. Once we have been provided with a copy of the death certificate, we can manage preparation of all other documentation required to have the deceased buried or cremated overseas.
What documents are needed for repatriation services to the UK?
If you are preparing to repatriate a loved one to the UK, you will need the following documentation:
- A copy of the death certificate. This must be a certified English translation.
- Permission to remove the body. This should be issued by a coroner (or equivalent) in the country of death.
- A coroner statement. If the death was unexpected or unnatural, a UK coroner will review these documents to check whether an inquest is needed.
- Passport of the deceased.
How long does repatriation take?
On average, it takes ten to fifteen days to repatriate a loved one to their chosen country. This can vary depending on circumstances.
If someone died of natural causes, it would take between five and seven days to transport their body, depending on where they passed away.
However, if a post-mortem is required due to suspicious circumstances then repatriation can be delayed by up to three months.
How much do repatriation services cost?
Costs of repatriation will depend on your specific requirements. Our professional services cover everything you need to repatriate your loved one with prices starting at £2,300. This includes embalming services, transportation of the deceased, and preparation of legal documents.
Additional costs may include airline charges, consular or embassy fees, statutory certificates and local funeral service fees.