Coronavirus: Important information
Death registrations are carried out by telephone appointment. If the death occurred in Surrey you can register the death over the telephone by making a death registration appointment.
Unless the death has been referred to the coroner, it is a legal requirement to register the death within five days.
Where a death occurs abroad, or on a foreign ship or aircraft, you should register the death according to the local regulations of the country where the death took place and get a death certificate. You may also have the option to register the death with the United Kingdom authorities.
Depending upon the circumstances of the death, this may have to be reported to a coroner (or equivalent) in the same way as if the death occurred in England or Wales.
You can arrange a burial or cremation in the country where the person died. The British consulate, embassy or high commission can give you advice about this. You should not have the person cremated abroad if you want a coroner at home to conduct an inquest into their death.
Bringing a body back to England or Wales
You may be able to bring the body back to England or Wales. Most funeral directors will be able to advise you on the practicalities and the likely cost. You will need a certified translation of the death certificate and permission to remove the body, issued by a coroner (or equivalent) in the country where the person died. You can ask for advice from the British consulate, embassy or high commission in the country where the person died.
Arranging the funeral in England or Wales
To arrange a funeral in England or Wales you will need:
- a certified English translation of the foreign death certificate, or a death certificate issued in Scotland or Northern Ireland which must show the cause of death.
- a Certificate of No Liability to Register from the registrar in England and Wales, in whose area it is intended to bury or cremate the body or a certificate for burial or cremation issued by a coroner.
If the death is not due to natural causes, it may be the subject of a United Kingdom coroner's inquest. In these cases, the coroner will issue a certificate for burial or cremation on opening the inquest.
Bringing ashes home
Each country has its own rules about travelling with human ashes. You should contact the British consulate, embassy or high commission in the country where the cremation took place for advice.