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Death When Out of Country

  • 04-17-2019

We're all on the go a lot more these days—and that means some of us, or our spouse or friends, may die when out of the country. 

It will be necessary to register the death and meet local requirements where it occurred. Also obtain a death certificate from the proper local authorities. The Canadian government says, “You may need a local death certificate (authenticated and translated if necessary by officials at the nearest Canadian government office abroad) in order to register the death with the Vital Statistics Office of the Canadian province or territory where the deceased last resided. The Canadian government office abroad will charge a fee for each consular service it provides.

To report the death of a Canadian citizen abroad, contact the nearest Canadian government office abroad or our Emergency Watch and Response Centre.”

Repatriating Remains—

In the US—The US State Department/Bureau of Consular Affairs has procedures in place and will assist family and friends after a death of an American abroad. They will assist to locate and advise the next-of-kin and also help with information on arranging for local burial or for returning the remains to the United States. They will advise on how to transmit funds to cover expenses for local burial or for repatriation of remains and provide other types of useful assistance. Please review the information on the site before you travel.

In Canada—To bring home remains of a traveling companion or family member you will need the assistance of a qualified funeral home in the country of death and one in Canada. Certain costs may be covered by any travel health insurance you may have, or you may opt for local burial or cremation.  

The Canada Border Services Agency has rules and regulations/processes for returning remains to Canada.  You may download a PDF here. The amount of time required to repatriate remains can vary greatly and is determined by a number of factors, including the location and cause of death.

Abstracted from the Canadian Government site. Please refer for further information.

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