What to Do When Someone Dies Abroad?
A Guide to Repatriation
If your loved one dies outside of Mexico, there are some steps that must be followed to carry out the repatriation. Repatriation can seem complicated, so we have prepared a guide:
Step #1: Inform the relevant authorities
The process is a little different depending on whether you are in Mexico when your loved one dies abroad or if you are with them.
If you are in Mexico when your loved one dies abroad, the police or embassy will contact you. You will need to contact the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SER).
If you and your loved one are abroad together when he or she dies, the first thing to do is to inform the proper authorities. These are the Consulates that Mexico has established around the world.
These authorities will be able to advise you on your next steps. If you have a vacation representative or have booked through a tour operator, inform them of the death as soon as you can. They may be able to help you contact the appropriate authorities.
Step #2: Register the death in the country where the death occurred
In order for the death certificate to be issued, it must be registered in the country where your loved one died and this must be done in accordance with local regulations.
You will need to make sure you have your loved one’s personal information at hand before you can register the death.
Take the following with you:
- Your passport.
- Your passport.
- Details of your next of kin (if not you).
Step #3: Decide in which country the funeral should take place
You may choose to have the funeral in the country where your loved one passed away, or you can arrange the funeral in Mexico. If you wish to take your loved one home for the funeral, this process is called repatriation.
At this stage, you may want to consider contacting a funeral home.
Before proceeding with any repatriation arrangements, you should verify whether your loved one had travel insurance that included repatriation costs.
Step #4: Documents required for repatriation
Before you can bring your loved one’s body to Mexico, there are certain documents you will need.
The body of your loved one must be embalmed in the country where he or she died and a certificate of embalming will be provided.
Or you can choose the direct cremation service where your cremated remains will be delivered to you in an urn along with the crematory certificate.
In addition to this, you will need the death certificate (with a certified English translation) and written permission to remove the body from the country of death.
The information you will be asked for at the consulate is:
- Name of Deceased.
- Date of Birth.
- Place of Birth.
- Name, telephone number and address of a relative in Mexico or at the place of death.
It is necessary to inquire about the causes of death of the family member, whether it was a natural death or the victim of a violent situation (it is necessary to know the status of the investigations with the local authorities).
These documents must be presented at the embassy:
In order to facilitate the transfer or internment of a body or human ashes to Mexico, it is necessary to visa and certify the following documents at the Mexican Consulate corresponding to the domicile of the deceased or the funeral home, to be presented to the Mexican health authorities:
- Death certificate specifying cause of death and correct final destination. If the case is pending, a coroner’s letter must be submitted certifying that the death was not caused by a contagious disease.
- International transfer permit issued by the Department of Health, specifying the correct final destination.
- Certificate of embalming or cremation, signed by the embalmer or cremator, with his or her license number.
The documents must be submitted in original and one photocopy, accompanied by a Spanish translation written on the funeral home’s letterhead, or a translation certified by a Notary Public.
It is important that the decedent’s name appear at least in the “aka” (also known as) section as it appears on his or her Mexican birth certificate, that is: first name, paternal last name and maternal last name. Likewise, the name of the parents.
Important considerations in repatriation
The procedure is free of charge and is generally carried out by the funeral home before the Consulate. Hours of operation are from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with same day delivery.
If the body or ashes are to be sent to Mexico City, a Mexican death certificate is required. If the body or ashes arrive at the Mexico City airport in transit to another city, the death certificate must be apostilled.
In normal terms, the transfer of the body takes place between seven to 10 working days after the death of the family member, taking into account the cause of death, availability of flights, services contracted at the funeral home and the time in which the cost of the transfer is met.
Step #5: What happens next?
When you bring your loved one to Mexico, a few things may need to happen:
- The death can be reported to the coroner to verify where, when and how the person died.
- The death certificate issued by the Consulate has the same validity as one requested before the Civil Registry in Mexico, so it can be used for the procedures of wake, burial, cremation, inheritance and compensation claims.
Once all of the above certificates have been obtained, you can begin making funeral arrangements.
The price of the transfer depends on each funeral home but is generally between $2500 and $3500 dollars.
Remember that Boinita is a Simple Cremation Service without a Funeral Service with the guarantee of the best price and service.
At Boinita we can take care of the cremation of your loved one. Then, once we have returned the ashes to you, you can arrange a simple memorial service that is perfect for you and your family.
For more information about our service go to http://boinita.com
Boinita offers Single Cremation services without a Funeral Service, with a fixed price and 24-7 customer service. Boinita is located in the metropolitan areas of Aguascalientes, Cancun, Hermosillo, Merida and San Luis Potosi.