Get Native Woodland’s latest news and details of events, new advice and special offers.
Moving between countries
We are able to have burials for people who have died in another country. There are various forms and formalities that must be adhered to and specialist repatriation agencies will work with your Funeral Director. Further information is available on request. Below are some of the details of the formalities required.
Organising a burial in Scotland after a death in England or Wales (and vice versa)
There is no restriction on moving bodies within England and Wales, but you need to notify the coroner for the district in which the body is lying if you want to move the deceased to Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, or overseas. This procedure applies to all cases where the body is to be moved out of England and Wales, not just when the death was reported to the coroner.
The death must be registered in the usual way, but before attending the Register Office, you must contact the Coroners' Office to make them aware that you wish to move the body abroad. To do this, you will need a form 104 (Form of notice to a coroner of intention to remove a body out of England), which can be obtained from any registrar or a coroner. You will also need to give the form 104 to the coroner at least 4 working days before the body is to be moved so that any necessary enquiries can be made. You should enclose any certificate for burial or cremation already issued.
The Coroner's Office will guide you through what needs to be done and what documents will be required. You may contact the Coroner's Office either directly, or through your funeral director.
Once the documentation is received, the coroner will contact you, usually within four days, to let you know when the body can be moved. In urgent situations, it may be possible to bring this forward. You will be given a removal notice, part of which is sent to the Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages.
To make arrangements for transporting the body, it is best to consult a funeral director; most carriers who permit the transportation of human remains will deal only with a funeral director.
Repatriation of a deceased body from abroad to England or Wales
The death of a loved one is a distressing time, and the thought of registering the death and making funeral arrangements can be daunting. If the deceased was not a resident of the country in which they died, this process can seem all the more complicated, especially where it is the wish of the family that the deceased be returned to their home country.
Your tour operator, the local police or the British Consul can advise you on how to register the death and make arrangements for a local funeral or repatriating the deceased to the UK. The British Consul can also help if you need assistance communicating in a foreign language. Where the deceased had a valid travel insurance policy, repatriation and its costs may be arranged and met by the insurers if specified in the cover document.
When a death occurs abroad and it is desired to bring the deceased back home and hold a funeral service in the United Kingdom, there are a number of administrative and practical issues to deal with. The death should be registered according to the local regulations of that country and a Death Certificate should be obtained along with an authorisation for the removal of the body from the country of death from the coroner or relevant authority.
To bring a body back to England or Wales you will need:
An authenticated translation of a foreign Death Certificate, or a Death Certificate issued in Scotland or Northern Ireland, showing the cause of death, or an authorisation for the removal of the body from the country of death by someone authorised to do so and
A Certificate of No Liability to Register from the registrar in England and Wales in whose sub-district it is intended to bury or cremate the deceased. This is the document that will be given to the funeral director in order to allow the funeral to proceed. It is the duty of the registrar to make preliminary checks regarding the place and cause of death and to issue the necessary documentation. This certificate is not required if a coroner has issued a certificate for cremation (form E) or an order for burial.
Process for Removal of Body
The coroner acknowledges receipt of Notice of Intention, BUT body must not be removed before a period of 4 clear days has expired after which the Notice was received by the Coroner.
Coroner decides NOT to hold an inquest
Then the body may be removed at any time once the acknowledgement has been received from the person it is addressed to (even if the 4 clear day period has not expired)
Coroner decides TO HAVE an inquest
It is unlawful that the body be removed until the Coroner has dealt with the inquest, even if 4 clear days notice has elapsed.
As soon as this stage is reached and 4 clear days have elapsed then the body can be removed from England or Wales
IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE PERIOD OF 4 CLEAR DAYS MUST ELAPSE AFTER THE DAY THE NOTICE IS RECEIVED FROM THE CORONER
In ALL cases the person affecting the removal of the body for cremation or burial in Scotland should have:-
The Coroner's Acknowledgment
The Coroner's certificate that an inquest or post-mortem examination is taking place and that further examination of the body is unnecessary
The person should also be warned to preserve any acknowledgement or certificate carefully and be ready to produce it to the keeper of the cemetery or crematorium if requested.
For further information, please refer to your district Coroner's office or local funeral director.