Has someone died without leaving his country?

Death / burial abroad

Death abroad

If an Austrian citizen dies abroad, it is in accordance with international practice that the authorities of the respective country report the death to the Austrian representative authority (embassy or consulate), which informs the closest relatives in the Guides ways.

The repatriation of the deceased must be carried out by a local funeral home in cooperation with a funeral home in Austria. Usually the tour operator or the insurance company will coordinate the transfer and cover the transfer costs. If there is no insurance coverage, the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the locally responsible Austrian representation authority can help with the coordination.

A corpse transfer from abroad is associated with very high costs and is only possible if it is ensured that these costs are covered. A Travel insurance to be taken out prior to departure usually also includes the coverage of repatriation costs in the event of death. Please find out more from the insurance providers. If there is no insurance cover, the relatives have to pay for the transport costs. However, you can later claim these expenses in probate proceedings.

If no one agrees to pay for the repatriation, or if no relatives can be found, the deceased will normally be buried on site (Poor funeral or normal burial).

Further steps, such as the issuing of the death certificate or, if necessary, the initiation of investigative proceedings to determine the cause of death, are initiated by the competent authorities of the respective state. You do not have to report the death to the registry office - as in the case of a death in Austria - only the burial has to be organized in Austria.

Note

The type and place of burial generally depend on the will of the deceased. If there is no corresponding declaration of intent, the next of kin (spouse, children of age, parents and siblings of the deceased in this order) can decide. However, in some countries, for religious reasons, cremation with subsequent urn transfer is not possible.

Burial abroad

In the event of death in Austria, a funeral is generally also possible abroad, for example if the deceased so wishes. First of all, it is necessary to report the death to the registry office.

The transfer must be carried out by a funeral home. For the transfer of the deceased abroad a multilingual Corpse passport necessary. More information can be found in the chapter "Issuing a transfer permit / corpse passport".

Danger

A transfer abroad can be associated with considerable costs under certain circumstances. Your funeral home will be happy to advise you.

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Last updated: February 8, 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs