The FCDO provides a list of English-speaking funeral directors in Guyana. the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the UK To have a local burial or cremation, a relative or a formally appointed representative needs to appoint a local funeral director.
What to do if the person who died didn’t have insurance
If you appoint a local funeral director to register the death on your behalf, you will also need to give them a ‘letter of authorisation’ stating that you authorise them to act on your behalf. The funeral director will tell you what the letter needs to include. A relative or a formally appointed representative must appoint a UK-based international funeral director for the person who died to be repatriated to the UK. The FCDO provides a list of UK-based international funeral directors. The FCDO cannot help with any costs. In some cases, funeral directors and lawyers may provide services on a pro bono basis. Pro bono work is done for free or for a reduced cost, depending on your circumstances. This is decided on a case by case basis.
Charities and organisations that offer support
If you are dealing with the death of a child, multiple deaths, a suspicious death or a case of murder or manslaughter, call +592 226 5881.
Registering the death and getting a death certificate
If the person who died had insurance, the insurance company will appoint a funeral director both locally and in the UK. If you plan to repatriate the person who died to the UK, you may need their passport to do this. In these circumstances, you should cancel the passport after they have been repatriated. Some UK-based charities and organisations may be able to provide help and information to people affected by a death abroad. The FCDO provides a list of UK-based charities and organisations. To avoid identity fraud, the passport of the person who died should be cancelled with His Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO). To do this, you need to complete a D1 form. You can apply to appoint a lawyer in certain circumstances, such as a suspicious death. The FCDO provides a list of English-speaking lawyers in Guyana.
Next of kin
If the person who died had insurance, find out if their insurance provider can help cover the cost of repatriation. Repatriation is the process of bringing the body home. If so, they will make all the necessary arrangements. Next of kin or their appointed representatives can be present at post-mortem examinations. You can also request that your own privately appointed doctor is witness to the examination. If you choose to repatriate the body, instruct the local funeral director to collect all personal belongings from the police or court and ship them together with the body.
If the person who died had insurance, contact their insurance company as soon as possible. Insurance providers may help to cover the cost of repatriation. Repatriation is the process of bringing the body home. Insurance providers may also help with medical, legal, interpretation and translation fees.
Dealing with a local post-mortem
If you choose local cremation and wish to take the ashes back to the UK yourself, you can usually do this. Check with your airline about specific restrictions or requirements, for example whether you can carry the ashes as hand luggage. To leave Guyana with human ashes you will need to show: Post-mortems are usually performed when the cause of death is unnatural, suspicious or if the Guyanese authorities have requested one. Post-mortems are carried out by forensic doctors appointed by the court or by licensed pathologists. Cultural or religious sensitivities may not be taken into account. The FCDO cannot stop or interfere with the process. If the person who died suffered from an infectious condition, such as hepatitis or HIV, you must tell the local authorities, so they can take precautions against infection. The next of kin for the person who died usually needs to carry out these legal procedures. Under Guyanaese law the next of kin is defined as their married partner or closest living blood relative. Personal belongings found on the person who died at the time of death are given to the police if the family is not present.
- If the person who died did not have insurance, a relative or a formally appointed representative will usually have to appoint a funeral director and be responsible for all costs. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides a list of UK-based international funeral directors.
- Check this step-by-step guide to make sure you have done everything you need to do in the UK after someone has died. You can find information on:
- Post-mortems are usually carried out within 2 to 3 days of the body being placed in the public mortuary.
If the person who died is not covered by insurance, you will need to appoint an international funeral director yourself.
Bringing the body home
You should not have the person cremated abroad if you want a UK coroner to conduct an inquest into their death. If it is not possible for you to transport the ashes yourself, a funeral director will be able to make the necessary arrangements. The FCDO provides a list of UK-based international funeral directors.
Finding an international funeral director
There are mortuary facilities at the Georgetown Public Hospital and the New Amsterdam Hospital (Berbice). All large funeral directors in Guyana also have cold storage facilities. There is no fee for a body to be stored at the Georgetown Public Hospital. You do not need to register the death in the UK. The local death certificate can usually be used in the UK for most purposes, including probate.
Advice and financial assistance for repatriation
The FCDO cannot help with the cost of returning personal belongings to the family.
Requesting a post-mortem in the UK
If you want to have a post-mortem in the UK after the body has been repatriated, you can request one from a UK coroner. The coroner will then decide if a post-mortem is needed. If you want the person who died to be cremated, you need to apply for a certificate from the coroner (form ‘Cremation 6’).
Bringing the ashes home
During a post-mortem, small tissue samples and organs may be removed and retained for testing without the consent of the family. You will not automatically be told if this happens.
- the certificate of cremation
- a letter of permission from the Ministry of Health
- a Port Health Officer examination and report
- an official certificate of the cause of death issued by the local registrar
- a statement indicating the manner and method in which the body was prepared, by the person who prepared the remains
- a transit permit issued by the local customs authorities
- a document from the funeral home, certifying the contents of the sealed container with the remains
If there is an investigation into the death, clothing may be retained as evidence and will not be returned until the court case is finished. You must register the death in the country where the person died. In Guyana, deaths are registered at the General Registrar’s Office in Georgetown. The next of kin usually registers the death. This can also be carried out by a local firm of funeral directors.
Burying or cremating the body locally
There are UK organisations and charities that may be able to offer assistance with repatriation. the British High Commission in Georgetown If you are not the next of kin, you may need authorisation from that person to register the death or carry out other legal procedures. If you bring the body back to the UK, the UK coroner will automatically assume responsibility and open an inquest. The coroner can investigate the cause of death, and help with translation and interpretation of any medical findings.
- to complete a cremation application form
- a Registration of Death certificate (by 2 different doctors if a post-mortem was carried out)
- a coroner’s order form (A47)
- the police report, if the person died at home
If you are not sure whether the person who died had insurance, check with their bank, credit card company or employer.
If you wish, you can register the death with the Overseas Registration Unit (ORU). You can buy a UK-style death certificate, known as a Consular Death Registration certificate. The ORU will send a record to the General Register Office within 12 months. You will also need to fill in a standard customs form when you arrive in the UK. You will need: A copy of the post-mortem report is not usually given to the family. You can ask for a copy of the report by contacting one of the following:
Finding a lawyer
Local funeral directors will work with UK-based international funeral directors to meet all the necessary requirements both locally and in the UK. This includes providing documents such as a local civil registry death certificate, a certificate of embalming and a certificate giving permission to transfer the remains to the UK.
Cancelling a passport
The funeral director will be able to explain the local process. Same-sex partners, whether married or not are not recognised as next of kin under Guyanese law.
Checking you have done everything you need to do in the UK
your local UK coroner if you bring the body back to the UK
- how to tell the government about the death
- UK pensions and benefits
- dealing with the estate of the person who died