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 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. Post-mortems are usually carried out at the local mortuary or hospital within 24 hours of the death.
What to do if the person who died didn’t have insurance
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. During a post-mortem, small tissue samples and organs may be taken for testing without the consent of the family. You will not automatically be told if this happens. After the organs have been removed, the body can be buried or cremated in Romania or returned to the UK before these tests are complete. The organs are stored for a period of time before being cremated. You can ask for the organs to be returned by making a request through the offices of the UK coroner (in the case of a repatriation to England and Wales) who will contact the British Consulate, or by instructing your lawyer in Romania if you have one. The British Embassy will make a formal request to the relevant court in Romania asking for the return of the organs.
Charities and organisations that offer support
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.
Registering the death and getting a death certificate
The funeral director will be able to explain the local process. In Romania, a forensic post-mortem will be carried out for deaths associated with violence, suspicious circumstances, or if there is a suspicion of malpractice. If the person died in a hospital, a pathological post-mortem is carried out to confirm the cause of death. You can ask that a pathological post-mortem does not take place by making a formal request in writing. 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. 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 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.
Dealing with a local post-mortem
If a local burial or cremation takes place, there will not be a coroner’s inquest carried out in the UK. If you are dealing with the death of a child, multiple deaths, a suspicious death or a case of murder or manslaughter, call the British Embassy in Bucharest +40 (21) 201 7200. Local funeral directors can arrange to repatriate the body. The following documents are needed: If the person who died had insurance, the insurance company will appoint a funeral director both locally and in the UK. 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. 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’). 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 Romania.
- To leave Romania with human ashes you will need to show the certificate of cremation. You will also need to fill in a standard customs form when you arrive in the UK.
- To have a local burial or cremation, a relative or a formally appointed representative needs to appoint a local funeral director.
- the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the UK
There are UK organisations and charities that may be able to offer assistance with repatriation.
Bringing the body home
You may need a translator to help understand information from local authorities or translate certain documents. The FCDO provides a list of English-speaking translators in Romania. 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.
- notice of death certificate
- international death certificate
- mortuary passport
- authorization for international transport
- embalming certificate
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.
Finding an international funeral director
It can take 3 to 6 months for a post-mortem report to be issued. 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.
Advice and financial assistance for repatriation
If a post-mortem is carried out in Romania, you can ask for a copy of the report by contacting:
Requesting a post-mortem in the UK
Personal belongings found on the person who died at the time of death are given to the police if the family is not present.
Bringing the ashes home
The FCDO provides a list of English-speaking funeral directors in Romania. You should not have the person cremated abroad if you want a UK coroner to conduct an inquest into their death. 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.
Burying or cremating the body locally
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. 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: 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. your local UK coroner if you bring the body back to the UK
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. 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. Post-mortems are carried out by forensic doctors appointed by the court. Cultural or religious sensitivities may not be taken into account. The FCDO cannot stop or interfere with the process. 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.
Finding a translator
If the person who died is not covered by insurance, you will need to appoint an international funeral director yourself.
Finding a lawyer
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.
Cancelling a passport
the British Embassy in Romania You must register the death in the country where the person died. In Romania, deaths are registered at the local civil registry office for the last known address of the person who died. The next of kin usually registers the death.
Checking you have done everything you need to do in the UK
The FCDO cannot help with the cost of returning personal belongings to the family.
- how to tell the government about the death
- UK pensions and benefits
- dealing with the estate of the person who died