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When someone dies in Pakistan

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 (UK-based international funeral directors and a list of English-speaking funeral directors in Pakistan.

Check this step-by-step guide for when someone dies to make sure you have done everything you need to do in the UK, including registering the death with local authorities in Pakistan. You can find information on:

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.

What to do if the person who died didn’t have insurance

The following documents are usually required for repatriation of human remains:

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 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.

Registering the death and getting a death certificate

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.

To avoid identity fraud, the passport of the person who died should be cancelled with His Majesty’s Passport Office (complete a D1 form.

  • If a local burial or cremation takes place, there will not be a coroner’s inquest carried out in the UK.
  • a letter from the British High Commission confirming that a ‘No Objection Certificate’ is not required:
    Information Note: Repatriation of Remains (UK-based international funeral directors.

The funeral director will be able to explain the local process.

The hospital-issued death certificate can be inaccurate and cannot be used for legal matters.

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.

In Pakistan, deaths can only be registered if the body is going to be buried or cremated in Pakistan. The local government will not issue a death certificate if the body is going to be taken out of the country.

If the death occurred outside hospital, a note entitled “Received/Brought Dead” is usually issued by the hospital which receives the body. You will need to send this along with a formal written request to register the death to the local authority.

You can apply to appoint a lawyer in certain circumstances, such as a suspicious death. The English-speaking lawyers in Pakistan.

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, the insurance company will appoint a funeral director both locally and in the UK.

Advice and financial assistance for repatriation

The English-speaking translators in Pakistan.

Requesting a post-mortem 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.

Bringing the ashes home

You should not have the person cremated abroad if you want a UK coroner to conduct an inquest into their death.

The FCDO provides a list of English-speaking funeral directors in Pakistan.

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 Information Note: Repatriation of Remains (UK-based international funeral directors.

  • 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.
  • proof of identity for the person who died, for example their passport

    Burying or cremating the body locally

    To register the death you will need:

    There are UK organisations and charities that may be able to offer assistance with repatriation.

    the certificate of cremation

    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’).

    Not all cities in Pakistan have cremation facilities. In the districts of Karachi, Sheikhupura and Attock, cremation can be carried out at Hindu and Sikh temples.

    Retrieving belongings

    Death certificates are issued in English and Urdu.

    In Pakistan, you must register the death with the local government authority of the district where the person died. This could be a Union Council, Municipal Committee or Metropolitan Corporation. You will then be given a death certificate which you can use for all legal matters relating to the person who died.

    If you are dealing with the death of a child, multiple deaths, a suspicious death or a case of murder or manslaughter, call +92 51 201 2000 or +92 (21) 35827000.

    To have a local burial, a relative or a formally appointed representative needs to appoint a local funeral director. In major cities such as Islamabad, the graveyard authorities will require proof that the person who died was resident in Pakistan before allocating a burial plot. Documents required may include the ID card, rental agreement, or deeds to a property for the person who died.

    Finding a lawyer

    If you are not sure whether the person who died had insurance, check with their bank, credit card company or employer.

    Cancelling a passport

    a ‘hospital-issued death certificate’ (if the death occurred in hospital) or a post-mortem report (if the cause of death is unknown or unnatural)

    The UK-based charities and organisations.

    Checking you have done everything you need to do in the UK

    The next of kin usually registers the death. This can also be carried out by a local firm of funeral directors. 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.


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