Dying while overseas is a real possibility given the amount of travel we Australians do. Ideally, prior to traveling, you will have made a Will and outlined your wishes.
During this process you should consider whether you want to be:
- buried overseas;
- brought home;
- how you want your send-off to be, for example: scattered over an ocean, or at a particular location overseas.
If you are overseas with someone who dies you should contact the nearest embassy or medical centre. It is going to be a bad time so get whatever help is available. A death certificate will be issued and this should be translated into your language.
Permission is always required to move a body. This may be issued by a coroner (or equivalent) in the country where the person died. You may also need a certificate called a ‘certificate of embalming’ because there are very strict airline, cruise, and train rules about movement of a dead body.
If you want to bring ashes home, then there are also strict rules about how the urn is packed, sealed and placed in the aircraft. Despite what you see in the movies the urn will not be on the seat next to you nor in your carry on. This is because according to security officials the cremains show up in X-ray machines as “bad” because they apparently have the same consistency as explosives. As such airport security will swab test the ashes.
If expenses are not covered by insurance, you’ll be expected to pay all the costs including hospital and repatriation of the body and possessions. This can be enormous.
Wills & Estate Law, Kenny Spring Solicitors.
Please note the answers provided are for your general information only and we ask you to call our office on 02 6336 1485 to obtain detailed legal advice for your individual situation.