This page will provide you with an understanding of what happens when a death occurs of an expatriate.

What is Repatriation?

Repatriation is the process of returning a person who has died to their place of origin or citizenship. We provide a repatriation service to ensure your loved one is returned to the country, be it this country or overseas, as soon as is practically possible.

We can assist with repatriations to and from any country around the globe. We understand that while losing a loved one is a very difficult time, it is particularly stressful if it involves a repatriation.

Not only does it involve organising the travel to another country, but completion of the necessary documentation and permits, as well as arranging the actual funeral. National regulations and certain conditions or restrictions can vary greatly in different countries and for this reason we will liaise between the Foreign Office, the Home Office, Foreign Embassies and Consulates, Coroners and other Government departments to ensure that all documentation relating to inward (or outward) repatriation is speedily completed on your behalf.

The vast majority of overseas repatriations are by air. We will organise a flight and the next of kin and Funeral Director (if overseas) will be advised of the time of arrival of your loved one.

International regulations require all coffins crossing international frontiers to be zinc lined and sealed. On arrival in the destination country, these coffins are unsuitable if a cremation is to take place and either the lining must be removed or another coffin provided. Because travel insurance cover ceases once the coffin has been delivered to our/the funeral home, the lining removal or substitute coffin becomes the responsibility of the person ordering the funeral.

We are familiar with these procedures and will guide you through the process in order to ensure that the repatriation and funeral goes as smoothly as possible.


Ray, Andrew and their team were very compassionate and professional. They made an emotional time much easier with their expertise and understanding demeanour. We would absolutely recommend using Thornalley Funeral Services, you will be in safe hands.

Wendy Sutton