When a U.S. Citizen Dies Abroad, Consular Officers:
- Confirm the death, identity, and U.S. citizenship of the deceased.
- Notify the next-of-kin when needed.
- Provide information about the disposition of the remains and the personal effects of the deceased.
- Provide guidance to family members on forwarding funds to cover costs related to the disposition of the remains.
- Serve as provisional conservator of the estate if there is no legal representative in the country.
- Prepare documents for the disposition of the remains in accordance with instructions from the next-of-kin or legal representative.
- Oversee the performance of the disposition of the remains and the distribution of the effects of the deceased. (See Togo Disposition of Remains Report — updated August 2019)
- Send signed copies of the Consular Report of Death of an U.S. Citizen Abroad to the next-of-kin or legal representative for use in settling estate matters in the United States.
A Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad Is:
- Issued by the U.S. Embassy in Lomé, Togo.
- An administrative document that provides essential facts about the death, disposition of remains, and custody of the personal estate of the deceased U.S. citizen.
- Generally used in legal proceedings in the United States as proof of death.
- Based on the foreign death certificate, and cannot be completed until the foreign death certificate is issued.
A Foreign Death Certificate Is:
- Issued by the local authority, often the Mairie or the Etat Civil of the prefecture in which the death took place.
- Written in French and prepared according to local laws.
- In some instances, not accepted in the United States for insurance and estate purposes.
Obtaining Copies of the Report of Death
- A Consular Officer will send the family up to 20 certified copies at the time of death at no fee.
For more information on reporting a death abroad, disposition of remains, obtaining additional copies of the report of death, etc., please click the following link: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/abroad/events-and-records/death/CRDA.html