Death of a foreign national in the Czech Republic
If a foreigner dies in the Czech republic, their relatives will soon get a notice of death from the medical examiner of the deceased. Once they receive said notice, they must address a funeral parlor to either order a funeral in the Czech republic or to repatriate the body of the deceased to their country of origin.
If the relatives choose a local funeral with a funeral parlor, they must provide the parlor with:
- the passport (identity card) of the deceased
- birth or marriage certificate of the deceased (so the funeral parlor can obtain the death certificate)
- clothing of the deceased
Funeral parlors provide all the necessary services, such as a funeral service, cremation and/or transportation of the body.
If the relatives decide to repatriate the body, the process is slightly more complicated. The relatives must contact the Czech Registry Office competent in the area where the deceased died and a funeral parlor. In order to register the deceased relative you must provide:
- the passport of the deceased
- if the deceased is a minor, then a record of them in their parents´ passport
- if married, a marriage certificate and the birth certificate of their spouse
After all of this documentation is provided to the funeral parlor, they will hand it over to the Czech Registry Office and the deceased will be registered into the Czech Register of the Deceased and subsequently the embassy of their home country will be contacted by the Czech Registry Office. The Czech Registry Office will then issue a Czech death certificate in the Czech language, which, to be accepted in the deceased country of origin, must be officially translated.
The funeral parlor will provide a coffin in compliance with the international rules for the transit of bodies and the transit itself, if either by road or by air. They will procure all needed documents and permits, embalm the body if necessary, and provide whichever rituals or religious ceremonies need to be done before the transportation. If the family decides to cremate the deceased, the family will give an international address to the parlor and the urn will be sent there.
The cost for all of these services is incurred by the relatives of the deceased. If the deceased was insured in some way the relatives must contact the insurance company.
If the relatives of friends of the deceased attending the funeral are from a country that does not a visa-free travel agreement with the Czech Republic, everyone must apply for a visa.
Under Czech law, the deceased must be buried within 96 hours of their death. The deadline may be extended if the body is being transported or if the relatives are not able to settle everything in time. However, the body must be in a hygienic capsule (coffin) (where it may be for up to 2 weeks) or a zinc capsule (where the body may be for up to a month). Zinc capsules must be purchased anyway if the body is to be transported.
For more information on this subject, please feel free to contact:
Monika Rutland, partner
rutland & partners, advokátní kancelář s.r.o.
tel: +420 226 226 026