When someone dies abroad, you can get help from the Finnish mission in the country. Finland's mission in the country can assist, if necessary, in arrangements relating to the burial, cremation or repatriation of the body, respecting the wishes of the family. If the person who died did not have insurance, the family bear all the costs.
The mission's staff are usually informed about the death of a Finnish citizen by the authorities in the country, a tour guide or an honorary consul. The mission notifies the case of death to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which conveys the information to the Police in Finland.
The repatriation and funeral arrangements are taken care of by an undertaker.
In a case of death abroad, Finnish travel insurances usually cover either the cost of the repatriation of the body to the municipality of residence in Finland or local burial costs. If the person who died did not have insurance, the family bear all the costs. The repatriation to Finland can be fairly expensive.
In a case of death, you can contact the Ministry for Foreign Affairs during office hours by phoning to +358 295 350 000 or outside office hours by calling the 24/7 service on +358 9 1605 5555.
Registration of death in the Population Register System
If the body is repatriated to Finland in a coffin or an urn, a Finnish forensic pathologist writes the death certificate.
In other cases, the family of the deceased must take care that the date of death is registered in the Population Register System of Finland. The death of a Finnish citizen abroad is notified to the Local Register Office or the information can be submitted/posted to a Finnish mission abroad, from where it is sent to the Local Register Office for registration.
The original death certificate or a copy of it, authenticated at a mission of Finland, must be appended to the notification. If the document has been issued in some other language than Finnish, Swedish or English, an authorised translation in one of these languages must be provided. Translations made abroad must be legalised. Translations made by an authorised translator in Finland are valid as such.
- Finnish National Board of Education: Authorised translators in Finland (fi)
The family of the person who died pay the costs of the death certificate and its translation and legalisation.
- Local Register Office: Instructions for expatriate Finns