Gregory McDougle
B: 1969-08-06
D: 2017-12-10
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McDougle, Gregory
Fadi Haddad
B: 1967-04-20
D: 2017-11-29
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Haddad, Fadi
Carmelo Rivera
B: 1938-07-17
D: 2017-11-26
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Rivera, Carmelo
Carmen Salomons
B: 1920-06-01
D: 2017-11-24
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Salomons, Carmen
Edwin Pereira
B: 1957-09-24
D: 2017-11-22
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Pereira, Edwin
Miguelina Iglesia
B: 1937-04-10
D: 2017-11-20
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Iglesia, Miguelina
Rosemary Satriano
B: 1950-07-03
D: 2017-11-20
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Satriano, Rosemary
Eladio Vargas
B: 1934-06-15
D: 2017-11-18
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Vargas, Eladio
Irma Otero
B: 1931-06-04
D: 2017-11-17
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Otero, Irma
Cornelia Higginson
B: 1950-07-04
D: 2017-11-15
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Higginson, Cornelia
Florence Bongiorni
B: 1927-07-20
D: 2017-11-13
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Bongiorni, Florence
Louise Ruggiero
B: 1945-04-28
D: 2017-11-12
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Ruggiero, Louise
Helen Perrone
B: 1926-11-27
D: 2017-11-12
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Perrone, Helen
Alfonso Scannapieco
B: 1914-08-02
D: 2017-11-05
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Scannapieco, Alfonso
Antoinette Baglivi
B: 1929-06-14
D: 2017-11-05
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Baglivi, Antoinette
Joseph Moscarella
B: 1949-01-24
D: 2017-11-01
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Moscarella, Joseph
EVA Rivera
B: 1933-12-23
D: 2017-10-31
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Rivera, EVA
Rose Drucker
B: 1924-08-08
D: 2017-10-28
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Drucker, Rose
Maria Liranzo
B: 1930-01-17
D: 2017-10-25
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Liranzo, Maria
Gregory Wone
B: 1949-11-05
D: 2017-10-22
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Wone, Gregory
Faith Niles
B: 1941-03-26
D: 2017-10-19
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Niles, Faith


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43 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-473-2220
Fax: 212-473-2263

What Happens When a US Citizen Dies Abroad?

More and more Americans are traveling, both domestically and abroad; and globally immigration statistics continue to rise. In short, more people are on the move these days, whether for leisure or business. And it's sad to say; but many of these people die while they are away from home. Sometimes misadventure or accident takes their life; other times, their death, albeit untimely and unexpected, is natural. No matter the reason for their loss, most families feel a strong need to have the body of their deceased family member returned to them.

This is when a funeral director experienced in body repatriation services, the return of an individual to the place they called "home", is invaluable. It's one thing to need to return a loved one's body when their death occurred in the continental United States. New York City repatriation services are usually far more complex; and can be especially difficult when you're grieving. Many funeral homes in New York can assist you with the repatriation of a loved one's body; yet none have the same level of experience in body repatriation in Manhattan as the funeral directors here at Provenzano Lanza. If your family recently received notification from a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas, we suggest you call us as soon as possible at 212-473-2220.

what happens when a US citizen dies abroad plane

What's Happens When a US Citizen Dies Abroad?

It's easy to see how domestic repatriation, the shipment of a loved one's body between states, would be far less complex than international repatriation services. If your loved one died while traveling domestically, all you need to do is to contact us at 212-473-2220. We'll work with a funeral home in the place of their death to arrange for the timely shipment of their casketed or cremated remains (whichever you have stipulated as a preference) to our location.

When it comes to international body repatriation, the process differs widely from country to country; as disposition of the remains must be done according to the laws and customs of the country where the death occurred.  Still, it can be said when an American dies abroad, it's always the responsibility of the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to report the death to the U.S. Department of State and to inform the closest known relative or legal representative. Once notified, the family needs to move quickly, so the appropriate embassy or consulate can be notified as to their wishes regarding repatriation. Here's what you need to know about your three international body repatriation options:

  • The first, the preparation and return of embalmed remains, is the most widely-accepted option. The National Funeral Directors Association details what's involved in their online article "Death of United States Citizens Abroad", noting both "preparation and shipment of the remains must be carried out in accordance with local laws, regulations, and customs." Unfortunately, they also make it clear the embalming done in most foreign countries is not commonly up to U.S. standards–a fact which may mean the viewing of the body is inadvisable. And that's not the worst of it: the costs involved in this option vary widely and are usually very high; not to mention it can take up to ten days before the remains are actually shipped. That can be a very long time for your family to wait, and only you can decide if the costs are too high or the wait too long.
  • The second option, cremation, is available in most countries (excluding predominantly Catholic or Muslim countries). But crematory facilities may be few and far between, resulting in higher overall costs and a lengthy delay in the repatriation of your loved one's cremated remains.
  • The third option is not body repatriation but local burial in the country where the death occurred. This is often less-than-desirable for most families (even though it is usually less costly than the other options). If local regulations allow for the burial of foreign nationals, an officer of the American embassy or consulate will do his or her best to follow the wishes of your family regarding the ceremony and place of burial.

There's one more thing you should also know: all costs associated with the disposition of the remains (whether through repatriation or local burial) are the responsibility of your family. There are no U.S. government funds allocated for the international repatriation of the remains of a deceased U.S. citizen.

The Need for Body Repatriation in New York City Continues to Grow

According to the U.S. Department of State there are 6,000-8,000 deaths of U.S. citizens abroad each year. When you realize mature travelers comprise 36% of the volume of leisure travel (18% are 65+, 18% are 55-64), it's easier to understand how such a death could happen. (Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Unfortunately, there are no accurate statistics regarding the annual American deaths abroad, either nationally or internationally. But without doubt, as barriers to travel fall and the number of international travelers grows so will the number of people who die away from home–as well as the number of families needing affordable body repatriation in New York City.