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Death of an American

Death Overseas

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad can assist family and friends in the event of the death of an American citizen in Iraq.  Embassy staff can help locate and notify the next of kin of their loved one's passing, inform families about the Iraqi legal requirements for claiming a loved one's remains, identify remains in certain cases, request official reports from Iraqi authorities, and assist in shipping personal effects to the States.  It is critical that families contract a funeral home to help them carry out their funeral arrangements.  The next of kin is responsible for all costs related to the funeral home, shipment of remains or personal effects and carry out the funeral arrangements with assistance from the funeral home they contract.  Please be aware that Iraqi authorities will often request identification documents for both the next of kin and the decedent, such as passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates.  The funeral home will advise each family what is likely to be needed.  Please see the current report on Disposition of Remains for more information.

Even if no assistance is needed in understanding funeral arrangements, the death of an American citizen, whether resident or visitor, should be reported to the Embassy in order to complete a Consular Report of Death Abroad (the official U.S. death certificate for U.S. citizens who pass away overseas).  This document is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the U.S. In order to prepare this document, the Embassy will often need the next of kin to provide certain documents, such as a copy of the Iraqi death certificate or United States passport.  Consular staff will explain to the next of kin what is needed in each case.