When a U.S. citizen dies and the death is reported to the U.S. embassy or consulate, we:
- Confirm the death, identity, and U.S. citizenship of the deceased individual.
- Attempt to locate and notify the next of kin.
- Coordinate with the legal representative regarding the deceased individual's remains and personal effects.
- Provide guidance on forwarding funds to cover costs.
- Serve as provisional conservator of the estate if there is no legal representative in the country.
- Prepare documents for the disposition of remains that follow instructions from the deceased individual's next of kin or legal representative.
- Oversee the disposition of the remains and the distribution of the effects of the deceased individual.
- Send signed copies of the Consular Report of Death of an U.S. Citizen Abroad to the deceased individual's next of kin or legal representative for possible use in settling estate matters in the United States.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad is:
- Issued by the U.S. embassy or consulate upon its receipt of the foreign death certificate or finding of death by a local competent authority.
- 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. This process can take as long as four-to-six weeks, depending on the country.
A foreign death certificate is:
- Issued by the local (foreign) authority, often by the civil registry of that country.
- Written in the local language and prepared according to local laws.
- In some instances, not accepted in the United States for insurance and estate purposes.
We will send the deceased individual's legal representative up to 20 certified copies at the time of death, at no fee.
You can request additional copies through our Vital Records Office.
Yes. U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem can request either “Jerusalem” or “Jerusalem, Israel” when applying for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) and Consular Reports of Death Abroad (CRDAs).
Please note you do not need to reapply for a new CRDA because your document will remain valid. If you choose to renew or reapply for a consular document with the new place of birth designation, you must pay all applicable fees.
U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem who do not specify their place of birth on applications for consular services as “Israel” will continue to be issued documents that indicate their place of birth as “Jerusalem.”
Last Updated: January 23, 2023