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What happens if I die abroad?

1st Nov 2017 | Europe Plans

Take Spain for example, a country where according to the BBC around 761,000 British expats live, many of them retirees. If you’re one of them, then you might already have a good understanding of the country’s death and funeral procedures already. 

But do your loved ones? 

If they don’t, here’s a brief outline of what your next of kin could be expected to deal with one day.

Funeral process abroad

If a person dies at home, then under Spanish law the police (Guarda Civil) must be called and a doctor contacted. The doctor will then issue a temporary certificate before they or the police contact a local funeral director to attend to the deceased.

Whichever funeral director attends (and remember they may not speak any English), they will ask for a ‘release form’ to be signed, which allows the deceased to be removed from their home. 

What you may not realise is that, in many cases, this form is part of an official contract which doesn’t disclose the prices to be charged until after all the arrangements have been made. What’s more, this official contract gives your loved ones little or no control over the funeral arrangements, leaving complete strangers in charge of your funeral.

It goes without saying that the procedures and language barriers could cause a great deal of stress and confusion for loved ones living in the UK. It is not uncommon for relatives of expats to be left feeling entirely powerless during this time.

In addition, a funeral in Spain usually occurs within 48 hours of a person passing away. It gives loved ones very little time to notify those close to you, arrange travel to your country of residence and try to assist with the arrangements being made.

What happens if you have a plan

The good news is that if you arrange a funeral plan now with Avalon, then much of the worry and confusion for your family can be alleviated.

For instance, the funeral directors called by the doctor or police will be the ones agreed within your plan. Better still, the costs are fixed at the time you arrange your plan and paid for in advance. 

Language barriers needn’t be a problem either. 

Avalon, the leading name in funeral plans in the UK and Europe, have fantastic working relationships with many English-speaking funeral directors across Spain, Cyprus and Portugal. It means that one day, when they need that support most, your family will be guided through the process by someone who can update them at every stage and really help them to feel involved, even if they’re a thousand miles away or more.

Avalon offer a selection of trusted and tailored plans designed exclusively for British expats in Spain, Cyprus and Portugal. Whether you want a funeral in your country of residence or a send-off in the UK following your repatriation, there’s a plan to suit all needs and preferences.

Customer story

“I had taken my mother to England for a short break from Spain and we got the news on the day that we were due to fly back to Spain. Thank goodness my mother had the foresight to take out a funeral plan for her and my father with Avalon. From that moment on they just took charge of collecting my father and taking him to the crematorium and when we got back to Spain late that night there was already a message on Mum’s phone offering condolences and saying that we would be contacted the next morning.
I was immediately touched by the sincerity in everyone’s voices and the efficiency of phoning me back whenever they said they would. There was a constant follow up to enquire how things were going and could they be of any help with anything else. I was so impressed at the compassion shown to me in every phone call and I would not hesitate to recommend your company to anyone, especially those people living in Spain with next of kin overseas.”

Anita Becker

Another benefit to having a plan is that you are able to make all the important decisions yourself. This could include your choice of coffin, a cremation or burial and if you’d prefer them to hold your body for four days, rather than the standard two in Spain. This allows your family and friends in the UK more time to travel over for the funeral. 

The funeral director will be able to carry out everything according to your wishes, and as all of the funeral director’s fees will be covered in advance, your family won’t be expected to pay a penny more for the services covered by your plan.

Remember too, that repatriation can add thousands of pounds onto the cost of your funeral. If you or family would prefer your funeral to be held in the UK and your family would struggle to cover the costs themselves, then a tailored Avalon plan is sure to bring significant peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Only with a professionally arranged plan can you be sure that your funeral and repatriation costs will be covered and the arrangements taken care of by your appointed funeral directors.

Speak to a specialist today about your expat funeral plan by calling Avalon on (0034) 966 799 070 or read more about the benefits of a funeral plan here.

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