UK Issues Bereavement Information For Spain

By Editorial 06 June, 2014

A new guide from British Consular Services warns that procedures after a death in Spain are significantly different from those of the UK, and that in cases where someone dies without insurance the cost of repatriation or burial/cremation will have to be borne by the next of kin.

The Guide explains that Spanish law stipulates that a deceased person must be either preserved or embalmed by an undertaker within 48 hours of death, and that this is also a legal requirement prior to removing a body from Spanish territory. Cremation is widely available and the ashes can be returned to the UK with minimal bureaucracy, although some airlines may have restrictions. Local burial often means placement in an above-ground niche for just five years.

Further, in cases where death is unexpected or sudden, a post-mortem may be ordered, during which organs or tissue may be removed for testing without next of kin being asked to give consent or being informed.

However, the guide also advises that repatriation or local burial/cremation of organs can be very expensive. Organs removed during a post mortem in Spain cannot be used for any purpose other than testing, and if not reclaimed will be destroyed at a later time.

The guide also says that next-of-kin permission is required for organ donation, even if the deceased carries a donation card. It is also possible for someone to give written consent for their own body to be given to medical science after death, although only some in parts of Spain, and not all offers will be accepted.

The guide contains details of international undertakers in the UK, and explains that undertakers in Spain have links to these.

Tags: United Kingdom | Spain | Expats | Welfare |


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