How to proceed if you need to report the death of a family member or arrange the burial, cremation or the repatriation to the home country.
The death of an individual which occurs on Portuguese territory must be reported within two days (48 hours) at the Civil Registry Office (Conservatória de Civil Registo) in the district where the death occurred.
Here is a list of all Civil Registry Offices in Portugal.
The funeral director normally deals with the registration of the death but the following people may also make the report to the registry office:
Next of kin or any other family member present at the time of death
Owners of the house where the death occurred
Administrative or police authorities
If the death takes place within a hospital, retirement home, prison or other institution, the death will be reported by the institution
When reporting a death at the registry office, documents need to be presented. These include:
Death certificate issued by a doctor
Proof of identity of the deceased (although this is not compulsory)
Death certificates in Portugal come in two formats:
A full form death certificate (Assento de Óbito)
An international form which confirms the death in several European languages
The death bulletin/certificate enables the deceased's body to be repatriated for burial abroad or transported to a local cemetery.
The appropriate embassy or consulate should also be informed about any of their citizens who die in Portugal.
It is the next of kin’s responsibility to appoint and instruct a funeral director as soon as possible after being notified of the death, by making direct contact with them. Once the funeral director has the next of kin’s signed authority to proceed, the funeral director will liaise with Portuguese authorities to organise funeral arrangements, cremation, burial or repatriation and assist with the issuing of the deceased’s death certificate.
Payment for these arrangements is a private agreement between the next of kin and the funeral director. Services offered vary from agency to agency so we would recommend that you make enquiries with several different funeral directors to find the one who can best assist you. Remember that you may like to take a few days to do this, to get your head around what happened with the loss of your loved one if here dealing with it in Portugal .
In Portugal, a burial or cremation takes place within 72 hours of death or 48 hours after the post mortem examination (if one is required because of a sudden death).
When a non Portuguese citizen dies in Portugal, and the family wish the body to return to the deceased's home country, this requires the assistance of the relevant local embassy or consulate. See contact information for Embassies HERE.
If the deceased person is insured, the insurance company will organise repatriation and will liaise with international funeral directors to take the body back to the deceased's home country. It is necessary to contact a local funeral director who will co-ordinate with the funeral directors in the home country.
If the person is not insured then repatriation will have to be paid for by the deceased's family or friends, who will have to contact an international funeral director.
Please note that in order to sign consent and give instructions to a funeral director in Portugal, the next of kin does not need to be physically in Portugal and may keep in direct contact with the funeral director via telephone or email.
See more details about Share & Care Portugal HERE.