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Death Abroad

Death of an American Citizen in France

The Special Consular Services Unit (SCS) of the American Citizen Services Section can assist family and friends in the event of the death of an American Citizen in France. The SCS Unit can act as liaison in arranging the disposition of remains and help with forwarding personal effects if there is no one present to do so on your behalf. 

Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of an American citizen, whether resident or tourist, should be reported to the SCS Unit so that a “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” can be issued. This document is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States.

You may reach us for this service, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except on French and American holidays at telephone numbers: 01.43.12.29.93 and 01.43.12.20.21 from France, or 011.33.1.43.12.29.93 and 011.33.1.43.12.20.21 when dialed from the United States. You may also write to our E-mail box: citizeninfo@state.gov.

If the death occurred in southern France, (region of Marseille, Toulouse or Nice) you may also contact our office in Marseille by telephone, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 04.91.54.96.16, 04.91.54.96.17, except on French and American holidays and after business hours and on weekends.

General Procedure

When we learn of the death of an American in the Paris consular district, we will determine as quickly as possible who the next-of-kin of the deceased is and contact that person by telephone immediately. There are several important things that the next-of-kin must do in conjunction with the SCS unit.

A. Funeral arrangements:

The following general information is provided to assist families in their initial decisions. Indicated costs are estimates, based on deaths with no unusual circumstances and should be considered for guidance purposes only. These estimates also relate only to costs incurred in the Paris area (inclusive of shipping). United States funeral home costs will need to be added.

The family or legal representative must pay all funeral home expenses, shipping costs of the remains and personal effects (if applicable). The SCS Unit will work with any funeral home selected by the family to ensure proper documentation for shipment of remains to the United States. See the list of English Speaking funeral homes that are familiar with the international shipping requirement of human remains.

Should you decide to have burial take place in France, the consular officer and local officials will take every possible care to follow your wishes as to ceremony and site of burial.

  • The costs for burial in France (not embalmed) are approximately $5,800 including a 10 years grave rental.
  • The costs for cremation and disposition of ashes in France are approximately $5,200 including ten (10) years niche rental.

 Should you decide to have the remains returned to the U.S. for burial, the costs would be substantially greater due to the high cost of airfreight and embalming:

  • The total cost for preparation and air shipment of the remains to the East Coast of the U.S. is approximately $7,000; to the mid-west, approximately $7,200 or to the far west, approximately $7,400.
  • The cost of cremation and air shipment of ashes anywhere in the United States is approximately $5,500.

Please note that charges will be based on the Consular Exchange Rate.

You may contact our services at: Tel. 01.43.12.29.93 or 01.43.12.20.21, or send an e-mail to citizeninfo@state.gov or, contact the Department of State in Washington, D.C., Tel: (202) 647-5226 for detailed instructions on how to transmit the funds.


B. Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad

The “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” is an official report that provides the essential facts concerning the death of a U.S. citizen and is based on the French death certificate.

In order to assist you with legal matters that may arise as a result of the death of your relative, certified copies of the “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” prepared by the U.S. Embassy will be forwarded to you as soon as possible. This document is in English and can generally be used in U.S. courts to help settle estate matters, bank accounts, insurance policies, and similar matters.  

To complete the Report of the Death Abroad, the next-of-kin or legal representative will have to complete and submit a list of information and documents.  To obtain this list, please send an email to: citizeninfo@state.gov or call our office.

Upon its receipt, the SCS unit will prepare the “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” and send copies to the next-of-kin and/or legal representative.  Twenty (or more if you desire) certified copies of the Report of Death are normally issued at the time of death, and will be provided free of charge.  

If in the future you find that you need additional copies, submit a signed, written request including all pertinent facts along with requester's return address and telephone number. There is a $30 fee for a certified copy of Reports of Death, and a $20 fee for each additional copy provided at the same time.  Please send a written request together with a check or money order made payable to the Department of State to the following address:

U.S. Department of State
Passport Services Correspondence Branch
1111 19th St., NW, Suite 510
Washington, D.C. 20522-1705
Tel (202) 955-0307.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Special Consular Citizens Services Section at the U.S. Embassy in Paris at citizeninfo@state.gov if
you have any further questions.   

If the death occurred in southern France, (region of Marseille, Toulouse or Nice) you may also contact our office in Marseille by telephone, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 04.91.54.96.16, except on French and American holidays, and after business hours and on weekends at telephone 04.91.54.96.17.

For emergency information the Embassy’s Duty Officer can be reached by telephone after working hours and on weekends by dialing: 01.43.12.22.22 in France, and 011.33.1.43.12.22.22 from the United States.

Security at the Embassy

Please do not bring any electronic devices, such as laptop computers, Blackberries, iPods, or large bags, such as backpacks, suitcases or packages to the Consular Section as there are no storage facilities on Embassy grounds.  Security guards may hold small tourist cameras and cell phones until your departure, but there is no storage available for any other large items or electronic devices — please do not bring them at the time of your appointment.

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