±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
±Compare Expat Providers
±Expat Focus Partners
±Latest Financial Articles
· How To Navigate Brexit When Sending Money Abroad
· Expat Focus Financial Update January 2018
· Top Tips for Buying a Property Overseas in 2018
· Expat Focus Financial Update December 2017
· World Events And Currency: Why Politics Affect An Exchange Rate
· Expat Focus Financial Update November 2017
· What Might Brexit Mean For Expat Finances?
· Halloween Traditions in Countries Across the World
· Expat Focus Financial Update October 2017
DeathBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Spain - Death
A funeral home can be contacted for the body to be removed, although the body must be formally identified before this happens. Within 24 hours of the death it should be registered at the local registry office (registro civil) which can normally be found at the local town hall. It is usual practice in Spain for a funeral to take place within 48 hours of the death occurring. Undertakers (pompas funebres) must be licensed and can manage all the funeral arrangements, dealing with local churches and crematoriums on your behalf.
It is only when the registration is complete that a burial license can be issued. The registry office will issue a death certificate (certificado de defuncion) and if a number of copies are needed these can be requested. A funeral can be delayed beyond the usual 48 hours if there is a good reason and the funeral home can arrange this for you.
Occasionally a deceased person may have left detailed wishes for their funeral and if this is the case then it is obligatory to follow them. It is most common to have a burial in Spain but if a cremation is preferred this should be mentioned to the doctor who certifies the death as this will need to be noted on the certificate that he issues. It is possible to purchase funeral insurance to cover costs and many people in Spain choose to do this, or opt for a pre-payment scheme with a funeral home.
There is a cemetery in each area and the system in Spain works by inserting the coffin in a ‘niche’ rather than burying it in the ground. This is rented for a number of years and when the rental period expired the coffin is buried in common ground. The number of years that the niche is available is different in each area, as is the cost of renting. It is not very common to opt for a cremation in Spain although this is becoming a more popular option. There are not crematoria in every region.
If the deceased wished to be repatriated to their home country then the doctor certifying death should also be informed of this. The deceased will need to have a valid passport for this as it will have to travel with the body and the official paperwork.
If the deceased had lived and worked in Spain for some time there may be a will in place and this can be checked by contacting the wills registry in Madrid (registro general de actos de ultima voluntad). When 15 days have passed a copy of a will can be applied for by anyone who has the correct documentation such as the death certificate.
There are a number of organisations that will need to be informed of the death. These include the social security department, if the person had been registered with them, the tax office and the embassy of their home country. It may be that the death should also be registered in the home country and the embassy will be able to help with this.
Read more about this country
Expat Health Insurance Partners
Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.