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Death, burial or cremation outside Scotland

What to do if:

  • a death occurs outside Scotland
  • a loved one wishes to be buried, or cremated, outside of Scotland

Death in Scotland – burial or cremation in England, or Wales

If a loved one dies in Scotland but wishes to be buried or cremated in England or Wales, you need one of the following.

Certificate of no Liability to Register

Request a certificate of no liability from the registrar of the district, in England or Wales, where the burial is to take place.

You'll need to:

  1. provide a death certificate or letter from the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland
  2. sign a declaration form at the registrar's office in England or Wales.

There's no fee payable for this certificate

Cremation 6 Form

This form authorises cremation and is issued by the coroner in England, or Wales. If a burial is planned, then the coroner will issue a Coroner's Order for burial.

You will need to sign a declaration form which states that no coroner's inquest is to be held. If there's to be a cremation, then the authority of a medical referee at the crematorium is also needed.

Death in England or Wales – burial or cremation in Scotland

To remove a body from England, or Wales, you must give Notice of Intention to the coroner of the area where the body lies. They will need one of the following: 

  • a certificate given by the registrar in England, or Wales, that the death has been registered
  • a coroner's order for burial, or certificate for cremation
  • a death extract

A body cannot be removed for 4 days after the coroner has received the Notice of Intention.

No inquest

If the coroner decides not to hold an inquest, a body can be removed once the acknowledgement has been received from the person requesting to move the body. This applies even if the 4 clear day period has not expired.


If the coroner decides to hold an inquest, it is illegal to remove a body until the inquest is completed. This applies even if the 4 days notice has elapsed.

Once the 4 days have elapsed and you have either; received the notice, or the inquest is complete, a body can be removed from England or Wales.

Please note: the person with authority to remove a body for burial/cremation in Scotland must keep hold of any acknowledgements, or certificates. These must be ready to produce. on demand, to the keeper of the cemetery, or superintendent of the crematorium.

Death in Scotland – burial or cremation abroad

Some countries require a Letter of Comfort before allowing a body into a country for burial. If issued, a Letter of Comfort confirms no infectious disease was present in a body. The letter is issued by the Environmental Health Officer of the area where the person died.

For certain countries, an investigation may be required before a body can be moved. If this is the case the Procurator Fiscal will be involved. After investigation they will issue a Furth of Scotland letter to the undertaker, or person, removing the body.

Please note: every country has its own regulations. It is advisable to contact the Embassy or Consulate. Any documentation issued by the Environmental Health Officer, or the Procurator Fiscal, must accompany the body.

Death abroad - burial or cremation in Scotland

When a death occurs abroad:

  1. Contact your nearest British Embassy, they will give you a list of recommended local Funeral Directors.
  2. Register the death, according to the regulations of that country.
  3. Buy a death certificate.
  4. Register the death with the British Embassy, they will send a record of the death to Scotland.

The foreign Funeral Director will liaise with the Scottish Funeral Director to bring a body back to Scotland.

You will be able to get a copy of the death certificate from the National Records of Scotland, in Edinburgh, when you return home.