Death of a U.S. Citizen

Updated July 2020

Death is a time of crisis for family and friends no matter where it takes place, but when it occurs overseas, the experience can be even more traumatic.  We in the Consular Section hope that the following information will be of some use to you in this difficult time.

Once Slovene authorities learn of a death of an American citizen, they will report the death to the Embassy.  Our first priority is to notify the legal next-of-kin and support the family.  We can assist in carrying out the family’s wishes for embalming or cremation, burial in Slovenia, or transportation to the United States.  Unfortunately, the Embassy cannot pay for these services, but if necessary we can help the family transfer funds to Slovenia to cover the related expenses.  We can also help with the shipment of any personal effects.

If you will be calling us to report a death, please be prepared to provide us with the full name of the deceased person, date and place of birth, passport number, date and place of death, cause of death, and current location.  It will also help us to know the full name, address, and phone number of the next-of-kin (if known.)

There are a number of funeral homes in Slovenia – both in Ljubljana and throughout the country.  If the family wishes to have the remains transported to the United States, it will be best to go ahead and select a funeral home in the U.S. to help with the receiving arrangements.  Below are estimates of costs, for planning purposes.  Actual costs will vary somewhat.

  • Embalmed and transported to the U.S.: $3,700.00
  • Cremated and transported to the U.S.: $1,200.00
  • Embalmed and buried in Slovenia: $1,500.00
  • Cremated and buried in Slovenia: $900.00

Please note that Slovenia does not permit cremated remains (ashes) to be released directly to a family member.  Thus it is not possible for someone to hand-carry ashes to the United States.

CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.

At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:

  • The remains are cremated; OR
  • The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
  • The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
    • Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing

Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.

In a case where the cause of death cannot be readily determined or if the attending medical/law enforcement authority requests one, an autopsy will be performed.  Alas, this will occur even if the next-of-kin objects.  The next-of-kin may him or herself also request an autopsy if they disagree with the medical authority’s recorded cause of death.  Depending on the autopsy results, the case may then be forwarded to the police.  Only once any required police investigation is completed can the coroner issue a final certificate, which is required to issue a Slovene death certificate.

Based upon the Slovene death certificate, the Embassy will prepare a Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad.  This document can be used to help settle any required legal affairs in the United States, such as estate and insurance matters.

During working hours, the Consular Section can be reached at 01 200 5500. (from the U.S., dial 011-386-1-200-5500).  After working hours, call 01 200 5500 (from the U.S., dial 011-386-1-200-5500) and press 0 (zero) and ask to be connected to the Duty Officer.

For more information on the Consular Report of the Death of an American Abroad, and other services that a consular officer can help you with when a loved one passes away overseas, see the links below.

Additional Resources