The death of an American citizen abroad should be reported as soon as possible. In cases where no family members were traveling with the deceased American, a Consular Officer will attempt to locate and notify the decedent’s next-of-kin. The Embassy can also inform the individual’s family about options and costs for disposition of remains.
Costs for preparing and returning a deceased individual’s body to the United States from Moldova are generally quite high and must be paid by the family unless appropriate insurance was acquired in advance. Often, local laws and procedures can make the return of remains to the United States a lengthy process. On average, expect the return of remains to take 10 to 14 days, although it can take significantly longer depending on the circumstances of death.
To read the annual report of disposition of remains, please click here.
Consular Report of Death Abroad
Moldovan authorities issue two important documents after the death of an individual. Those are the Death Certificate and a separate Medical Certificate/Autopsy Report. The Embassy combines this information and prepares a Consular Report of Death Abroad, which is equivalent to a U.S.-issued Death Certificate, valid for resolving legal matters in the United States. The Embassy will provide 20 copies of the Consular Report of Death Abroad to the decedent’s next-of-kin free of charge. Additional copies are provided for a fee. Please note that it will take four to eight weeks to receive the Consular Report of Death Abroad in the United States. The Embassy will also cancel the decedent’s U.S. passport and return it to the next-of-kin and report the death to the appropriate government agencies if the decedent was receiving federal benefits.
For more information on the Consular Report of Death Abroad, and other services that a consular officer can help you with when a loved one passes away overseas, see the links below: