Death of a U.S. Citizen

Death is a time of crisis for one’s family and friends no matter where it takes place. If the death occurs overseas, the experience can be even more traumatic, especially if the local procedures are not clearly understood. The Consular Section provides guidance to grieving family members on how to make arrangements for local burial or return of the remains to the U.S. The disposition of remains is affected by local laws, customs, and facilities, which are often very different from those in the U.S. If necessary, the Consular Section relays the family’s instructions and private funds to cover associated costs. The Department of State is unable to loan family members funds to assist in the return of remains or ashes of American citizens who die abroad.

Upon completion of all formalities, the consular officer prepares a Foreign Service Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad, based upon the local death certificate, and sends multiple original copies to the next-of-kin or legal representative for use in U.S. courts to settle estate matters. A U.S. consular officer overseas has statutory responsibility for the personal estate or effects of an American who dies abroad if the deceased has no legal representative in the country where the death occurred. Please click here for detailed information about the procedures and costs for disposition of remains (PDF – 244KB) in our consular district. If you require emergency assistance in relation to the death of a U.S. citizen, please contact us immediately.

The Report of Death provides essential facts about the death, disposition of remains, and custody of the estate of the deceased American. It is generally used in legal proceedings in the United States as proof of death. Because this document is based on the foreign death certificate, it cannot be completed until the foreign death certificate is issued. No appointment is necessary to report the death of a U.S. citizen abroad at the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem.  If you do not wish to visit the U.S. Embassy in person, please send the documents listed below by registered mail to:

American Citizens Services
U.S. Consulate General
P.O.BOX 290
Jerusalem 9100201

To apply for the Report of Death, please provide the following items:

  • The original death certificate issued by the Israeli or Palestinian Authority Ministry of Interior
  • Evidence of the deceased’s U.S. citizenship, such as a U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Citizenship/Naturalization
  • The deceased’s Social Security number, if available
  • A properly completed Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad (DS-2060) (PDF – 101KB).
  • If the cause of death needs to be stated on the Report of Death and the original death certificate does not include such information, please also bring with you an official notice from a doctor, paramedic, or hospital stating the cause of death.
  • A copy of your passport (if you are the next of kin)

Please note that all inquiries related to Social Security or other federal benefits must be addressed directly to the Federal Benefits Unit, which can be reached at fbu.jerusalem@ssa.gov.

We will issue up to 20 original signed Reports of Death free of charge. Processing usually takes two weeks once all the required paperwork is submitted.

Additional Resources