Australian Embassy
Thailand

When Someone Dies in Thailand

When someone passes away in Thailand, the Australian Embassy in Bangkok or Consulate-General in Phuket is normally notified by the police or the hospital (depending on location of death and circumstances around it), or a family member or friend.

 

Arrangements

The Embassy recommends that next of kin (NOK) engage a funeral director in Thailand to assist with arrangements. Funeral arrangements and costs are the responsibility of NOK. If NOK appoints a funeral director, the funeral director will make the arrangements (a cremation and ceremony in Thailand or the repatriation of the remains to Australia) in accordance with the wishes of the NOK.

The funeral director’s services normally include:

  • Liaising with the Embassy to obtain the letter to release the remains from the hospital into the care of the funeral director (if the Australian died in hospital);
  • Registering the death with the local office and obtaining the death certificate, autopsy report or other documents on NOK’s behalf;
  • Providing the Australian passport to the Embassy so it can be physically cancelled as well as cancelled in the passport system; and
  • Arrange personal belongings to be collected and returned to family (an extra fee will apply).

The death certificate, passport, and ashes (if cremated) are provided to the NOK by the funeral director if requested. If NOK is in Australia, the funeral director usually passes on the above-mentioned documents to the Embassy who will then forward them to NOK in Australia.  If NOK wishes to take the ashes with them to Australia (after an in-country cremation), the Embassy recommends they discuss this with their funeral director.

Local burial:  Deceased remains in Thailand are generally cremated. Burial plots are reserved for members of (mainly Chinese, Catholic, or Muslim) associations who pay an annual fee. Plots are reserved years in advance.

If the Australian who has passed away has a Thai spouse or a Thai friend or family member in Thailand, then they will often make the arrangements themselves rather than appoint a funeral director. If the Australian died in hospital, the letter of release will be provided by the Embassy to NOK (or in some cases, directly to the hospital), so that NOK can proceed in making the arrangements (cremation and ceremony) with their local temple or burial site.

 

Funeral homes and estimated costs

(AIR) AsiaOne International Repatriation & Funeral Services

Contact persons: Ms. Jessica  T., Ms. Jane T.

Phone: +66 2 675 0501, +66 2 675 0502

Fax: +66 2 675 2227, +66 2 675 1921

Mobile: ( + 66 82 824 6429 (Jessica T.), + 66 84 760 2200 (Jane T.) 

Email: [email protected]

- Local cremation and disposal of ashes: Baht 30,000 – 35,000

- Local cremation and return of ashes to Australia: Baht 35,000 – 40,000

- Returning remains to Australia: Baht 90,000 – 100,000

 

AMAR International Asia Co., Ltd.

Contact persons: Ms Dao Micallef, Mr Jeff Mitchell MBE

Phone: +66 2 258 5946

Mobile: +66 92 859 5616 (Ms Dao Micallef), +66 98 564 2961 (Mr Jeff Mitchell MBE)

Email: [email protected]

- Local cremation and disposal of ashes: Baht 30,000 – 42,000

- Repatriation of ashes (excluding cremation cost): Baht 4,500 – 9,000

- Returning remains to Australia: Baht 80,000 – 110,000

 

Siam Funeral Co Ltd

Contact person: Mr Varavut Rohtjanaburanon

Phone: +66 2 902 7907

Fax: +66 2 902 7906

Mobile: +66 86 777 0214

Email: [email protected]

- Local cremation and disposal of ashes: Baht 25,000

- Local cremation and return of ashes to Australia: Baht 30,000

- Returning remains to Australia: Baht THB 85,000

 

* Cost may differ for more regional provinces

 

Current exchange rates (Reserve Bank of Australia)

 

Autopsies and registration of death

A full autopsy is not conducted where the deceased passed away at a hospital with a clear cause of death, unless requested and paid for by NOK. The hospital will usually provide NOK with a notice of death, outlining the cause of death as determined by the treating physician or medical practitioner. NOK will then need to register the death and obtain the death certificate by taking the notice of death to the local district office (Amphur or Tedsaban).

If the death occurs outside of hospital or by accident, the police officer in charge will conduct any necessary investigations and may request an autopsy to determine the cause of death.  The remains will usually be transferred to a Forensic Institute or major hospital and that will normally conduct the autopsy within 24 hours of receiving the remains. The autopsy report, however, can take at least 6-8 weeks (or, in some cases, more depending on the complexity of the circumstances of the death). Once the autopsy is completed, NOK will require a letter from the Embassy authorising NOK to collect the remains for private funerary arrangements.  After collecting the remains, NOK may then proceed with registering the death as per the above paragraph.  The Embassy does not become involved in investigations of deaths or in the autopsy process which is the responsibility of local authorities. 

Where the death may have occurred from a communicable disease, such as COVID-19, there is generally no option to request an autopsy in accordance with public health guidelines.

The Embassy will request a copy of the death certificate from NOK and will also cancel the passport, but there is no requirement for the Embassy to receive a translation of the death certificate.

 

Legal matters

If NOK has queries in relation to estate or compensation matters, they should discuss these with a lawyer or directly with the authorities concerned as these matters are of a private legal nature.

See Legal Representation: Local Lawyers

The Australian Embassy cannot investigate deaths overseas. This is the responsibility of local authorities. We are unable to become involved in family disputes, or locate wills or insurance policy details.

 

Translation of documents

If a death certificate is required for legal purposes in Australia (for example, closing a bank account in Australia), the certificate will need to be professionally translated by a translator accredited to the National Association of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI)

Locate a NAATI-accredited translator: National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) 

In Thailand, NOK may choose to have the document translated for personal use or reference via a (local) commercial translation service agency.  The Australian Embassy Bangkok does not provide translation services, and cannot certify or verify the accuracy of translations. However, we do maintain a list of Translators and Interpreters.

See List of Translators and Interpreters

 

Obtaining an additional death certificate

Once the original death certificate has been issued by the Amphur or District Office, it is very difficult to obtain a duplicate and NOK need to engage a Thai lawyer to request a copy on their behalf.

 

Registration of death in Australia

Deaths of Australian citizens that occur overseas do not necessarily need to be registered in Australia. You should seek independent legal advice as to whether the death needs to be registered or contact the State or Territory Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages where the deceased was a resident. Most jurisdictions can register a death that occurred overseas where the person was normally a resident of that jurisdiction.

 

Australian State Coroner referral

Some Australian state coroners will consider undertaking a coronial inquest into deaths of their citizens overseas.  If NOK wish to pursue this, you may consider contacting your home state coronial authority for more information.