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 death occurs overseas the experience can be even more traumatic, especially if the procedures involved are not clearly understood.

Consular officers can:

  • Help identify, locate, and notify next-of-kin
  • Issue Consular Reports of Death Abroad, based on the local death certificate
  • Take possession of the personal effects of a deceased U.S. citizen
  • Provide guidance on local burials or cremation
  • Issue consular mortuary certificates for the return of remains to the United States

For detailed information about burial and funeral costs in Ecuador or the cost of repatriating a loved one’s remains to the United States, please read the Disposition of Remains Report located on the right side of this webpage.  This document also explains the local laws and facilities that impact these cases.  It is important to remember that the U.S. Government is not able to assist financially with local burials or the repatriation of remains of U.S. citizens.

If a family member will not be coming to Ecuador, please note that the family may need to get a Power of Attorney giving permission to the funeral home or your representative in Ecuador to handle these affairs.  The Power of Attorney, in order to be valid in Ecuador, needs to be done at an Ecuadorian Embassy/Consulate or, if is done at a U.S. notary, needs to have an Apostille and needs to be translated into Spanish.

For more information about Apostilles in the U.S. please check the Hague Convention website, usually the issuing authority will be the Secretary of State of each state.

Assistance we provide

In the unfortunate event of the death of a loved one you will need to request a Report of Death Abroad, which is the equivalent of a U.S. Death Certificate.

In order to obtain a Report of Death Abroad, you would need to gather and submit, by e-mail, the following documentation:

  • Death Certificate (Acta Registral de Defunción) from the Ecuadorian Civil Registry
    The document submitted needs to be verified so please make sure the issue date is no more than 60 days.
  • U.S. Passport (and naturalization certificate, if applicable) of the deceased
  • Certificate from the funeral home stating that the remains have been buried, cremated, or embalmed.  This certificate must be requested from the funeral home.
  • The information detailed on the Supplemental Information for Report of Death form (PDF 1.02mb) must also be provided.

If possible, please also submit:

  • Autopsy Certificate/Report, INEC’S Death Registration Form or Medical Certificate of Death from the attending physician.
  • Social Security Card

Please send the documentation by e-mail to the Consular Section of your preference:

U.S. Embassy in
U.S. Consulate in
Please keep in mind a that there is 2MB size limit on the e-mails we can receive.  If your e-mail is bigger than 2MB, you may need to send the files on separate e-mails.

Upon receipt of the documentation detailed above, the Embassy or Consulate will issue an Electronic Consular Report of Death Abroad (eCRODA).  There is no fee for this service, but there is a fee for additional copies.  The Consular Section will reply to your e-mail with additional information.

If you are taking the remains to the U.S. you will need additional documentation, please review our Transporting remains to the United States section for more information.

More information about the Report of Death Abroad can be located in the Department of State website.