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Cyprus Life - Procedures For Death Of A British National In Cyprus
Information On The Procedures For Death Of A British National In Cyprus
British Flag Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk
Death of British Nationals in the Republic of Cyprus
The death of a relative or close friend when overseas can be very difficult to deal with.
However, there are organisations and professionals who can help.
The following information on the formalities and procedures that must be observed on the death of a British national may prove useful.
This information is provided by the British High Commission in Nicosia for the convenience of enquirers.
However, neither Her Majesty’s Government or any official of the High Commission take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information, for the competency or probity of any organisation mentioned or for the consequence of any action or expenses incurred.
There are no facilities for cremation in Cyprus. Consequently, people must be repatriated to the UK (or another country where cremations are allowed) for cremation or burial. Alternatively, they may be buried on the Island.
There are British Cemeteries in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol, Kyrenia and Famagusta. The first three are maintained and administered by the British Cemeteries Committee, and the others by local honorary administrators appointed by the British High Commission.
However, it is difficult for anyone normally resident in the southern part of the island to be buried in either the Famagusta or the Kyrenia cemetery which are in the northern part of Cyprus. Should this be desired, advice should be sought from the British High Commission.
In Paphos arrangements have been made with the Bishopric of the Orthodox Church for a section of the cemetery to be set aside for the burial of British residents. There is also a Roman Catholic cemetery available, which is run separately.
Arrangements for funerals are the responsibility primarily of the family, relatives or friends of the deceased.
The upkeep and any extension of the British cemeteries is financed entirely from fees paid for the provision of grave spaces. No government or other grants are received. All funeral and burial expenses have to be met from the estate of the deceased.
WHAT TO DO
The first requirement is to obtain a “Cause of Death” certificate, this is issued by doctor/hospital, note: this is not the Death Certificate, this can be obtained from District Administration Offices in the district where the death occurred.
Contact details as follows:
Nicosia District Administration Office
2 Alkaiou St, Strovolos, 1458 Nicosia
E - mail: email@example.com
Famagusta District Administration Office
71 Sotiras, Paralimni, 5286 Ammochostos
Fax: (+357) 23827735
E - mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Larnaca District Administration Office
19 -21 Constantinou Paleologou. PO Box 40103, 6301 Larnaca
Fax: (+357) 24304635
Tel District Officer: (+357) 24801801 / 24801802
E -mail: email@example.com
Limassol District Administration Office
159 Anexartisias, Gregoris Afxentiou Square, 3040 Limassol
Tel District Administrator:
(+357) 25806401 / 25806403
Paphos District Administration Office
5 Nikodemos Mylonas St, 8100 Paphos
Tel District Officer: 26801101 / 26801102
Where a person dies at home, the doctor attending will issue this, except when a post mortem examination is necessary. This form should be handed to the undertaker or person arranging the funeral. Where death occurs in a hospital or clinic, the hospital Registrar or the doctor in attendance will complete and issue the form. In case of sudden or accidental death, a post
mortem or inquest may be necessary.
Interment cannot then take place until the coroner has issued a “Burial Permit”. Once the “Cause of Death” certificate or the Coroner’s Burial permit has been obtained, the funeral can take place. It is not necessary to obtain an official “Death Certificate” in order to arrange the funeral. The next steps, as outlined below, must then be taken without delay.
BURIAL IN CYPRUS
Advise the local administrator of the British Cemeteries Committee if the burial is to be in a British Cemetery. This contact must be made as soon as possible to allow time for the grave to be dug. Arrange with the Chaplain of the Church concerned for the date, time and place of the funeral service and whether it will be in the Church or at the graveside. Arrange for pallbearers.
Instruct the Undertaker
Most operate island wide. They will need to know the time and place of the funeral, the type of coffin required, and from where
the body of the deceased is to be collected. Local coffins are usually elaborate and ornate. Local custom is to have a “viewing panel”, so if a plain coffin is required the undertaker should be specifically instructed. Details of the type of hearse required should also be clearly stated.
Funerals in Cyprus are normally held as quickly as possible after death. This often means within 24-48 hours, except when a post-mortem is to be held. It is possible for the body to be kept under refrigeration for longer if necessary. An announcement of death may be inserted in the local press if desired by the relatives. If it is anticipated that a large number of mourners will attend the funeral, it is advisable to notify the local Police HQ (Traffic Section) of the date, time and place, asking that they assist with traffic control.
Repatriation of remains:
If the remains are to be repatriated to the UK this may be arranged through the undertakers. The cost for such repatriation is likely to be well over €3,000. Costs vary and you should contact the funeral directors for the definitive costs.
When the funeral arrangements are completed attention should be given to the following:
Official Death Certificate.
The “Cause of Death” certificate will be held either by the Next of Kin, or the undertaker, until the funeral is completed. The Chaplain officiating at the burial and the representative of the Cemetery Committee may be required to see this form (or the Coroner’sPermit for Burial) before the funeral takes place. To obtain a “Cyprus Death Certificate” a form must be obtained from the District Administration Office.
Thereafter the certified form and the original “Cause of Death” certificate should be returned to the District Administration Office, where the death will be registered and an official “Death Certificate” issued. The District Administration Office will retain the “Cause of Death” certificate.
British Passport Holders: Where British Passport holders have any assets, property, personal interests, or estate in the UK the death should be registered at the British High Commission, Consular Section, in Nicosia (Tel: 22 861100). The British
High Commission can issue a British Death Certificate and will cancel the deceased’s passport. This should be presented to the Consular Section together with the Cyprus Death Certificate.
The cost of a Cyprus Death Certificate can be obtained from the District Administration Offices listed above
In the case of British nationals the following should be notified of the death in addition to the British High Commission:
Next of kin, if not already advised.
Any banks, insurance companies, solicitors, accountants’ etc. known to be connected with any business or personal affairs of the deceased, and any source of pension(s).
The British Cemetery offer the following services which include digging and filling of the grave:
Burial of ashes
No charge – Burial of Infant
Re - open existing grave
Costs for the above can be obtained from the British Cemeteries Committe
These costs cover general cemetery maintenance and allow for extension or development of the cemetery as needed. Special maintenance of a particular grave is not undertaken by the Cemeteries Committee. A minimum of five years must elapse before any grave is re - opened. The cost of plots in other cemeteries must be found locally.
Other funeral costs will depend on what services are rendered by the undertaker e.g. type of coffin, distance travelled by the hearse etc. It is always wise to ask for an estimate in advance.
Chaplains, cemetery administrators and contacts:
The Provost of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral
(The Very Reverend John Tyrrell)
Administrator: (British Cemetary Nicosia)
Mr David Hardacre
AK Cosmoserve, PO Box 26624, Nicosia 1640
The Chaplain of St. Helena’s Church
(The Ven Dr John Holdsworth)
Mr Gerry Harrison
Dordonis 14, 7101 Aradippou, Larnaca
The Chaplain of St. Barnabas’ Church
(The Reverend Canon Derek Smith)
Mr C Groves
Apostolou Varnava 6, 4630 Erimi
Administrator: (British Cemetary Kolossi)
Mr Keith Shonfeld MBE
39A Elias Venezi, Ypsonas, 4180 Limassol
Paphos Anglican Church
(The Reverend Andrew Notere)
The Secretary to the Orthodox Bishopric
GENERAL AND FAMILY MATTERS
Other matters arise where the deceased has expressed wishes or the relatives have particular concerns. These are outside the scope of formal procedure and must be left to family decision, but some suggestions may be helpful.
Floral Tributes: These can always be readily arranged through the flower shop. After being part of the funeral church and/or at the graveside, if they are in the form of sprays, they may have a longer life and be valued by the hospital or clinic where the death occurred. Alternatively it is quite customary to ask for donations in lieu of flowers to be given to some charity or good cause. Many organisations are ready to set up a table outside the church to collect donations at the time of the funeral.
Undertakers often make use of a trolley but do not normally provide pallbearers. Arrangements may need to be made by relatives or friends to carry the coffin from the hearse into church, and again from the hearse to the graveside.
Memorials and Headstones: Monumental masons are available for this work, but all arrangements and costs are the responsibility of the relatives. The Cemeteries Committee does not undertake such arrangements but will help in any way possible especially if the relatives are not resident in Cyprus. It is necessary to wait for a settling period before erecting a memorial headstone. This period may vary considerably according to a number of factors. Advice should be sought from the Cemetery Administrator. He must approve the design and inscription of any memorial/headstone before the work is commissioned. The stone should be supported on a reinforced plinth resting on old firm ground on either side of the grave.
Inscriptions whenever possible should be placed on a vertical stone as those on a horizontal slab become illegible after a few years.
Finding the cemeteries:
Nicosia is inKyriacou Matsis Street. Road leads off roundabout at gates of Presidential Palace and English School. Limassol cemetery is near Polemidhia. Take Troodos road off Polemidhia roundabout on Limassol by - pass. Larnaca cemetery is in Arch. Kyprianou Avenue off Makarios Avenue.
Access to Cemeteries: Larnaca cemetery is not locked. The key for Limassol cemetery is kept by the gate. The key for Nicosia cemetery is kept at a bakery shop opposite the cemetery. Alternatively contact the cemetery administrators.
While the foregoing information has been carefully checked by the British Cemeteries Committee, they can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracies, or for changes in the regulations or charges quoted. Source Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Last Updated 29 March 2016