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.  The U.S. Consulate General in Curacao stands ready to assist family and friends in explaining the procedures and steps involved, serves as a point of contact with local officials and will issue the Report of Death that can be used in the U.S. to settle estate matters.

When reporting a death to us, please tell us the deceased person’s name, date and place of birth, passport number and date and place of death.  You may reach us during normal working hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays) at 011-599-9-461-3066. Also, please click on the following link for a list of Funeral Homes in the Dutch Caribbean (PDF 90.7 KB).

The Consulate’s emergency duty officer can be reached after working hours and on weekends by calling 011-599-9-510-6870.

Foreign Death Certificate:

Foreign death certificates are issued by the local registrar of deaths or similar local authority. The certificates are typically written in Dutch and prepared in accordance with the laws of Aruba or the Netherlands Antilles.  Although authenticated copies of the foreign death certificate can be obtained, since the documents are written in the language of the foreign country they are sometimes unacceptable in the United States for insurance and estate purposes.  In the United States, a “Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” issued by the U.S. consular officer is generally used in lieu of a foreign death certificate as proof of death.

Report Of Death Of A U.S. Citizen Abroad:

The consular “Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” is a report that provides the essential facts concerning the death of a U.S. citizen, disposition of remains, and custody of the personal effects of a deceased citizen. This form is generally used in legal proceedings in the United States in lieu of the foreign death certificate. The Report of Death is based on the foreign death certificate, and cannot be completed until the foreign death certificate has been issued. This can sometimes take from four to six weeks or longer after the date of the death, depending on how long it takes local authorities to complete the local form.  Consular Officers work with local authorities to see that this time is as short as possible.

Copies Of The Report Of Death:

Twenty sealed copies of the Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad, issued at the time of death, will be provided to you free of charge. If in the future you find that you need additional copies, they can be obtained for a fee of fifty dollars for the first copy and twenty dollars for additional copies. If you need additional copies, please send a written request together with a check or money order made payable to the Department of State to the following address:

U.S. Department of State
Passport Services Correspondence Branch
1111 19th St., NW, Suite 510
Washington, D.C. 20522-1705

For additional information please visit the State Department emergencies webpage.

Legal Authority:

U.S. insurance companies and other agencies sometimes inquire regarding the authority for issuance of Reports of Death. See 22 U.S. Code 4196; 22 Code of Federal Regulations 72.1.

Additional Information:

For additional information concerning Reports of Death, contact the appropriate geographic division of the Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management, Department of State, 2201 C Street N.W., Room 4817 N.S., Washington, D.C. 20520, tel: (202) 647-5225 or (202) 647-5226.

Please do not hesitate to contact the American Citizen Services Section at the U.S. Consulate General Curaçao at: if you have any further questions.