Death of an American Citizen Abroad
Death is a time of crisis for one's family and friends no matter where it takes place. If a death occurs overseas the experience can be even more traumatic, especially if the procedures involved are not clearly understood.
If your family member passes away while in Mali, the U.S. Embassy will provide you, the next-of kin, with information to assist you in understanding the process and provide you with guidance to help you make important decisions.
Any death of a U.S. citizen should be reported immediately to the U.S. Embassy, regardless if the family needs assistance with the disposition of remains. If you are aware of a death of an American citizen who passed away in Mali, please click here.
There are several important things that you, as the next-of-kin, must consider. The U.S. Embassy is ready to assist you with any of these steps. Please feel free to contact the Consular Section, at any point in the process.
For your convenience, we have provided some information that may be of assistance:
Disposition of Remains Report
The disposition of remains is affected by local laws, customs, and facilities, which are often vastly different from those in the U.S.
Please refer to the Disposition of Remains Report (PDF 60KB) for detailed information about the disposition of remains in Mali.
Communicating Your Instructions
Once you, the next-of-kin, have made a decision regarding the disposition of your loved one’s remains and personal effects, you must send a Letter of Instruction to ensure that your wishes are carried out completely and accurately.
Please click here (PDF 200KB), for a template of the letter. We ask you to send your instructions by fax (or scan and e-mail) and send the original signed copy by mail to the U.S. Embassy in Bamako.
Cost Associated with a Death Abroad
As the Department of State has no funds to assist in the cost associated with a death abroad, the family may be required to send funds to cover the costs of the disposition of remains.
Please click here, for information on how to send these funds.
Many factors can affect how much time will be needed to prepare your loved one’s remains for return to the United States. To prevent undue hardship, it is best not to make unchangeable plans for ceremonies and other events until the US Embassy and the funeral home you are working with can provide a firm timetable.
Consular Report of Death Abroad
Upon completion of all formalities, the Consular Section prepares an official report of death (Consular Report of Death Abroad) based upon the local death certificate.
The Consular Report of Death Abroad is a document, in English, that is based upon the Malian death certificate; it provides essential facts about the death, disposition of remains, and custody of the estate of the deceased American. The report is generally used in legal proceedings in U.S. as proof of death.
The report is sent it to the next-of-kin and/or the legal representative to help settle estate matters. We will send up to ten certified copies at the time of death free of charge.
If you require more certified copies at any time, they can be obtained through the Department of State, Passport Services, Correspondence Branch. Please click here, for information about how to make a request is available.
For more information on deaths of American Citizens abroad, please visit the Department of State webpage.