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PART 72-DEATHS AND ESTATES
REPORTING DEATHS OF UNITED STATES CITIZENS
Sec. 72.1 Consular responsibility. 72.2 Exceptions to consular responsibility. 72.3 Telegraphic notifications of death. 72.4 Normal reporting precedure. 72.5 Reports of presumptive deaths. 72.6 Reports of deaths on the high seas. 72.7 Reports on deceased persons believed
to be United States citizens. 72.8 Disposition of nationality documents.
DISPOSITION OF REMAINS 72.9 Consular responsibility. 72.10 Local burial. 72.11 Cremation. 72.12 Shipment of remains to the United
States. 72.13 Remains requiring special handling. 72.14 Fees for disposing of remains.
PERSONAL ESTATES OF DECEASED CITIZENS 72.15 Statutory responsibility of consular
officer. 72.16 Regulatory responsibility of consular
officer. 72.17 Responsibility of consular agents. 72.18 Responsibility if legal representative
is present. 72.19 Responsibility if trustee for personal
estate is present. 72.20 Responsibility if "partner in trade"
is present. 72.21 Responsibility if will intended to op
erate locally exists. 72.22 Responsibility if will intended to op
erate in the United States exists. 72.23 Responsibility in case of Department
of Defense personnel. 72.24 Responsibility in case of Coast Guard
personnel. 72.25 Responsibility in case of citizens dy
ing on the high seas. 72.26 Responsibility in case of seamen. 72.27 Responsibility in case of Foreign Sery
ice personnel. 72.28 Effects to be taken into possession. 72.29 Nominal possessions; property not
normally taken into possession. 72.30 Bank deposits in foreign countries. 72.31 Action when immediate possession is
impracticable. 72.32 Action when property is in other con
sular districts. 72.33 Official notification to legal represent
ative. 72.34 (Reserved.) 72.35 Procedure for inventorying and ap
praising effects. 72.36 Preparation and disposition of inven
Sec. 72.37 Disposal of perishable property. 72.38 Collection of debts due deceased. 72.39 Payment of debts owed by deceased. 72.40 Consular officer not to act as admin
istrator of estate. 72.41 Consular officer not to perform legal
services or to employ counsel. 72.42 Consular officer not to assume finan
cial responsibility. 72.43 Conditions under which estate can be
released by consular officer. 72.44 Evidence of claimant's right to estate. 72.45 Shipment of personal estate to the
United States. 72.46 Consular action on disagreements be
tween claimants. 72.47 Consular action on unproved claim
to estate. 72.48 Consular action on unclaimed estates. 72.49 Disposition of estate upon departure
of responsible officer. 72.50 Final statement of account. 72.51 Preparation and disposition of final
statement of account. 72.52 Fee services. 72.53 No-fee services. 72.54 Estates of Government personnel ex
empt from fee assessments. 72.55 Estates of citizens dying on the high
seas exempt from fee assessments. AUTHORITY: The provisions of this part 72 issued under R.S. 1709, as amended, sec. 302, 60 Stat. 1001; 22 U.S.C. 1175, 842.
SOURCE: The provisions of this Part 72 appear at 22 F.R. 10841, Dec. 27, 1957, unless otherwise noted.
REPORTING DEATHS OF UNITED STATES
CITIZENS § 72.1 Consular responsibility.
(a) A consular officer (or in his absence a diplomatic officer) is responsible for reporting to the Department, to the legal representative, and to the closest known relative the deaths of all United States citizens occurring in his consular district except as otherwise provided in § 72.2. In order that he may be informed of such deaths, the consular officer should enlist the cooperation and assistance of the local authorities and the members of the American community.
(b) A consular agent is not authorized to report the deaths of United States citizens to the Department, to the legal representative and to the closest known relative. The consular agent should, however, immediately report the circumstances of the death to his principal consular oficer, who then has the responsibility for reporting in the manner prescribed in this section through 72.8. § 72.2 Exceptions to consular respon
sibility. (a) Department of Defense personnel. The Department of Defense is required to report officially the deaths of its military and civilian personnel. However, if no representative of the Department of Defense is present in the consular district where the death occurs, the consular officer should inform the Mission in the country to which he is assigned regarding the circumstances, for action by the appropriate attache. In colonial or trustee areas, or in countries in which no Defense Department attaches are assigned, the consular officer should telegraph the particulars of the death to the Department of State, indicating the maximum length of time before local burial is mandatory, for action by the Department of Defense. All inquiries concerning the death of any person falling within this category should be referred to the Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., 20301. Instructions in this paragraph do not apply to reporting the deaths of dependents of Department of Defense personnel, or to reporting the deaths of contractor personnel, i. e., United States civilians employed in foreign countries by commercial concerns operating under contract with the Department of Defense, or their dependents. The deaths of such persons should be reported in the manner prescribed in $ 72.4.
(b) Coast Guard personnel. The United States Coast Guard is required to report officially the deaths of its mili. tary and civilian personnel. If death occurs in any country in Europe or the British Isles in which a Coast Guard detail is not assigned, the consular officer should inform the Senior Coast Guard Merchant Marine Detail Officer (Europe), London, England, by telegraph. If the death occurs outside Europe or the British Isles, the consular officer should telegraph the particulars of the death to the Department of State, indicating the maximum length of time before local burial is mandatory, for action by the Coast Guard. All inquiries concerning the death of Coast Guard personnel should be referred to the Commandant, United States Coast Guard, Washington,
D.C., 20226. The instructions in this section do not apply to reporting the deaths of dependents of Coast Guard personnel. The deaths of such persons should be reported in the manner.prescribed in § 72.4. § 72.3 Telegraphic notifications of death.
(a) Use of telegraph. When instructions must be obtanied from the next of kin or other interested person in the United States as to disposition of the remains, notification of death should be sent by telegraph to the Department for forwarding. If available to the consular officer, the name and address of the next of kin or legal representative (§ 72.18) should be included in the message. Consular officers at posts in Canada and Mexico whose consular districts are contiguous to the United States may, in their discretion, communicate directly by telegraph with next of kin or legal representative, requesting instructions for disposition of the remains.
(b) Content of notification. All such notifications should state the minimum cost of
(1) Local burial;
(3) Embalming, preparing and shipping the remains; and
(4) The maximum period of time before local burial is mandatory.
(c) Payment of charges. The cost of these initial notifications of death by telegraph is a proper charge against offi. cial funds. Subsequent telegrams relating to matters for personal decision are normally at the expense of interested parties. [ 22 F.R. 10841, Dec. 27, 1957, as amended by Dept. Reg. 108.517, 30 F.R. 4412, Apr. 6, 1965)
§ 72.4 Normal reporting procedure.
(a) Purpose and use of Form FS-192. Form FS-192, “Report of the Death of an American Citizen”, is an administrative report established for the purpose of providing essential facts concerning the death of a United States citizen, and should be used to report the death offcially to the Department, to the legal representative, and to the closest known relative of the deceased. Notification of death by telegraph does not eliminate the necessity for reporting the death on Form FS-192.
(b) Information required on Form FS-192. All information called for under
the various headings of Form FS-192 legal representative and to the closest should be supplied in as much detail as
known relative or relatives. possible. When prolonged delay is ex- (f) Transmission of form to other conperienced in procuring full data, the con- sular districts. In the event that a part sular oficer should prepare and distrib- of the personal estate of the decedent is ute a preliminary report of death on known to be in a consular district other Form FS-192, marking the report “Pre- than that in which the death occurs (see liminary." This should be followed by a § 72.32), a copy of Form FS-192 should final and complete report as soon as full
be sent to the consular oficer in the data are available. Expanded com
other district. ments necessary to cover special circum- (g) Supplying copies of form. Copies stances concerning the death, should ap- of Form FS-192 shall be supplied by the pear under the heading "Remarks.” Department of State or by the Foreign When applicable, statements concerning Service post upon request to any person the following subjects should also ap- having valid need therefor. Charges pear under the heading “Remarks": are as prescribed in the Schedule of
(1) Disposition made of the passport Fees (§ 21.1 of this chapter) or in the and certificate of naturalization (see
Tariff of Fees, Foreign Service of the $ 72.8);
United States of America ($ 22.1 of this (2) If the deceased is known to have chapter). been the recipient of continuing payments other than salary from the Fed- § 72.5 Reports of presumptive deaths. eral Government (e. g., retirement, so
(a) Provisional report. Upon the recial security, disability compensation, or ceipt of evidence that a United States veterans insurance or benefits), indica
citizen is missing and is presumed to tion of the nature of the payments
be dead, a report should be submitted received;
to the Department on Form FS-192, with (3) If the deceased is a Selective Sery
the title amended to read “Report of the ice registrant of inductible age, his Se
Presumptive Death of an American Citilective Service registration number and
zen". A statement should be inserted in the number and address of his Local
the form under the heading “Cause of Board, when known.
Death” such as the following: “Reported (c) Signing and sealing of Form FS
missing, believed to be dead”, giving the 192. All copies of the Form FS-192
source of the information upon which should be signed by the consular oficer
the presumption is based. A statement with his name and official title typed
should also be included under the headbelow, and the consular impression seal
ing "Remarks” showing the requirements should be impressed on each copy.
of local law for the establishment of legal (d) Transmission of Form FS-192 to
presumption of the death of missing perthe Department. The original of Form
sons; i. e., whether under local law the FS-192 shall be sent to the Department,
legal presumption of death automatically plus one additional copy for each agency arises at the expiration of a stipulated concerned, if the deceased was:
lapse of time, or whether formal action (1) A recipient of continuing pay
is necessary to obtain legal confirmation ments other than salary from the Fed- of the death of missing persons. eral Government; or
(b) Final report. In the event that (2) An officer or employee of the Fed
the fact of death is established, a final eral Government (other than Depart- complete report shall be submitted to ment of Defense or Coast Guard); or the Department on Form FS-192 marked (3) A Selective Service registrant of
"Final Report”, in which reference shall inductible age.
be made, under the heading “Remarks", (e) Transmission of form to legal rep- to the provisional report. If feasible, a resentative and next of kin. A copy of "Final Report” should be submitted at Form FS-192 should be sent to the legal
such time as legal presumption of death representative. A copy should also be
arises in accordance with local law. sent to the closest known relative of the deceased (or relatives, if there are two
§ 72.6 Reports of deaths on the high or more persons having equal interests). No fee is prescribed for sending one copy (a) On vessels of United States regiseach of completed Form FS-192 to the try. When a United States citizen (not a seaman) dies on board a vessel of the (2) A naturalized citizen, he had United States making a voyage from a
retained United States citizenship at port in the United States to any foreign the time of death, in the absence of eviport, the master of the vessel is required
dence that he had lost nationality of to enter the circumstances of the death the United States by having a continin the official log book (46 U. S. C. 201). uous residence for three years in the Customarily, these circumstances are re- territory of a foreign state as proported to the consular officer at the first vided in section 352 (a) (1) of the Immiport of call. On the basis of the log gration and Nationality Act, or by having entry, the consular oficer should report a continuous residence for five years the death on Form FS–192 in the man- in any other foreign state or states ner prescribed for other United States as provided in section 352 (a) (2) of the citizens (see $ 72.4). A copy of the text same act, unless there is evidence that of the log entry, certified by the master, his case comes within one of the excepshould be retained with the office copy tions established under sections 353 or of Form FS-192.
354 of the act. Nationality may also (b) On vessels of foreign registry.
have been lost under similar provisions When a United States citizen dies on a
contained in section 404 of the Nationalvessel of foreign registry, all informa- ity Ad of 1940. The term residence as tion obtained from the master of the used herein means the place of general vessel for purposes of reporting the death abode, and residence shall be considered on Form FS_192, should be supported continuous for the purpose of sections by a certified copy of the text of the log 350 and 352 (a) (1) and (2) of the act entry, if obtainable.
where there is a continuity of stay but not necessarily an uninterrupted physi
cal presence in a foreign state or states § 72.7 Reports on deceased persons be
or outside the United States. lieved to be United States citizens. (a) Verification of citizenship. As
§ 72.8 Disposition of nationality docu
ments. Form FS-192 may be accepted in courts of law, or considered elsewhere, as evi- (a) Passport. The passport of dence of United States citizenship at the deceased United States citizen should time of death, the consular officer should be cancelled by the consular officer and consult the regulations describing the either returnd to the Department or evidence of citizenship which is accept- delivered to the person having a legitiable for passport and registration pur- mate interest therein. Only a person poses and should exercise due care in who is included in the passport may be determining the citizenship status of the considered to have a legitimate interest deceased. In doubtful cases he should in it. The date and place of death transmit the Form FS-192 to the De- should be noted on the passport, and an partment under cover of a despatch appropriate notation made on Form FSstating that the citizenship of the de- 192 (see § 72.4 (b) (1)). ceased has not been verified. The De- (b) Certificate of naturalization. The partment will then determine whether certificate of naturalization of a deceased Form FS-192 may be released to the legal United States citizen should be taken up representative, next of kin, or other in. by the consular officer and forwarded to terested person, and will inform the con- the Department for transmission to the sular officer of whatever action is taken. Department of Justice; or, if the cer
(b) Presumptions as to citizenship tificate is claimed by any person who status. When the deceased was not cur- may have a legitimate interest therein, rently documented at a Foreign Service it should be endorsed by the consular office as a United States citizen, it must officer to show the date and place of be assumed that, if the deceased was death of the person to whom it was origi
(1) A native citizen, he had retained nally issued, and should then be delivUnited States citizenship at the time of ered to the person entitled thereto, with death, in the absence of evidence of an appropriate notation made on Form FSaffirmative act of expatriation under 192 (see § 72.4 (b) (1)). paragraph 1, section 2 of the act of
DISPOSITION OF REMAINS March 2, 1907, section 401 of the Nationality Act of 1940, or sections 340 or § 72.9
Consular responsibility. 350 of the Immigration and National
(a) In the absence of relatives or other ity Act;
interested persons, the consular officer
should exert all reasonable effort to carry should be attended by a member of the out the expressed wishes of the deceased consular staff. or next of kin as to local burial, crema- (b) Report to relatives. The next of tion, or shipment of the remains, taking kin, or other person whose wishes have care that the legal requirements of the been considered in making the arrangecountry are met. However, the consular ments for local burial, should be inofficer is neither authorized nor expected formed by letter of any funeral service to assume any financial responsibility that is held. for, or to incur any expense in connec- (c) Erection of markers. If the contion with, the disposition of the remains sular officer is requested to make arof deceased persons unless specifically rangements for the erection of markers instructed to do so by the Department. on graves, he may assist to the extent When the next of kin or other interested of ascertaining any feasible procedure person cannot be reached within the pe- for making local arrangements and riod provided by local law for the inter- effecting direct remittance for this purment or preservation of dead bodies and pose, and informing the interested party sufficient funds can be realized from the accordingly. personal estate of the deceased in the (d) Upkeep of graves. The mainteconsular officer's possession, he should nance and repair of graves of persons arrange for disposal of the remains lo- whose remains are interred abroad, incally and draw funds from the estate cluding officers and employees of the Forto cover the costs (see $ 72.39; also eign Service, is not a proper charge § 72.30 as regards withdrawals from against official funds unless specifically bank accounts). If there are not sufi- authorized. If the consular oficer is recient funds in the estate to cover the quested to make arrangements for the costs, and funds are unobtainable from upkeep of graves, he may assist to the relatives or other interested persons, extent indicated in paragraph (c) of this there may be no alternative but to ac- section with respect to the erection of cept disposal of the remains by the lo- markers. cal authorities in accordance with local
§ 72.11 Cremation. law or regulations. (See also § 72.13 for remains requiring special handling.)
(a) Arrangements. When cremation (b) A consular agent may, upon in
is desired, and the facilities are available, structions from his principal consular the consular officer should see that all oficer, arrange for the disposition of necessary arrangements are made if remains of deceased United States citi- compatible with the requirements of the zens. His principal consular officer has, country in which the death occurred, in accordance with this section to § 72.14, having in mind particularly such local the responsibility for reporting to rela- laws as may prohibit cremation unless tives and for complying with the laws specific request for such disposition was of the country in which the death oc- made in writing by the individual prior to curred as well as the requirements of the death. United States.
(b) Disposition of ashes. Disposition
of the ashes should be made in accord$ 72.10 Local burial.
ance with the expressed wishes of the
deceased or the next of kin, or other in(a) Arrangements for funerals. When .
terested person. If shipment to the the responsibility for local burial falls on
United States is desired, only local health the consular officer (see $ 72.9), he should requirements must be met, as there are endeavor to carry out the expressed no sanitary requirements for entry of instructions of the deceased or, in the ashes into the United States. A markabsence of such instructions, the wishes ing should be made on, or a marker firmly of the next of kin. Funeral services
affixed to, the container in which the should be conducted in accordance with ashes are shipped. The latter should be the rites of the religious faith of the accompanied by deceased, if known. In each instance (1) An official death certificate; the consular officer should notify known (2) Cremation certificate; friends of the deceased and other inter- (3) Certificate from the crematorium ested persons in the consular district
stating that the container holds only the (such as any American community or- cremated remains of the deceased; and ganizations) of the date and place of the (4) A permit to export (if required funeral. When practicable, the services locally).