What To Do In The Event Of a Death

If the death is suspicious or accidental the police would become involved and then there may have to be an autopsy and an enquiry in which case the relatives would be advised of what steps to take.

If the deceased died in hospital then you should advise your local funeral director or Funeral Plan holder who will take care of arrangements.

If the deceased;

  • Died of natural causes at home
  • Was registered with the Canarian Health service and has a national health GP here
  • Died during normal hours,

your own medical centre should be the first call. The local doctor will issue the death certificate and Funeral directors may not disturb the remains until that is issued.

If the death is out of hours or at a weekend or the deceased was not registered dial 112 and ask for an English speaker (if necessary) they will then advise the duty doctor who will come to the home.
The next call should be either to you funeral plan operator (there are many good ones but I recommend http://www.goldenleaves.com/) or to the local funeral director.

If the loved one is to be cremated then I would use SERVISA
local office in Guaza C/ Lomo de la fuente, 14, ARONA, Tel. 922 169 157. We only have 2 Crematoriums on the island and both are in Santa Cruz – SERVISA operate one of them and are used to dealing with Ex-Pats.

Finally or concurrently you may want to get in touch to arrange a religious service –
More information can be obtained from

Church Warden:
Mrs. Maryrissa (Marisha) Carter
4B Altavista Residential, Calle Mejico
Tejina, Guia de Isora, Tenerife
Tel: 922 857 990
e-mail: marishacarter@hotmail.com

Normally the funeral director will obtain as many international or ordinary copies of the death certificate for you as you require. You will need these to advise banks, insurance companies etc and of course the tax office here. Inheritance tax is another thorny issue which is too complicated to include here (click on the link to be taken to the tax information page), but you should be aware that you have 6 months from the date of demise to deal with this.