An official website of the United States government

Death of a U.S. Citizen
June 27, 2023


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 or if there is a language barrier.

When a U.S. citizen in Panama passes away, the Panamanian authorities will immediately seek to inform any next-of-kin in Panama of the person’s death and offer their assistance.  If the deceased’s next-of-kin lives in the United States and there are no relatives or friends in Panama, the Panamanian authorities will contact us for assistance in notifying the next-of-kin.

We will endeavor to reach the deceased’s next-of-kin as quickly as possible. We make it a priority to provide the next-of-kin with all available details surrounding their loved one’s death. Please understand that when a death occurs over a weekend, most Panamanian offices are closed.    Therefore, in some cases, it might take until the next business day for us to contact or provide the next-of-kin with additional information and offer information about making arrangements for a local burial or for return of the remains to the United States.

When a death of a U.S. citizen occurs in Panama, it is important to notify the American Citizen Services Unit (ACS) as soon as possible.  A Duty Officer can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (507) 317-5000.

Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad

Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of a U.S. citizen should be reported to the Embassy since we are responsible for preparing a Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad (CRODA) for every U.S. citizen that dies in Panama.   This is a certificate based on the Panamanian death certificate and is used to settle legal and estate matters in the United States.

U.S. Embassy Panama issues the form DS-2060, U.S. Department of State Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Non-Citizen National Abroad (CRODA), electronically, and will send it to you by email. The electronic CRODA contains the digital signature of the consular officer who signed the form with a time and date stamp when it was signed on the form’s signature line, the typed name and title of that consular officer, and the U.S. Embassy Panama digital seal to the left of the digital signature.

When reporting a death to us for the preparation of the electronic Consular Report of Death Abroad certificate (eCRODA), please e-mail us at Panama-ACS@state.gov and scan in a PDF file the following documents:

  • Evidence of U.S. Citizenship: U.S. passport or naturalization certificate (if naturalized) of the deceased.
  • Evidence of the Next-of-Kin relationship. (Marriage certificate if there is a living spouse or a birth certificate for a child). Policy defines the next-of-kin in this order: a) spouse; b) adult children; c) parents; and d) siblings.
  • Panamanian death certificate with the cause of death
    1.   – Disposition of Remains field, if buried or cremated provide the name and location of the Cemetery, church or where the ashes/remains were laid to rest or             scattered.
    2.   – Disposition of Effects, please include the complete name and relationship to the deceased of the person responsible
    3.   – Remarks, complete name, and relationship to the deceased of the person in possession of the deceased’s U.S. passport.

In your e-mail, please include your complete name, relationship with the deceased, and telephone number.

Disposition of Remains

Repatriation of Remains

Panamanian law requires the disposition of remains within one month after the death. However, many factors can affect how much time is needed to prepare your loved one’s remains for return to the United States.   Because of these many variables, it is best not to make unchangeable plans for ceremonies.  The funeral home you are working with can provide a firm timetable.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)   for guidance on repatriation of human remains to the United States.

To export human remains outside the national territory, we need to prepare a Mortuary Certificate.  This document is designed to control the orderly shipment of the remains and to facilitate U.S. Customs Clearance.

To prepare this certificate we need the following documents from the funeral home you are working with:

  • Apostilled Death Certificate with cause of death, issued by the Panamanian Civil Registry Office
  • Apostilled Clinical Death Certificate, authenticated by Ministry of Health
  • Apostilled International Transit Permit issued by the Ministry of Health

The documentations listed above must be duly authenticated by the issuing office and apostilled by the Ministry of Foreign Relations.   The funeral homes are responsible for securing the required authentications and apostilles.


General Information

All major funeral homes provide for the collection and transportation of the deceased, embalming, cremation, wake or religious service and transportation of remains to cemetery or airport (shipping cost charges are extra).  For an additional fee, the funeral home will complete all the documentation required by local authorities.

DISCLAIMER:  The U.S. Embassy in Panama assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by the funeral homes.  Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance.

At the following link , you will find a list of funeral homes in Panama as well as their location and contact information.

Following are some funeral homes that have provided services with arrangements to the families of U.S. Citizens in Panama:

Funeraria Alvarado
Across the street from Hospital Santo Tomas or in Jardín de Paz Cemetery
Panama City, Panama
Tel. (507) 390-2552, 390-2727
Cellphone: (507) 6672-1074

Funeraria Da Silva, S.A. (Olivierre)
8th Street, Amador Guerrero Ave, #7114,
Colon Province, Republic of Panama
Tel. (507) 441-2263, 441-2855
Cellphone: (507) 6613-9054

Funerales Panameños La Auxiliadora
Edificio JJ Vallarino, Planta baja, C. 32 Este 32
Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá
Tel. (507) 227-3458
Cellphone: (507) 6686-3982