Disposition of Remains

The following general information is provided to assist families with their initial decisions following the death of a loved one.  Indicated costs are estimates, based on deaths with no unusual circumstances.

A. Maximum Period before Interment

(1) There is no fixed period if the body is embalmed and refrigerated room is available. For specific information, including estimated pricing, please visit the website of the consulate nearest to the place of death.

(2) Within 24 hours after death, if body is not embalmed.

B. Embalming

Embalming must be done within 24 hours after death. However, not all funeral homes offer embalming services and are generally not up to United States standards. For specific information, including estimated pricing, please visit the website of the consulate nearest to the place of death.

C. Cremation

Local laws permit cremation if requested by next of kin, who must be present to sign the cremation paperwork. Local cremation procedures result in a fine ash, very similar to the results of cremations performed in the United States.

D. Caskets and Containers

Caskets and containers are available locally.  Caskets can be hermetically sealed in the case of a death from a communicable disease.

E. Exportation of Remains

Local funeral homes obtain original copies of the following documents in order to export a body: Mexican death certificate, permit from the health department, embalming permit.  These original documents must be presented by the person traveling with the remains at the port of entry into the United States.

F. Costs

In Mexico, the various states’ laws govern the disposition of remains and pricing for funerary services varies by location.  For specific information, including estimated pricing, please visit the website of the consulate nearest to the place of death.

G. Exhumation

Generally, exhumation is not permitted until five years after initial interment.  However, if next of kin had not been aware of the decedent’s death and burial in Mexico, the remains may be exhumed at any time. The various states’ laws govern exhumation services and procedures. Exhumation labor costs have no fixed price since they depend upon the amount of work and time required for exhumation. For specific information, please visit the website of the consulate nearest to the place of death.

H. Autopsies

An autopsy is routinely performed unless the individual died in a hospital or was, at the time of death, being attended to by a physician.  Exceptions for religious reasons are extremely rare. For specific information, including, please visit the website of the consulate nearest to the place of death.