The notification of a person's death

Reporting a death varies depending on whether the deceased died at home or at the health care facility

The notification of a death to the registry office varies depending on whether the person died in an apartment or health care institution. A deceased or stillborn person shall not be buried until they have been examined and the cause of death determined, and in case of cremation, a check-up.

Death in an apartment or house

When a death occurs in an apartment or house, it should be reported as soon as possible and without delay. Death shall be reported without delay by persons who have lived in association with the deceased person, relatives or neighbours, and in the absence thereof, by any person who becomes aware of it.

The procedure shall be as follows:
  • call the ambulance (194) or the police (192)
  • officials will call the coroner
  • it is necessary to provide the coroner with access to the deceased person, prepare medical documentation if the deceased person has been sick, as well as all the data on the deceased person.
Citizens are obliged to provide the coroner with information known to them and enable the coroner to perform the inspection without hindrance.
  • upon completion of the death certificate, the coroner shall complete and sign the funeral permit unless the body is referred to the autopsy.
  • contact an authorized funeral home, funeral parlor or funeral parcel (if the deceased has an arranged funeral parcel, bring the deceased's ID card)
  • take all documents related to the death report issued by the coroner to the registry office for registration and registration of the deceased in the registry of the deceased.

The fact of death shall be reported within three days to the registrar in whose territory the death occurred or where the deceased was found. The list of registry offices is available on the website of the Ministry of Justice and Administration.

Death in a health care facility

If death occurs in a health institution in the territory of Croatia, it is necessary to:
  • report to the department where the person was admitted
  • provide all personal data on the deceased person so that the application can be made to the registry office
  • in the hospital ward (pathology, not in the ward where the person was lying) leave the clothes where the deceased will be buried
  • arrange the details of the transport, equipment and burial with an authorised funeral undertaking or carrier or funeral assistance or contact an authorised funeral undertaking, funeral carrier or funeral assistance.
If the deceased person's body is not taken over within 24 hours, the health institution will charge a special allowance for each subsequent day from the prescribed deadline.

Where a person died in a health institution or in the premises of a company carrying out a health activity or in an office, an autopsy of the body of the deceased person shall be carried out to determine the cause of death.

At the request of the immediate family of the deceased person, the facility director may, in agreement with the head of the organisational unit and the pathologist, decide not to perform the autopsy.

Exceptionally, when a person has died in a health care facility, an autopsy must be carried out:
  • if it is an unnatural death or death of unknown cause
  • if death occurs during a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure
  • if death, the cause of which cannot be clearly determined from existing medical records, occurs within 24 hours of the person's admission to a health institution
  • if a person has participated in a clinical trial of a medicinal product or a medical device or another scientific trial in a health institution
  • in the event of the death of a person whose parts of the body may be taken for transplantation for the purpose of treatment in accordance with a special law.

Sudden/violent death

In the case of a violent death or suspicion of a violent death caused by a criminal offence, the coroner shall immediately inform the investigating authority and ensure that no trace of a possible criminal offence is lost.


In order to determine the cause of death, an autopsy of the body of the deceased person shall be carried out.

The autopsy shall be carried out:

1. where there is suspicion or it is obvious that the death was caused by a criminal offence or is related to the execution of a criminal offence
2. when necessary for the protection of human health or when epidemiological, sanitary and other professional medical reasons so require
3. when the autopsy request is made by the family of the deceased person
4. when the person died in a health institution or in the premises of a company performing health activities or in an office.
The coroner must send the body of the deceased to autopsy and in cases for other medical reasons, which may be suspected of violent death, sudden death where the cause is unknown or unclear.

Funerals for the socially vulnerable

The Social Welfare Act enables the socially disadvantaged to meet the basic costs of funerals. The costs include the price of the coffin, the funeral sign and the burial in an earthen grave located on special plots of the city's cemeteries.