After death, the deceased will need to be transported several times. Certain transports are free of charge in as much as they are already covered by the funeral charge paid through your taxes. Other transport costs are paid by the municipality, regional authority or the estate. If long distances are involved, transportation may cost thousands of kronor.
Sweden has no common rules regarding who pays for the various transports; it varies from one municipality to the next. The costs involved vary depending on factors such as whether the funeral or cremation takes place in the deceased’s place of residence (according to the population register) or elsewhere in the country. Contact a funeral director to find out what applies to your particular situation.
Transport costs covered by the funeral charge
Everyone who is registered in the Swedish population register, folkbokföringen, and pays municipal income tax automatically pays the annual funeral charge, begravningsavgift.
Examples of transport costs covered by the funeral charge within the areas of responsibility of each principal administrative authority:
Coffin or urn from the viewing and storage location to the ceremonial location.
Coffin from the ceremonial location to the crematorium.
Coffin or urn from the ceremonial location to the cemetery.
Urn from the crematorium to the burial site.
Pallbearers except in conjunction with the funeral service.
Examples of transport costs that are not covered by the funeral charge that the estate must pay:
Coffin from the hospital, nursing home or home to the mortuary, viewing and storage location or ceremonial location
Coffin from the viewing and storage location to a ceremonial location in a district other than the one the deceased was registered as a resident of.
Pallbearers as part of the funeral service. If the deceased was a member of the Church of Sweden (Svenska kyrkan), pallbearers are covered by the membership fee.
Coffin or urn to a burial site outside the district in which the deceased was registered as a resident.
If there are insufficient funds in the estate you will need to contact the municipality in which the deceased was registered as a resident. The municipality will then assess how much financial support the estate is entitled to.
Death abroad and burial in Sweden
If someone dies abroad and is to be buried in Sweden, you will need to find out if the associated costs are covered by any travel or home insurance policy. Otherwise, the estate is responsible for paying the costs for transporting the coffin or urn. It usually costs a considerable sum to repatriate a coffin or urn by air or some other means. The cost will vary depending on where in the world the death occurred.
Death in Sweden and burial in another country
If someone dies in Sweden and is to be buried in another country, you will need to find out if the associated costs are covered by any travel or home insurance policy. Otherwise, the estate is responsible for paying the costs for transporting the coffin or urn.
If you intend to transport a coffin out of the country you will need to apply to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) for a permit, called a "passersedel för lik" in Swedish. The cost of transport may be very high depending on where in the world the burial is to take place.
Apply for probate to administer the estate of the deceased
If you are the widow, widower, child or other relative who is the executor of the estate, you may need a death certificate, showing the date and time of death, with a "släktutredning", a report of surviving current and former spouses and children of the deceased.
The death certificate may be needed to deal with insurance companies and an estate administrator.
You will need a registry extract called a burial/cremation certificate in order to arrange the funeral. You can obtain this from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) yourself if you do not have a funeral director to apply for it on your behalf.
You can order a death certificate and släktutredning over the telephone by calling the Swedish Tax Agency +46 (0)771 567 567, or you can ask a funeral director to help you.
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