In Gandolfini's case, the usual bureaucratic red tape formalities may be speeded up to bring his body back to New York within 10 days. However, when each country has its own rules, where can you find practical help when you need it most?
If you are a relative or friend of a UK citizen and with them when they die abroad, your first call should be to the British Consulate or British Embassy in that country. They will help with funeral arrangements, any inquests, registering the death and obtaining a Death Certificate.
If you're on a package holiday, tell your rep as soon as possible, so your tour operator can contact the Consulate for you.
Your second call should be to the deceased's travel insurers, who will in turn contact the funeral directors and make arrangements, including payments. Sadly, without insurance, you will be liable for all costs including repatriation, which can be very costly.
If you wish to bring the body home, the Consulate will put you in touch with an international funeral director who understands the requirements of preparing a body for transit. You will also need permission from the coroner in the country involved.
For more information, see:
Citizens Advice page on deaths abroad
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office also have a PDF leaflet on coping with death overseas