What Happens When a Death Occurs Far from Home?
When a loved one dies it’s already a difficult event, but it’s made even more complicated and stressful when the death takes place far from home. Knowing what to do ahead of time in the chance this happens can help relieve the burden on you and other family members responsible for making funeral arrangements.
Your first call should be to your hometown funeral director or a funeral director located where the service will take place. This person is your number one contact to rely on who can start the process of bringing your loved one home and managing burial or cremation services. This director will help you with arrangements, authorization paperwork, transportation, and guide you on avoiding unnecessary expenses that could overwhelm your budget.
Transporting a loved one’s body can be another challenge. The method by which the deceased is transported relies on how far from home they were when they died and what common carriers travel to their final resting place. Depending on distance, your receiving funeral home could send its own vehicle to pick up the deceased or arrange for transportation with an approved air or land carrier.
Crossing state lines or flying by air can provide even more challenges. It’s important to note that there can be considerable costs with transportation, especially by air. The shipping price is calculated on the weight of the shipment and distance traveled. Coordination efforts and shipping container fees could increase the expense. Your funeral director can advise you on all laws that must be complied with and how to save on costs wherever possible.
When a death happens abroad, there are more complexities to putting your loved one to rest. First, you’ll want to contact the U.S. Consulate of the country where the death occurred to find out what documents and paperwork are legally required. This can vary depending on death circumstances and the country involved. The U.S. Department of State can also be contacted for additional help or information. If you’re planning cremation, the remains can be shipped or carried home as long as airline and security policies are followed.
Your funeral home can also assist in any international shipping arrangements. It helps to know that most funeral directors have relationships with global agencies that specialize in making sure the deceased is transported safely. At Goldstein’s, we can help you coordinate all of these details to bring your loved one home, including the handling of legal documents and consular services outside the U.S.
No matter where death occurs, calling your local funeral director is the first step in beginning the burial process. For more pre-need information or if you’re in need of a receiving funeral home now to manage the transportation of a loved one, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please call us 215-927-5800 to speak with one of our licensed funeral directors today.