When a loved-one dies far away: How to bring them home and what it costs
In 2016, 843 U.S citizens died overseas of non-natural causes. The number who died of natural causes was much higher than that. And that’s when family and friends find that they may be unprepared not just for the sadness and loss, but for how expensive a funeral can be, especially when there’s transport involved.
International Funeral Shipping
Moving a loved one who’s passed away is an expensive task to take on. If the remains need to be transported internationally, then an International Funeral Shipping Provider is absolutely necessary. According to us-funerals.com, “Some of the Funeral Homes who specialize in human remains transportation can offer you a service that will cost between $3,800 -$5,500 depending on the country they are going to (excluding the actual airline shipping fee), so a total cost is likely to be more in the range of $5,000 – $8,500.”
State by State Funeral Transport
If you’re in need of transporting someone within the United States, your funeral provider will usually be able to help assist you with this. If the distance of the travel needed surpasses their travel range, the funeral service provider will often hire a carrier that specializes in transporting human remains – a mortuary transport company.
Arranging Cremation & Transportation
If the cost of arranging a funeral for an out-of-state loved one is too much for you to incur, you might consider arranging a cremation. A basic direct cremation can usually be arranged for around $1,000 (depending on the state/country of death) and typically the shipping costs for cremated remains is much less as it is not a heavy freight item and is easier to transport.
Airline Carriers that specialize in Mortuary Shipping Freight Services
US-funeral.com provides a list of airline carriers who specialize in mortuary shipping freight services below:
- American Airlines Jim Wilson Service: dedicated help desk for funeral homes, offering scheduled service to 250 cities in 40 countries, special ramps at larger AA Cargo facilities & shorter drop off times.
- Delta Cargo ‘Delta Cares’ service & Fallen Soldier Program: also offer considerate rates for bereavement travel and allow the transportation of a casket spray at no extra charge.
- Southwest Airlines Cargo: Southwest Support provides mortuary shipping services across the Southwest network of destinations apart from Interline or Road Feeder destinations.
- US Funerals Online is currently partnered with funeral shipping experts in New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Houston, Rome, Mexico City, Guatemala City, Buenos Aires, Beijing, Tokyo, Warsaw, Madrid and Kiev.
What happens if I just can’t cover the expenses?
Take a look at the life insurance policy of the deceased (if they had one). Get on the phone with an agent and ask them to walk you through any limitations and stipulations associated with the policy. Blackenterprise.com says, “If you simply can’t come up with the money to pay for cremation or burial costs, you can sign a release form with your county coroner’s office that says you can’t afford to bury the family member. If you sign the release, the county and state will pitch in to either bury or cremate the body. The county may also offer you the option to claim the ashes for a fee. But if these also go unclaimed, they will bury the ashes in a common grave alongside other unclaimed ashes.”However, a little forethought and preparation can go a long way when it comes to paying for cremation and burial costs.
Have a budget in mind – it’ll help
When death occurs, it can be hard to stay focused on a no-frills funeral. Our emotions can leave us wanting to spend more and more money on objects and arrangements that may not be totally necessary, like extra flowers, extra food for guests attending, etc. Try to think ahead and set aside a budget plan to help shield you from financial distress. There’s no shame in running into financial difficulties when it comes to funerals – they’re expensive. Be upfront with the funeral director about your finances and let them guide you to the best options available for your given situation.
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