How to Package and Ship Cremated Remains

by Contributor
The United States Postal Service will ship cremated remains if they are packaged correctly.

The United States Postal Service will ship cremated remains if they are packaged correctly.

If you need to move the cremated remains of a friend, family member or pet but cannot travel, you can ship the cremated remains using the United States Postal Service. You can also ship cremated remains to artisans and craftspeople if you are incorporating the cremated remains into blown glass, diamonds, painted artwork or vinyl records. Make sure the remains are packaged and labeled and that you follow the necessary precautions. Contact the artisan making your memorial artwork or object to find out how many ounces of remains they will need.

Open your resealable container or bag. The crematory or funeral home will have returned the cremated remains to you in a cardboard box with a sealed plastic bag inside or in an urn, depending on your wishes. Carefully open the urn or other packaging in which the cremated remains are contained.

Remove the necessary amount of cremated remains from the container and place into the resealable container or bag. Do not seal the bag or container. Weigh the cremated remains if necessary. If you are packing the entirety of the remains, place them all inside a resealable container or bag. Do not seal the bag or container.

Place a non-stick label with your name and contact information inside the resealable container or bag and seal. This will ensure the cremated remains are clearly identifiable when they are separated from the outer wrapping of the package.

Place the resealable container or bag into a resealable container large enough to accommodate it. Pad the space between the two containers with newspaper or plastic shipping material if necessary.

Place the lid on the resealable container. Tape the lid to the box, making sure to properly secure every opening. The USPS regulations state that all containers used to ship cremated remains must be "siftproof."

Place the container in a plastic bag and seal with packing tape.

Wrap container in brown paper and secure with packing tape. Affix adhesive labels on the top of the container with the mailing address and return address written clearly. Affix another label stating the contents of the package to the same side of the container.

Take the package to the post office and arrange for it to be sent via registered mail or express mail. These are the only methods by which the USPS will ship cremated remains. The package will have to be signed for by the receiver, so make sure the person receiving the package is able to get to the post office.

Notify the recipient that the package has been shipped. This way, she will know approximately when it should be arriving.

Tip

  • Ask to be notified of the package's delivery by the "Return Receipt Requested" service provided by the USPS.

Warning

  • Package delivery services other than the USPS will not ship cremated remains. This type of shipping is only available through the USPS.

Items you will need

  • Cremated remains
  • Resealable zipper storage bag
  • Resealable plastic containers
  • Scale
  • Non-stick label
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic shipping material
  • Plastic bag
  • Adhesive labels
  • Marker
  • Packing tape
  • Brown paper

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