Shipping human remains is best left to your mortician. But where do you find such qualified death care professionals? Luckily, there are numerous resources and services available to help you through this stressful task. What follows are some things to consider when shipping your loved one's remains.
Call local funeral homes and inquire about their general shipping and price options. In addition, ask whether they are well versed in the regulations and rules required for your shipment. Since there are dozens of details to consider (securing proper permits, death certificates, notarizing government documents, embalming of the body, locating a shipping crate, air tray and casket) allow them to handle the details regarding your shipment.
Check out the American Association of Mortuary Shippers. This group provides a comprehensive list of funeral homes who specialize in the shipping of human remains. See the resource section below for a link to their website.
Look in the American Blue Book of Funeral Directors. This handy resource (found at your local library) lists contact information for funeral homes across the world. In addition, consulate and embassy information as well as shipping procedures are explained in detail.
Contact the funeral home who will be receiving the body. Since the burial will take place elsewhere, all of the arrangements regarding interment must take place through the receiving mortuary. In addition, the director receiving the body should be well versed in the shipping regulations of his jurisdiction (city, state, country) and serve as a valuable resource to you.
Arrange for a local funeral service. If the deceased had local friends or family, consider a simple service to celebrate their life before the body is shipped. This will allow closure for loved ones who will be unable to attend the burial. Contact your local mortician for details.
Be prepared to pay for the funeral services. In most cases, all funeral costs must be paid up front before the body can be shipped out.
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