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How To Transport A Deceased Loved One Back Home

If your loved one dies at home or their current dwelling, such as a long-term care facility or hospital, transportation is somewhat straightforward. In those cases, the funeral home of choice is called and they care for and transport the body with dignity. However, when your loved one dies away from home or a service will be in another city (or country), transportation requires collaboration between funeral homes. Here’s everything you need to know. 

  1. First, contact a funeral home near the place of death. They will transport your loved one from the hospital or nursing home to the local mortuary, and then assist in transporting them to the city in which the service or burial will be held. If you have not yet selected a funeral home to assist you in another city or state, see if this mortuary has a recommendation. 
  2. Choose the funeral home you’d like to work with in the city where the service will be held and your loved one will be laid to rest. Let both funeral homes know who you selected so they can work together to arrange transportation. 
  3. Provide both funeral homes with information as requested. This usually includes your loved one’s name, address, social security number, parents’ full names, your contact information, and last occupation. If you have a durable power of attorney or another document giving you rights to make arrangements, you may need to fax or email these to both funeral homes.

Considerations when using a funeral home in another country: Every country has requirements that must be met before accepting a decedent. Along with additional documentation, you may need to pay for permits and translated documents the mortuary will collect from an embassy. A difference in time zones is likely to cause delays. You should wait for the first funeral home to confirm when your loved one will be transported, and expected to arrive home, before you set the date for a service.

If your loved one needs to be transported by air, the process is similar. Funeral homes are considered “known shippers” of human remains with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and will work together with the TSA to arrange transportation by air. Please keep in mind that only a funeral home can make these arrangements if you loved one is not cremated, and you can’t do so yourself due to security measures.

If you will be taking responsibility for taking your loved one’s cremains over state or country borders, you will need a Transportation Permit. This will be provided to you by the funeral home or crematory. If going to another country, you should ask the funeral home to make sure there are no additional permits or certificates you may need. When flying with cremains, note that some urns can not be scanned using an x-ray. On rare occasion, even with a Transportation Permit, security may ask your permission to open an urn.

There is one more circumstance in which transportation may be required more than once. When a loved one passes away unexpectedly (or sooner than expected), families are often required to make quick decisions. A funeral home can be called to transport the body while you review your options and determine which other funeral home you would like to handle the funeral arrangements and burial. When possible, planning in advance can keep costs low and alleviate stress following your loss. For those who travel often, consider a Travel Protection Plan.

To learn more about the funeral planning process, visit Mountain View Funeral Home in Mesa, Arizona, today. Our caring staff are standing by.