December 11, 2009, Newsletter Issue #102: Transporting a Body

Tip of the Week

This isn't the kind of cargo most people like to think about, but it does happen from time to time that people die far away from the places where they will go to their final rest. In those cases, special shipping arrangements must be made to bring the remains home safely and respectfully.

In many states and countries, local regulations will require embalming, though it is not strictly necessary provided the body is transported in a sealed casket. Cremated remains face fewer restrictions and may be transported in a sealed urn which is protected against breakage. In both cases, airlines will require a death certificate showing the cause of death, and may have other hygienic requirements.

In the case of a death far from home, the family will incur extra costs by calling a funeral home to help make arrangements. Instead, call the funeral director in the place where the arrangements are to be made. There are body shipping services which will work with licensed funeral homes to move human remains from one place to another, taking care of the necessary paperwork.

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