What do I do if I die out of town?

What happens if I die outside of town? If you die in another country, another state, or another city that is a 100 miles or more away from your home, it is very inconvenient and costly to say the least. Most people do not expect to die while they are out of town and don’t think about what would need to take place if that did happen.  

The first thing you need to decide is what funeral home you would like to have handle your services. More than likely it will be a funeral home in the town of your permanent residence. Choosing this funeral home is important because they will be the ones coordinating all the transportation arrangements back to your town of residence.  

When someone dies in another state or country, the remains are subject to the laws of that state or country.  Most states will have to go through an approval process and issue a document that releases the body from the state.  This document is usually a death certificate or a burial transit permit.

Most remains are shipped in a wooden tray with a cardboard top called a combo unit. Shipping in this tray there is no need for a casket.  The other most common shipping method is when the remains are placed in a casket and then in an Air Tray.  Both trays are a container for shipping by plane.  The price of the plane ticket is usually on top of the shipping and receiving fees.

All funeral homes have a price for forwarding and a receiving of remains on their general price list (What is a general price list?). The family will be responsible for paying for the fees to transport the body from the shipping funeral home and the receiving funeral home. This price is usually around $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 for both but could differ by funeral home. This fee is typically charged if you die 100 miles away from your home or more.

How it works

If you die out of town a funeral home in that area will pick you up and charge a $1,500 to $2,000 as a forwarding fee to your local hometown funeral home. Your local funeral home will charge a $1,500 to $2,000 receiving fee. If you die 100 miles away from home, the least expensive it could possibly cost you is $3,000, but it will probably end up costing more.

If someone were to die in another country, the paperwork is much more extensive and the fees vary greatly depending on the country, but they are substantially higher.  Some who have died out of country have paid upwards of $25,000 to get their loved one home.

Because the fees are so high to transport someone back from out of town, if you are someone who travels several times a year for work or for pleasure, its recommended to look into insurance for out of town transportation.

Return Assured is an insurance product that will ship you back to the town of your residence for a one time payment of $280. This covers any death more than 100 miles away from your permanent residence. They will take care of everything and it won’t cost a penny more even if you die out of country. This or other insurance options are really a product you should consider if you travel at all.

For more information on this protection or out of town deaths feel free to give us a call.