When Death Occurs Elsewhere — 3 Ways To Choose Funeral Locations

Funeral planning is often difficult, but it becomes even more so when you must do it from a distance. Whether the death happened unexpectedly while someone was traveling or they just live far away from you, one of the most important decisions you must make is where to hold the funeral. 

To help you decide the best course for your family, here are three ways to handle it and what they bring to the table. 

1. Hold a Distant Funeral

In some cases, it's easier and better to hold a funeral where the person passed away. Transporting bodies across state or international lines can be costly and challenging. In addition, this is vital if the person will not be embalmed or had religious beliefs about speedy burials. 

You will need to work with a reputable funeral home in that local area, but you may find it helpful to also work with one near your home. They can give advice and help coordinate between you and the nonlocal business. 

2. Transport Remains Home

This option works best when the deceased lived far away from the majority of friends and family or they were elsewhere only temporarily. If there would be few people there or able to travel there, focus your efforts on a funeral at home. This is also a wise choice if long-distance planning will bring you too much stress. 

Your local funeral home will take charge of transporting the remains and navigating the customs and regulatory requirements of doing so. Cremation is ideal for transportation, but embalming is also a good way to allow you the time needed to have a body returned home. 

3. Plan Two Services

It does make sense sometimes to hold funerals or memorials in more than one location, providing the most options for mourners or recognizing that the deceased had ties in more than one area. However, it is the most complex for those planning. 

If you decide to hold two services, the funeral usually comes first. Because this is the service that includes the person's remains, it is the most personal and should be held where their closest loved ones live. A memorial service (without a body present) is usually held in the other location. If choosing cremation, including the ashes in the second service adds meaning. 

Where to Get Help

Which option is right for your family? Find out by meeting with a business offering funeral services. No matter what you choose, they will help you every step of the way.