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How to Manage Funeral Arrangements From Another State

If you find yourself having to make funeral arrangements from another state here’s what you need to know to make the process as easy as possible.
Managing Funeral Arrangements From Another State
Managing Funeral Arrangements From Another State

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I live in New York but my brother died in Austin. I’m not sure how funeral arrangements are supposed to work since I’m in another state.

The scenario above is a common occurrence today now that more people live away from where they grew up. We handle situations like this on a regular basis at Cremation.Green, and as the funeral director I’m always happy that I can help out family members that can’t be here in person. 

Managing funeral services is hard enough when you’re in the local area. Add some distance and things can get more difficult. But luckily today it is possible to manage funeral services from anywhere even if you’re overseas in Europe, especially when you follow the advice below. 

Understand the Funeral Service Laws May Be Different

The first thing to realize is that funeral laws vary from state to state and can be dramatically different from one country to the next if a loved one died abroad while traveling. Case in point, each state or country decides which forms of disposition are legal. That means the types of disposition that are offered in your state may not be available where your loved one died. 

If you are arranging funeral services in Texas, you can find information on disposition in Chapter 711 of the Health and Safety Code. There are also specialty funeral homes like Cremation.Green that can provide additional services through our partners in other states. 

Find Local Funeral Homes With a Great Reputation

No matter whether you’re in Austin, Chicago or England, it’s always important to use a funeral home with a great reputation when you have to arrange services remotely. When you can’t be there in person you have to really trust that the funeral home will do what they say and handle things appropriately following the state laws for disposition. Also, the funeral home can take the reins in getting things arranged, so you’ll want to find a provider that’s able to coordinate everything. 

This is one reason why funeral home reviews are so important. Funeral services are not only expensive but very personal. It’s also a service that can’t be done again or changed. You have one chance to get it done right. Reviews from past clients will give you a good idea of the quality you can expect and how well the funeral director works with others to deliver services as promised.

Look for a Funeral Home With Modern Amenities

The more modernized a funeral home is, the easier it should be to make arrangements from out of state. Modern funeral homes are equipped to make long distance arrangements in which necessary paperwork can be signed digitally and shared electronically. Communication also shouldn’t be an issue for a funeral home that is able to converse by phone, text, email or online. 

At Cremation.Green we’ve invested in technology and systems that allow us to be paperless. Handling everything online is not only easier for our clients, it’s also more eco-friendly. 

Carefully Consider Your Disposition Options

The type of disposition you choose will also affect how easy funeral services are to manage. In general, burial requires more management because you have to take extra steps to secure a burial plot and arrange burial services with the cemetery. And if you plan to bury your loved one where you live you’ll be working with two different funeral homes: one where your loved one died and another local funeral home. 

Traditional cremation with a viewing and funeral beforehand tends to be easier to manage, but it still comes with many of the same challenges. Regardless of whether the funeral and viewing are happening at your location or where the deceased died, you’ll have to take extra steps to arrange the services. 

Direct cremation is certainly going to be the easiest option if you are out of state and can’t travel to the funeral home. With direct cremation there’s no funeral or viewing before the cremation. That means there is a lot less to arrange and coordinate. Basically, all you’ll need to do is complete the documentation that’s needed for a cremation permit and pay the funeral home fees. And if you’re concerned about the carbon footprint of funeral services, our eco-friendly flame cremation and water cremation have a much lower impact than traditional death care. 

Understand the Legalities of Transporting a Body or Cremains

One of the biggest differences between managing funeral arrangements locally versus long distance is transport needs. It’s much more complicated and expensive when you’re transporting remains across state lines or out of the country because of the varying regulations. You can expect to pay at least $300+ for transport out of state.

Before you decide what type of disposition to use, carefully consider the logistics of transporting remains versus transporting cremains out of state. 

Transporting Remains Out of State or Out of the Country

Transporting a body to your location is going to be a costly endeavor with more regulations compared to transporting cremains. If you want to have a burial or cremate where you live you’ll have to account for this. The transport options include a private vehicle or plane flight.

Transporting Cremains Out of State or Out of the Country

Transporting cremains is much easier. In fact, cremains can be shipped through the United States Postal Service. You’ll need to use special packaging that indicates cremated remains are inside and package everything appropriately, but the cost is minimal in comparison. 

Another option is to fly with the cremains. This could be an option if you plan to travel to the location where your loved one died sometime in the near future. The crematorium can store the cremains for you until you are able to pick them up. You can fly back with the cremains in a carry-on bag or a checked suitcase. 

Transporting cremains out of the country could prove more difficult if the destination country doesn’t allow cremation. In that case, you may not be able to ship the cremains or fly into the country with them in your possession. 

Do you need help arranging funeral services in Texas from out of state? As a premier provider of eco-friendly direct cremation, we’ve helped many families in the same situation. Our process for arranging a funeral service is the same whether you’re in California, New York or a foreign country. It starts by giving us a call, text or email to learn more about making funeral arrangements.

We’re here for you 24/7 no matter where you are.

Picture of Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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