What happens if someone dies far away from home?

What happens if someone dies far away from home?

When a death occurs in another state or country, it can create additional stress for family members who are tasked with planning the funeral arrangements. Our community is spread throughout the world, and the modern way of life often sees families spread out across the globe. A death far from home requires additional steps to transport the deceased back home for the funeral. Here are some simple solutions:

-Travel Protection Insurance (Repatriation Insurance)

Most funeral homes offer some kind of travel protection insurance. A small one-time payment covers all the expenses that may be needed to transport a loved one to the airport closest to their primary residence. At that point the funeral home would bring them under their care. This insurance does not cover any of the funeral services such as a casket, vault, funeral service, or cemetery charges. Although the cost is small for this kind of policy, it only covers transportation.

-Pre-arranging Funeral Expenses with Life Insurance

Another option is to use a life insurance policy to pre-arrange specific services. Here we can include funds to anticipate potential transportation costs. This affords the most control over the process, including which funeral home to contract with and which flight to book. It makes sense if we travel often or have more than one place of residence, since repatriation insurance only returns the deceased to the primary place of residence – usually defined by living there at least 6 months of the previous year. If death occurs locally, an heir or survivor can receive the unused funds that were put into the pre-arrangement policy, so nothing will be lost.

While these simple solutions are available, unfortunately too many funerals are not pre-arranged, leaving the survivors to handle everything suddenly. Being in a foreign place and not knowing the language or customs will also add an unexpected variable. Coordination with a consulate is often necessary and protocols vary greatly from country to country. These issues can be avoided or lessened by having all or a portion of the arrangements preplanned.

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