Shipping a Deceased Body from One State to Another (Across State Lines)
This article outlines the logistics and costs you can expect to encounter if you ship a body across state lines instead of shipping cremated remains from one state to another.
Our society is an interstate society. Kids grow up, they go off to college, maybe in another state. They get a job, perhaps in another state. They change jobs and change states again. It is estimated the average person will have 12 different jobs over their lifetime. And, once they retire, maybe they want to retire in yet another state. Many ‘snowbirds,’ those from Northern states, are choosing to move south to a warmer climate when they retire. So, from parents to children, aunts to uncles and cousins, all can be scattered in different states across the country. But, to most everyone, home is still home. Thus, when a death occurs, it often happens in a state that is different than the state the person is from, the one they ‘call home.’
If the family wishes for the services to be in the ‘home’ state, then the body will need to be transported across state lines. Think about if your loved one died while travelling to another state for business or vacation. It happens much more often than you think. If planning someone’s death is a new experience for you, as it is with most people, your first thought is, “I need to get the body home.”
If there are no plans for a final viewing and cremation will be the ultimate choice by the family, direct cremation can save a lot of time and money in getting your loved one back to your home state. Shipping a body from one state to another is not only expensive, but also logistically complex.
Transportation and rules for a deceased body entering a state is regulated by each individual state. Additionally, further rules apply depending on the mode of transportation. More on that later. This is where expenses can really start to climb because you will likely be dealing with two funeral homes, preparation, and a variety of transportation charges.
When shipping your loved one from one state to another, Cremation Specialists can help you avoid all these costs below.
Time, fees and expenses can add up quickly. There are four major considerations if when you want to actually transport a physical body across state lines.
- You may be required to travel to the other state to make the arrangements in person.
- The cost to prepare a body for transport across state lines.
- The cost to transport a body from one state to another.
- Additional costs for receiving the deceased in the ‘home state.’
1) You may be required to travel to the other state to make the arrangements in person.
Before any of the costs outlined below take place, you will likely need to travel to the state where the deceased lays in rest to arrange all the below with a Funeral Home directly. This adds even more costs to these final arrangements as last-minute tickets, hotel, a rental car, meals out, lost wages, etc. are required to fulfill these arrangements in the state away from home.
With Cremation Specialists, you can make arrangements online from the comfort of your kitchen or living room.
2) The cost to prepare a body for transport across state lines.
Here are some of the steps you will need in the state where the death takes place. You will have time, fees and costs associated with a local, licensed funeral home.
- Locate and contact a local funeral home.
- Local transportation to the local funeral home.
- Have the body refrigerated while waiting for preparation.
- Costs for death certificates in the state of death (these often cost more if provided by a funeral home).
- The cost to embalm the body for transportation. Or alternatively, you will require expensive, refrigerated transportation.
- Arrangements will need to be made with a transportation company.
- Either the Funeral Home can transport the body, or a licensed, interstate transportation company will need to pick up the body for transport.
With Cremation Specialists, your loved one comes in to our care immediately and the body is given a dignified cremation in preparation for shipping directly to you.
3) The cost to transport a body from one state to another.
The costs to transport a body across state lines will vary significantly based on miles traveled. Beyond mileage, there are additional costs for a special container to transport the body. There are three Interstate transportation options to consider depending on distance:
Trains are often used to ship a body across longer distances. However, you will likely require the services from a funeral home. For instance, Amtrak requires that a Funeral Director be present at both the pickup and drop off locations. This means you will need to be working with two different funeral homes. Costs here can range from $600 to $1500 dollars or more.
For even longer distances, or when speed is required, air transport is a common option. Again, the use of a Funeral Director is required as individuals are not allowed to work with airlines directly when shipping a body. The necessary paperwork and air transportation arrangements are required to be done by a licensed shipper, usually a Funeral Home, on both ends. The fees and costs here can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or higher.
In both train and air transport, the body will be transported in the cargo section of the plane or train.
With Cremation Specialists, cremated remains can be shipped via the post office or an overnight carrier, such as FedEx.
4) Additional costs for receiving the deceased in the ‘home state.’
Some states require that a body be refrigerated or embalmed before it can arrive in their state. You need to know your local laws for interstate transport of a deceased body.
If the body arrives by train or plane, the body will need to be transported to a local funeral home. This requires additional transportation fees. The receiving funeral home will also have their own fees and service charges for taking the body into their custody. Some of these costs include, but are not limited to:
1. Receiving fee
2. Paperwork fee
3. Transportation fee
4. Refrigeration fees (if not embalmed).
5. Additional fees for preserving the body if it was not handled properly.
6. And, you will have fees for final arrangements such as memorial services, cremation services and/or a permanent resting place.
With Cremation Specialists, cremated remains can be shipped directly to your front door without the additional costs of funeral homes and expensive modes of transportation.
From there, arrangements for a final resting place or additional memorial services can be planned.
So, you can see why many people are increasingly having the body cremated in the state where the death occurred as an alternative to transporting a deceased body across state lines.
Once again, if a final viewing is not mandatory and the body was ultimately going to be cremated in the home state anyway, Direct Cremation is the most cost-effective way to transport your loved one. You do not even have to be present to make the arrangements. And, with Cremation Specialists, you can make all of the arrangements online, in your home state, from the comfort of your living room.
By choosing cremation in the state where the death occurs, Cremation Specialists can significantly reduce the time and costs involved in preparation and transportation.