What Happens When a Snowbird Dies in Florida?

According to surveys, snowbirds are in relatively better shape than other people their age, but there’s no telling when a death may occur. The only thing snowbirds can do is prepare for this possibility, and that means understanding what your post-death options are and planning for them.

When a Florida snowbird passes away, there are significant legal issues to sort out. This includes estate planning, taxes, and other legal concerns.

It also includes figuring out what to do with the decedent’s remains and how they are to be transported back to their home state (or determining whether or not they will be).

Transporting Human Remains from Florida to Another State or Country and the Challenges Involved

Florida snowbirds are known for keeping their bodies and brains fit, but death is eventual. When it does occur to a loved one, your initial response will likely be to get the decedent’s body to their home state (or nation) as soon as possible. This is understandable, but there are a variety of costs associated with this approach. There are also many logistical hurdles involved.

If your loved one was a U.S. citizen prior to passing, you’ll face the following if you’re transporting their body to another state:

  • An in-person visit to a Florida funeral home – You may be required to make all arrangements in person at the funeral home you’re working with. That means an expensive last-minute plane ticket and expensive hotel stay, along with missed time from work.

  • Costs to transport and handle the body in Florida – Your loved one’s remains will first need to be transported to a nearby funeral home and then placed in refrigerated storage. The body will require embalming before it can be transported long distances, or you’ll have to pay extra for refrigerated transport. Every part of this process incurs additional costs.

  • Costs to transport the body across state lines – Transporting a human body over long distances is expensive no matter how you do it. Van transport runs up to $5 a mile, train transport is around $1,000 and air transport can cost several thousand. If your home state is thousands of miles away, transport costs can be prohibitive for others to bear.

  • Costs to receive the body in the decedent’s home state – A second funeral home will be responsible for receiving the body and preparing it for additional services, if any. There are additional fees for this, along with additional fees for refrigerated storage if it’s required.

Many Florida snowbirds hail from Canada, and if a Canadian citizen dies while in Florida, the process is similar. However, because Canadians must notify their federal government while beginning the transport process, there are typically delays involved. These delays may pile on additional costs associated with holding the decedent’s remains for a longer period of time.

The Direct Cremation Process Provides Florida Snowbirds with a Less Expensive and Faster Alternative

Given the expense and drawn-out process of moving a body, many Florida snowbirds, and their families, are opting for an alternative to traditional memorial services. Direct cremation is one such alternative, and one that’s ideal for Florida snowbirds. Here’s why:

  • No other family members have to be present to make arrangements – Snowbirds in Florida may be on the other side of the country from the rest of their family members. With direct cremation, all arrangements can be handled online or over the phone. No one will need to book a last-minute plane to ensure your final arrangements are carried out.

  • The cost of direct cremation is much lower than traditional funeral services – The average cost of a funeral may be $10,000 or more, depending on what services you opt for. The cost of direct cremation is under $1,000, even with additional services (like mailing) included.

  • You don’t have to get a funeral home involved – The direct cremation process is designed to be as simple as possible, so no funeral home is needed to carry it out. This is ideal for Florida snowbirds because your family members won’t need to meet with a funeral home directly to manage the process. That will save them a lot of time and expense.

  • Cremated remains can be mailed to any state – Following cremation, the decedent’s remains can be picked up at the cremation service’s facilities in Florida, or they can be mailed to any part of the continental U.S. via the USPS. If you would prefer your family to receive your remains back at your home state, direct cremation greatly reduces the cost and time it takes to do so.

Direct cremation can also be preplanned and prepaid, which can give snowbirds and their loved ones additional peace of mind.

Florida Cremation Services Simplify a Snowbird's Final Arrangements

When a snowbird passes away in Florida, the surviving family members have some difficult decisions ahead of them. The kind of difficult decisions and questions that no Florida snowbird wants to leave with their family.

Preplanning direct cremation resolves many of these concerns, answering questions like:

  • What were the decedent’s final wishes? Preplanning direct cremation makes your intentions clear, so when it’s time to carry out your final wishes, your family will know what to do without guessing.

  • Where did they want their remains to be placed? During the preplanning process, you can also pay for the transport of your remains following cremation, so they can be sent where you and loved ones want them.

  • How is everything going to be paid for? And of course, preplanning also includes pre-paying for cremation services, so your loved ones don’t have to account for unplanned expenses on their own. Your family will be able to focus on the best way to memorialize you.

Along with cremation itself, direct cremation services can also provide one or more death certificates. These can be used for arranging additional memorial services, for estate planning reasons or for accessing benefits.

When a Florida Snowbird Passes, Direct Cremation Services Provide a Dignified Alternative to a Traditional Funeral

Every year, snowbirds flock to Florida cities like Orlando – enough to grow the state’s population by around 5 percent during the winter months. That’s hundreds of thousands of people, and while most of those snowbirds are in good physical and mental health, some do pass away in Florida every year.

Their families are left with the challenge of recovering their remains and figuring out how to arrange everything from many states away. The easiest and most cost-efficient way to do this is with direct cremation services, and preplanning those services ensures the process is automatic and easier on loved ones.


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