When Death Occurs Away From Home 6/27/2017

Living in a society "on the move" has changed many patterns of American family life.  Frequent trips by family members outside of their immediate communities are commonplace.  

Retirement of the elderly to other climates, job transfers, and extensive vacation travel, all cause separation of the family unit.  The mobility of our society often creates urgent problems or emergencies which must be met by the entire family through long distance arrangements.

A death away from home is a family emergency which causes great concern.

Prior knowledge of what to do under these circumstances will relieve many burdens of the family who has the responsibility for making funeral arrangements.

Call the home town funeral director

When a death occurs away from home, an immediate phone call should be placed by a responsible person to the home town funeral director.  This should be done regardless of where or when the death takes place.

The home town funeral director will know exactly what to do and can offer valuable counsel in assisting the family to meet the immediate needs of the emergency.  Remembering this simple rule will often facilitate the decisions that must be made.

A death away from home may lead to additional expense. The amount of additional cost will depend on the circumstances and the services requested. The home town funeral director will explain these charges and advise you of the various alternatives available.

The funeral director’s primary responsibility is to provide professional services, facilities, equipment and funeral merchandise.

Generally speaking, the casket should be selected from the funeral director who will be called upon to direct the funeral and provide the facilities necessary for the service. This will usually be the home town funeral director. He will act as your agent and counselor in dealing with the other professionals involved, which includes making the necessary arrangements to have the deceased appropriately transported to his funeral home.

Selection of a burial vault is another consideration for the family. The National Funeral Directors Association Code suggests that the family select the burial vault from the funeral director who will be responsible for arranging the interment. Selecting the vault from the funeral director serving at the place of burial will save the cost of transporting the receptacle, and will alleviate any unnecessary delay or confusion at the cemetery.

In addition to the primary considerations enumerated, there will be other aspects to consider that will require professional attention in returning the deceased to the place where the funeral will be conducted. The funeral director who will be directing the funeral will coordinate all essential activities with the other funeral director involved.

As you counsel with your funeral director keep in mind that he can best serve when there is complete understanding of cost. He expects those he serves to discuss cost frankly with him. A mutual understanding in this regard will ease the concern of the family and will enable the funeral director to serve better.

Prior knowledge and forethought of what to do when a death occurs away from home can be very helpful to the family. The best advice is to call the home town funeral director immediately. He is professionally trained to counsel and assist with all necessary funeral details arising from the emergency.

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