When someone passes away in a location that’s different from where they’d like to be buried or where their loved ones resides, this can add a bit of confusion to an already tender time. 

However no matter where your loved one passes, your family does have options if you wish to move the remains for the funeral and burial services.  

Who to contact to ship remains 

Coordinating the transfer requires work from two funeral homes, one near the location of where the person died, and the other where the services will take place. The first funeral home will embalm the body, or shelter it in a refrigerated storage and prepare the deceased for shipping either by air or ground transportation. The body is placed in a casket and placed in a container of dry ice for the journey.  

If you have a loved one pass away and you’d like to have their remains sent somewhere else, you will contact either a funeral home that is located in that area where the loves one has deceased, or you can contact the receiving funeral home, and they will contact the medical examiner to arrange transportation to the second location. 

If you have a loved one pass away in the Madison WI area and you need help sending their remains elsewhere, or if a loved one is living or traveling somewhere else and you need them brought into Madison, our team can help facilitate. To speak to a Ryan Funeral Service staff member you can contact us here: https://www.ryanfuneralservice.com/contact-us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. 

How to ship remains 

You may also choose to host a service in one location, and then ship the remains to another location for another service, or for burial. You can honor your loved one’s wishes through a traditional service and burial or cremation, and the final remains can be shipped either way. 

Remains can be shipped domestically or overseas, and will need to include the death certificate, transit permits, and any customs or consulate documents if the remains are being sent to a different country. This can all be facilitated by the funeral home that you contact. 

Time and costs to ship remains 

The time it takes to prepare the body and arrange transportation depends on the destination and how quickly arrangements can be funded either through the deceased’s life insurance or by loved ones. This process can require a few weeks to a few months.  

The costs involved include the cost of the first funeral home to prepare the body; freight transportation or airline cargo costs; and the funeral service itself whether that is hosted at the first funeral home, the second funeral home, or a service at both. If a flight is needed, there’s a service called Mortuary Shipping Providers can coordinate the transport either domestically or overseas. 

The cost of transporting remains can vary greatly depending on how you send the remains and where. We see prices range from $2,000 to $15,000 depending on domestic shipping versus overseas travel. One way to reduce the cost would be to have the remains cremated at the funeral home close to where the person passed away, then shipping the cremated remains.   

Making preparations for a service can become more complicated when travel is involved. At Ryan Funeral Service, we always recommend discussing details sooner rather than later, especially if you or a loved one lives away from where you wish to be laid to rest. To discuss pre-planning options, or to learn more about how we can help coordinate services across state (or international) lines, visit: https://www.ryanfuneralservice.com/contact-us