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Planning a Loved One's Funeral from Afar

When an out-of-town loved one passes away, making funeral arrangements may be complicated. To help funeral planners with the question of how to make funeral arrangements from a distance, the type of situation must be taken into consideration first. Let’s look at a few scenarios:

Making funeral service/visitation arrangements from a distance when a loved one dies out-of-town.

The best way to handle this situation is to work with a funeral home where the death occurs. All funeral arrangements can be completed with the out-of-town funeral home. They will arrange for the deceased to be transported from the place of death to the funeral home, and the funeral home will prepare the deceased for the services. They will provide the casket and will arrange for the necessary transportation of the deceased to the final resting place. If the funeral planners do choose to have the deceased transported or "forwarded" to another funeral home, the "receiving" funeral home can make the arrangements with the cemetery, provide the burial vault, and handle any other details for the services there. Note that these forwarding and receiving services incur additional costs.

Making non-service funeral arrangements from a distance when a loved one dies out-of-town.

The best course of action is to contact the receiving funeral home - that is the funeral home that will be conducting the services and handling all the disposition arrangements. This funeral home can then contact a funeral home in the town of your loved one's death or transportation service to handle the transportation and preparation details. This will save the funeral planner the most amount of money; by not contacting an out-of-town funeral home directly, the receiving funeral home will make all the arrangements and will handle all details of the funeral.

Making cremation arrangements from a distance when a loved one dies out-of-town.

If the deceased belonged to a Memorial Society, then that society should be contacted. If not, it is usually best to have a funeral home in the area where the deceased passed handle all the arrangements. There is usually no reason to have the deceased transported a long distance to be cremated. It is more economical to have the cremation take place where the death occurs and then transport the urn or cremated remains to the relatives.

Even with the scenarios above, there certainly are other situations that could dictate changes in this protocol. Check with your trusted funeral provider to learn more about distance arranging. Online arranging can often alleviate the pains of arranging for a loved one. With an online arrangement tool through your chosen funeral provider, your family can decide together – even when you can’t be together in person.

Learn more about arranging online through eFuneral at

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