Travel in 2020 is a scary thought, but there will come a time when we’ll feel comfortable outside our homes, neighborhoods, states and even the country. Some of us love traveling and the pandemic has stifled that – for now. Once you do move from staycation to vacation, the last thing you want to think about is what to do for a death away from home.
But the health crisis has us all thinking of plans in different ways. At Phaneuf, we work with thousands of New England families on end-of-life plans for a variety of reasons. One question we might ask you is, “Do you travel often? Or, are you a snowbird who escapes the local chill for warmer climates in the winter?”
If yes, you would be well-served to consider selecting our Nationwide Coverage and Protection Plan during the end-of-life planning process. It covers individuals who pass away outside of Phaneuf’s service area and/or outside of your legal residence state. This includes transportation and any third-party fees associated with transporting the body to our funeral home. (One of our funeral directors can provide more details about our coverage and protection plan.) Whether you are young and healthy, or older, this plan provides important coverage to travelers in cases of a death away from home.
What you should (and shouldn’t) do when a death occurs away from home
Here are three things to remember if a loved one passes away when traveling or living away from home.
If the death occurs overseas, report it to a U.S. embassy
Contacting the U.S. embassy and informing it of the death generally expedites bureaucratic processes. Importantly, it lets your family make arrangements for transporting your loved one’s body back home sooner.
Do not travel to the deceased
If you are not with your loved one at the time of death, there is no need to make the trip to retrieve the body. Necessary identifications generally can happen remotely, either from another state or another country. Traveling to the deceased slows the process of transporting the deceased back home.
Your local funeral director knows how to assist with the arrangements and how to handle transport – regardless of where the body is – and can make things happen in a timely and efficient manner.
Stay with the deceased
If you are with your loved one when he or she dies, don’t travel home until you are cleared to do so by all authorities. Sudden deaths include investigations by a medical examiner and the police. Staying and cooperating with the process ensures there isn’t undue delay.
No matter where the death of a loved one occurs, one thing to remember: allow the funeral home to handle the paperwork and arrangements for you while you focus on the needs of your family.