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What to do when someone dies away from home

What to do when someone dies away from home

Losing a loved one is an incredibly challenging time, and the complexity increases if the death occurs away from home. We’re often asked what to do when someone dies away from home. Whether your loved one was traveling, living abroad or spending colder months in warmer climates, understanding the steps to take can ease the burden during a difficult period.

We offer comprehensive advice and solutions for those needing to manage a loved one’s final journey home.

Make Measured Decisions

In the immediate aftermath of a loved one’s death away from home, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. However, taking measured steps can help you navigate this challenging time more smoothly. If you’re not with your loved one when they pass, resist the urge to make immediate travel plans.

If you are not with your loved one at the time of their death, note that identification and necessary arrangements can often be handled remotely, saving precious time and resources. However, should you be with your loved one at their time of passing, it’s better to stay put until all legal and procedural matters are addressed, as sudden deaths may require investigations and could be more easily addressed in person.

What to Do When Someone Dies Away from Home: Know Your Options

Dealing with the logistics of transporting a loved one back home can be daunting, but knowing your options ahead of time can provide some comfort. It’s important to remember that you do not have to handle everything on your own.

Reaching out to a funeral director can alleviate much of the burden, as they are experienced in managing such situations, regardless of the location of the death. In some cases, local burial or cremation might be a practical alternative, especially if transporting the body across state lines or from overseas is logistically challenging or financially prohibitive.

The Nationwide Travel Plan by Phaneuf

For those who frequently travel or spend significant time away from their primary residence, Phaneuf’s prepaid Nationwide Coverage and Protection Plan offers a valuable solution. This plan provides coverage for individuals who pass away outside of Phaneuf’s service area or their legal residence.

It covers transportation and any third-party fees associated with bringing the deceased back to our funeral home. This proactive measure ensures that, in the event of a death away from home, the logistical and financial stressors are significantly reduced for the family.

Steps to Take If Death Occurs Overseas

Should your loved one pass away while overseas, the first step is contacting the nearest U.S. embassy. This action is crucial as it helps expedite the bureaucratic process involved in transporting a body back to the United States. The embassy can also provide guidance and support during this challenging time, ensuring that you’re not navigating foreign legal systems alone.

Letting the Professionals Handle Arrangements

Regardless of where the death occurs, one of the most important things to remember is to allow professionals to handle the logistics. Funeral directors are well-versed in the complexities of transportation, documentation and legal requirements associated with a death away from home. By entrusting these tasks to a funeral home, you can focus on supporting your family and honoring your loved one’s memory without added stress.

Stay Informed and Prepared

While it may seem morbid to consider the possibility of death while planning a trip or living abroad, being informed and prepared can offer peace of mind. Understanding the costs, legal requirements and procedures for managing a death away from home ensures that, should the worst happen, you are equipped to handle the situation with dignity and grace.

At Phaneuf, we understand the unique challenges that come with losing a loved one, especially when it happens away from home. Our Nationwide Travel Plan and the expertise of our funeral directors offer a beacon of support and guidance during these difficult times, ensuring that your loved one is honored and remembered the way they deserve.

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