When a Death Occurs Out of Town or Away from Home, Do These Four Things

making funeral arrangements away from home

In today’s mobile society, emergencies are more likely to occur while away from home.

Retirement to warmer climates, extended vacation travel, and job transfers are among the many reasons Americans are so transient and on the go more than ever before. When a loved one passes when away from home, it makes a stressful situation more challenging and complicated. Having prior knowledge of what to do under these circumstances can relieve some of the burdens and enable you to make the best decisions.

Here are four important things to know about making funeral arrangements when a loss occurs away from home.


Reach out to your hometown funeral director.

No matter the location or time of day, it’s important to contact your hometown funeral home immediately. These highly-skilled professionals will be able to give you valuable advice and assistance. By making necessary arrangements and taking care of transportation and requisite travel authorizations, you and your family can be spared additional worry. Acting as your trusted advisor, they will work also with funeral professionals in the location of the death to coordinate the required services.


Your funeral director can eliminate unnecessary expenses.

It is often necessary to make arrangements for transportation of the departed to other locations for burial. As a result, a death away from home can lead to additional expenses. The amount depends largely on the circumstances, the services requested, and applicable laws. For example, if the distance is not too far, the departed may be transported by land, either by train or by a vehicle from the funeral home or mortuary. If the deceased is transported across state lines, some states require the body to be embalmed for transport while others do not. If the distance is farther away, the deceased may need to be transported by air. Your funeral home staff is trained on the applicable rules and regulations and will assist you in making the arrangements that best suit your needs, comply with pertinent laws, and save you money wherever possible.


Funeral providers are able to assist with all aspects of death care coordination.

Death away from home presents a number of special nuances. Your caring, knowledgeable funeral professional is there to provide the support you need and assist with:

  • Preparation and transfer of the departed to the home location
  • Provision of a transportation container
  • Arranging for all required documents and permits in the city where the death occurred
  • Arranging for airline transportation and proper shipping, if necessary
  • In cases of cremation, arranging for cremation where the death occurred and transportation of the cremated remains back to the home location

In cases of death while abroad, reach out to the U.S. Embassy. 

If a loved one passes away while traveling internationally, the U.S Embassy will come to your assistance. An embassy official in the country where the death occurred will then contact the State Department in Washington, D.C to notify the next of kin. You will need a funeral home in that country to assist you, as well your hometown funeral home, in order to coordinate the necessary services, transfers, and activities. It’s important to note that the process can be lengthy, sometimes taking weeks or longer.

No matter where death occurs, calling your hometown funeral director is essential for getting the care you need. If you have questions or need more information, please contact our compassionate funeral directors anytime.

About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit www.ewsmithfs.com.

Leave a Reply 0 comments

> More Comments

We appreciate your interest in this topic
In accordance with our policy, this
message has been declined.