On the whole, family members are living farther apart than ever these days. The pandemic prompted some people to move back closer to family, but many people today will still find themselves in an unwanted situation. They’ll have to arrange funeral services long distance when a family member passes away.
See If There’s a Last Will and Testament
Funeral arrangements are much easier when the deceased had a last will and testament. Trying to find out if one exists should be the first step since it will dictate what should happen in terms of which funeral services are chosen.
If you’ve checked the deceased’s personal files and didn’t find a will check with the local county courthouse. Wills are supposed to be filed with the courthouse. You can also contact the local probate court to inquire about the possibility of a will being filed. And anyone in possession of a will is supposed to produce it after the person dies.
Get Help From Family and Friends
It may seem like arranging a funeral from afar would be easier in ways, but in actuality it can be much more challenging. You still have to handle all of the same things that you do if the funeral were taking place locally. The difference is you have to do it remotely without seeing things in person or meeting with people face-to-face.
It can add an extra layer of stress in an already stressful situation. The best thing you can do is reach out to friends and family for help. Most people will be more than happy to help in any way they can. Just having someone there with you during the process can make a huge difference.
Work With an Experienced Funeral Home
If you have to make long distance funeral arrangements it’s absolutely critical that you work with an experienced funeral home. You have to trust that they can carry out the services without you there to see things happening. A funeral home that has been in operation for a while fully understands the laws and requirements for cremation or burial. They’ve probably also handled a number of long distance funeral arrangements so they should be comfortable with the process.
Keep Information Organized
Arranging funeral services requires a lot of paperwork. You need identification documents, property deeds, certificates, insurance policies and more. Some documents need to be originals while others can be a copy. And you may need to get a document notarized.
Having some sort of documentation system will help you stay organized and reduce stress. It can be a traditional method with a filing system of folders and color-coded tabs or an all-digital system that’s almost entirely online. Use whatever system is easiest for you.
Know Your Rights as a Consumer
All consumers should protect themselves by knowing their rights. The Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule is specifically meant to protect consumers when they purchase funeral services whether they’re making advanced arrangements or needing last minute services.
Most people have no frame of reference when they are quoted prices for funeral services. The Funeral Rule makes it so that consumers can compare prices and pay only for what they actually need. Funeral homes must also provide pricing information over the telephone if requested. Make sure to read through the Funeral Rule regulations before reaching out to funeral homes so that you’re fully aware of what has to be provided by law.
At Direct Cremate we specialize in remote cremation arrangements that can be made entirely online or over the phone. Our experienced staff can work with you to gather all of the information needed to obtain death certificates, get approval for cremation and follow the state laws. Email, call or text us anytime to learn more about making long distance funeral arrangements.