Are you one of the 68 million Americans who travel abroad each year? Whether for business or pleasure, seeing the world is easier than ever, as many on our staff here at Cypress Lawn can attest! Travel beyond the San Francisco Bay area can bring such a sense of wonder and adventure – especially during the retirement years – but it also brings an element of risk. Some of those risks include illness, injury, or even death.
So, what happens when a death occurs hundreds or even thousands of miles from home?
We have helped many families plan funerals, burials, or cremations for their loved ones who passed away while away from home. Whether they die of natural causes or because something tragic happened, families face quite a quandary trying to get them home. Many people do not realize that the details of bringing a loved one back home or transporting them abroad can be extremely complicated – and the cost, astronomical.
Consider this: On average, it costs $20,000 to transport a loved one who died in China back to the U.S. From Japan, it’s $11,500. From Italy, $10,000. Even transporting someone who has died from one end of the U.S. is in the $2,000 to $3,000 range.
These costs can also be incurred if someone dies in California but wants to be buried or have their cremated remains scattered or brought in an urn elsewhere. Our team has seen firsthand how these sums catch families off guard, as they struggle to cope with grief while being hit with one expense after another.
This is why we always recommend making us your first call after a death. We have the experience and knowledge needed to get your loved one home as quickly as possible and at the smallest expense to your family.
There is another way you can protect yourself and your family: Cypress Lawn’s Travel Protection Plan. A one-time fee of $495 gives a lifetime of coverage the plan’s coverage includes:
- The contacting of a licensed funeral home or professional embalming center near the place of death.
- Transportation of the person who died from the place of death to the funeral home or service center for preparation.
- Preparation of the person who died for transport.
- Securing all documentation for shipping, including one death certificate.
- Placement of the person who died in an appropriate shipping container.
- Bringing the deceased to the airport for their return to the airport closest to their legal residence (that is capable of receiving human remains). This includes airfare.
As you can see, the plan offers you plenty of peace of mind, as you’ll know your family will be shielded from numerous financial and logistical complications.
When people come to us to preplan their own arrangements, we encourage them to include our Travel Protection Plan. Preplanning already provides a number of benefits, including making sure your wishes are followed – whether you prefer burial or cremation and the kind of funeral, visitation, and reception you want. It also makes sure your loved ones aren’t left trying to guess at what you would have wanted in the midst of their grief. Adding the Travel Protection Plan provides one more layer of protection and preparation for the unknown.
If you’re ready to get started, you can get started by filling out our online planning form and reviewing our comprehensive preplanning checklist. And of course, you can always reach out to us to speak with our experienced team who can help add our Travel Protection Plan to your plans.
And remember – preplanning is not about fear – it’s about freeing yourself to fearlessly embrace a bit of wanderlust, without worrying about your family. As the great Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”