About Our Company
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Death is something we typically are not prepared for. While arrangements may be pre-planned, when you suddenly lose someone it is always traumatic. If a loved one is travelling and they pass away, that stress can be even greater. Initially, you’ll probably be filled with shock, denial, and grief. After that though, you’ll face the question of what do I do now?
The first thing you need to do is to move quickly. Body repatriation requires extensive paperwork and procedures to be filed in a timely manner. Initially when a loved one passes away, the local embassy will contact the state department, who will then notify the next of kin. This is when the clock starts. Not every funeral home has the expertise necessary to provide repatriation services. To begin, a ‘Next-of-kin Affidavit’ must be executed and provide a signed ‘Letter of Instruction’ detailing their wishes for repatriation of the body. In some cases, where confirmation of the deceased is difficult, survivors may be asked to provide medical or dental records. The process for international body repatriation varies from country to country. The remains must be dealt with according to the laws of the country the death occurred.
Typically, there are three options for international repatriation services.
With each of the options, there are costs involved. Unfortunately, the government does not have any funds that can be allocated to assist in the costs. The family is responsible to cover all of the costs.
The first option is generally the most expensive. For this form of repatriation, the body is embalmed by a local funeral home and returned to the US. Unfortunately, the embalming done in other questions is not up to the standards in the US so viewings of the body are not advised.
The second option is cremation. This is typically less expensive than embalming. Cremation is generally available in most countries expect ones that are predominantly Catholic or Muslim. In these areas, cremation costs may be higher and locations limited.
The third option is commonly the least desirable. Local burial can be done if the country of death allows the burials of foreign nationals. If you select this option, the local embassy will make arrangements and provide you with quotes.
A final thing to remember is that if your loved one is a victim of a crime, the local police will investigate which could cause a delay in the process of body repatriation. In many cases they will conduct an autopsy of the body to investigate.
A estimated 6,000 US citizens die overseas each year. If your family is put in the unfortunate situation of losing a loved one abroad; you want to go to a funeral home that specializes in repatriation services. The team at Provanenzo Lanza Funeral Home is here to serve your family and help you through this time. You can reach us at 212-473-2220 or visit us at our Manhattan office 43 2nd Ave, New York, NY US.