Transporting a Body across State Lines
My wife and I live in California and wish to be buried in Iowa near the graves of our ancestors. She has been advised by her doctors that she has only a few months to live.
At my wife's death, is there any reason I cannot transport her remains from California to Iowa? What are the requirements for transportation other than embalming? Can they be transported by private automobile or trailer?
I plan to have funeral homes handle the arrangements on both ends. Should the remains be placed in the burial casket in California or transported in a transportation container and placed in the burial casket in Iowa? I would sincerely appreciate your help.
Question: Is there any reason I cannot transport her remains from California to Iowa?
Answer: No, you have to work under the direction of a funeral director but any director can designate you as their transportation agent.
Question: What are the requirements for transportation other than embalming?
Answer: Be under the direction of a licensed funeral director, have body embalmed before it crosses state lines.
Question: Can they be transported by private automobile or trailer?
Answer: Any station wagon, minivan, or large sport utility vehicle should work fine. The exact amount of room needed would be dictated by what you bring the body back in.
Question: Should the remains be placed in the burial casket in California?
Answer: That is absolutely up to you. If you want visitation in California, you may want to buy a casket there. Otherwise you could purchase a casket at either end.
Yours is a classic example of why people prearrange their funerals. You have a little more unique situation than a traditional funeral. You need some time to research funeral homes that would be willing to work with your special needs.You want some time to examine where the best place to buy your casket would be.
Remember two things: no one is going to charge you for asking questions and YOU ARE THE BOSS (the decision on how things are done is yours).
The important thing about making decisions is to first get educated in all the options that are available.
Hope this helps you. --Jon Roeder