|Hello. First off, I must commend you on a wonderful website giving us an insight into the funeral business, and the things that happen behind those closed doors. To an outsider, a funeral director seems like a cold, stone-like person. However, personal experience and exploration of your website has altered my opinion! On to my question: My mother passed on from cancer a couple weeks ago, and the local funeral director was wonderful. We had her buried in a local cemetary with her mother and father. We live in Pennsylvania, but my father is originally from Mississippi. He'll probably move back down south within a year or two. My mother's last wish was for her to be buried wherever my father is living. How difficult is it to relocate casketed, embalmed remains? I've read that a common carrier can transport newly embalmed remains, but what about after an exhumation? Cost is not an issue to me - I'm more curious about any potential legal issues we might encounter. I don't know if we'll even follow through with this once the time comes, but the funeral director said he'd be more than glad to help out if we come to that decision. This is more for peace of mind. Thanks so much for your help. --- ARK|
|Thank you for your comments about our site. We really hoped for exactly the response you indicated. The goal was to "provide information", not sell anything. But, in truth, I guess we were "selling" something; our vision of what funeral service should be. But, thank you, again. . . and now, on to your question.....
It is usually not difficult to relocate casketed embalmed remains IF, big IF, everything was done well in the preparation and burial. I'm missing some information which would be helpful to answering your question.
But, let's deal with the things we know. First, common carriers are not restricted to transferring recently embalmed remains. They choose, quite logically, not to transport ANY remains that exhibit an odor. If your mother's remains are well embalmed, she is buried in a "dry" grave in a good vault (which are very commonly offered and used in PA) it would be feasible to disinter her at any time for transport back to Mississippi.
Now, let's assume something went wrong. The body could be transferred to a sealer type casket if it is not already in one and the family could transport the remains back to the other state. You didn't tell me where she is buried, but I think it is only about a 15 hour drive from PA to MI.
Finally, if all of the family agree on this project there should be no legal bar to the disinterment. Courts have looked askance at moving the dead and sometimes jumped at the chance to stop disinterments, particularly if there was any conflict in the family on the issue. Personally, I encourage families to leave their loved ones where they were placed to rest. She is with her parents and Dad could be shipped back to PA at the time of his death. But, the choice is yours.
I answered your question the best I could without more detailed information. Please contact me with any further questions. Incidentally, I've done about 30 disinterments over the years. They're not that difficult, but require planning and careful execution. I would really like to know who your funeral director was (I'm not asking for your name) There are thousands of funeral directors all over the US (and the world) quietly helping families every day with no fanfare or notice other than that warm, fuzzy feeling they get when someone tells them how wonderful everything was. Contact me if I can help further.
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