What If I Die Out Of Town
Your survivors/travel companions should look online or in a telephone book for the nearest Memorial Society. A list of all societies is at www.funerals.org/affiliates. This group may be called a “Funeral Consumer Alliance.” Call them and ask what services are available on a reciprocal basis. Some groups are like our Society and have contracts with one or more local funeral directors. Others simply offer recommendations and advice. Flying a body on an airplane is expensive. The airlines, however, will allow you to carry cremated remains with you. Go to the website www.funerals.org or call our national office at 1-800-765-0107 for complete information.
Suggestion – Gather your Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, your Living Will, and your Durable Power of Attorney. Go to a photocopy machine. Push the “Reduce” button on the copy machine. Make the copies of each of these documents as small as possible, but still readable, by copying the reduced version one or more times. Put the small copies next to your Memorial Society membership card which should be next to your driver’s license, healthcare card and other identification. This way, you can carry your advance health care directive documents with you everywhere and at all times.
What If I Die In Another Country
First, take some simple steps before you leave home. Leave a copy of your passport at home. Pack your reduced-size documents, a note stating what you want done with your remains, and your Memorial Society card, and take them with you.
Before going abroad, register your itinerary and emergency contacts with the State Department. You can do this online at www.travel.state.gov. Provide emergency contacts on your passport application and put them in your passport, too. Carry with you the names and phone numbers of your doctor and dentist.
If death occurs overseas, the traveling companion should contact the American Embassy or Consulate immediately. Do this before contacting the family in the U.S. A cablegram is sent from the American Embassy overseas post directly to the next-of-kin with official notification of the death and an outline of options available, along with costs. These options vary widely from one country to the next. The Department of State can be reached at 202-647-5225 or 202-647-4000 after 10 p.m. EST. The Overseas Citizens Services operates 24-hours. Call 202-647-5226.