Dear Funeral Director:
My parents are from Ecuador. When they pass away, they have always talked about being buried in their home country. How difficult would it be to do that?
Great question, Marta, with our community becoming such a global one, we have worked with many families expressing the very same wishes of your parents. The procedure of shipping human remains internationally depends upon the country they are being shipped to. Each country has specific requirements in order to receive human remains for disposition. In general terms, what you are referring to, we would call an “international ship out”. It begins at the place of passing in CT where the funeral home personnel would transfer the decedent to the funeral home. We would then meet with the next of kin at the funeral home to collect vital statistical information required for paperwork purposes and to arrange the funeral services and final place of disposition. Once we have the service details scheduled and know the final destination of disposition we can move forward with the preparation of the remains (embalming) and generating the necessary paperwork and approvals for international shipping. Again, the requirements differ country to country, but most countries require the decedent’s birth certificate or passport, the name/address of the place of final disposition (cemetery), a certified copy of the death certificate (and a professionally translated notarized copy), a non-contagion letter from local board of health (and a professionally translated notarized copy), an embalming report (and a professionally translated notarized copy), a notarized affidavit by funeral director (and a professionally translated notarized copy) and a letter agreeing to receiving of remains from a municipal or cemetery official on the destination side. Once these documents are compiled, they are taken to the CT Secretary of State’s office for authentication, or what is known as an Apostille. Once the documents are authenticated according to the destination country consulate’s requirements, all of the paperwork is taken to that consulate for certification and final approval. Once that is completed, flight arrangements can be booked and the required shipping container is purchased. It is definitely a time intensive process with multiple steps and fees associated with it, but it’s a manageable process and something that our directors and staff can help you with. Thanks again for your question, Marta.
Gerald R. Bosak, LFD