Pamela and Brian Darth of Brian Darth Funeral Services answer questions on funerals in this monthly column. Send questions, care of the Stratford Press. Questions will be answered in this column only. Private correspondence will not be entered into.
Q: If a loved one dies overseas can I still instruct a local funeral director?
The simple answer is yes, you can instruct your local funeral director to make the arrangements on your behalf. Those arrangements may be a little different, however it is still possible to fulfil the family's wishes to have their loved one back home followed by the service, according to their wishes.
If you are wanting your loved one returned home as soon as possible, we would then engage a funeral director in the country where your loved one has passed away to perform an embalming and place your loved one in a casket. This process comes at a considerable cost to the family as there are airfares and the costs from the overseas funeral director to consider.
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We would then make the necessary arrangements to return them home to New Zealand on the first available flight. Upon arrival at the airport here in New Zealand, regardless of the time day or night, we would be there to take over care of them as soon as possible.
Once we have them in our care, all arrangements are made as normal.
It is also possible to have your loved one cared for and cremated overseas and have their ashes returned home. When we have been instructed by the family, having ascertained your wishes we then instruct a funeral director in the relevant country to proceed according to those wishes.
At Brian Darth Funeral Services we always endeavour to provide families with as many options as possible. However, when a loved one passes away overseas and family members' are wanting their body transported between countries, unfortunately there is no option regarding embalming.
The deceased are always required to be embalmed before flight travels can be arranged no matter what country they have passed away in. There are reasons for this and we are happy to discuss these with you. We would also mention the cost difference to you. It comes at a considerable cost to the family to bring a loved home from overseas.
These costs include airfares, costs from the overseas funeral director etc.
If you have a loved one overseas and are concerned or needing to organise the returning home of a deceased, then please call or come down to our funeral home on Nash Road and enjoy a coffee while we discuss all your options with you.