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Funerals/transporting deceased between states


My mother currently lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma but has a burial plot with my dad in Pennsylvania. She wants to buried with him, She wants to have her funeral services in Ellwood City, PA. I have read a lot of your answers about transporting a deceased person between states. If I understand your answers, it is best to contact the funeral home she wants to use and have them make the arrangements to have her body picked up.

She wants me to get as much information as I can prior to her death to make sure we can have an idea of the cost for her funeral. The burial including the vault is already paid. She has been very concerned since a friend of the family had to transport his mother to Puerto Rico and it cost $35,000 for her funeral.

Thanks for your help.

ANSWER: Yes, use the PA funeral home to make arrangements. Let them know that you know about shipping services such as Inman that will pick up and embalm the body and drive it to the airport for about $1,000. If you call an OK funeral home, it's likely to cost twice as much.

The least expensive burial will be an "Immediate Burial" with a graveside service. But you can certainly ask about visitation or viewing costs if more services are wanted.

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QUESTION: Who would make the arrangement with the airline flying her back to Pennsylvania?

The PA funeral director.

You might want to get your mother to sign up with the FCA of Western PA. They have negotiated a discount with certain cooperating funeral homes--

What's necessary is doing your homework as you are doing and talking opening with family members. We don't recommend prepaying unless setting aside assets for Medicaid eligibility.


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Lisa Carlson


Funeral Law. Having written a 512-page book on funeral law for consumers with state-by-state information, I am very conversant with consumer rights in this regard: What are the laws on disposition of cremated remains? Is embalming required? Do I have to use a funeral home? Can I have a home wake? Is it a state law to buy a vault? I prepaid for a funeral but changed my mind. They won`t give me all my money back. What can I do? . . . If you have an immediate need for information because a death has just occurred or is about to occur, you may call me at 802-482-6021.


I have monitored the funeral industry on behalf of consumers for over 20 years. I have been a guest speaker to funeral trade organizations, consumer workshops, and social service professionals. I am regularly consulted by lawyers and legislators as well as journalists.

Funeral Ethics Organization ( Funeral Consumers Alliance (

Caring for Your Own Dead (1987) Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998) I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch (2001) Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (2011) with co-author Joshua Slocum

Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

Past/Present Clients
Available as an expert witness for funeral-related court cases.

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