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Funerals/Rules to embalm remains to take home to USA


April 4, 2015,  8:24 am.


My 78 year-old brother passed away yesterday at 7 pm, April 3, Friday.  His family in the USA wants the remains to be brought back home to the USA.  What are the US Rules for Embalming which will be done here in the Philippines?

All expenses to be paid in the Philippines.  

Thank you very much for your prompt reply!  God bless!

Hi Benedictine,

I wish I could give you a more detailed answer, but this is something the USA family will need to take up directly with the funeral director that's going to be receiving his body.

Laws vary from state to state, and the logistics are specific to every family and their individual circumstances. (I'm assuming the family is NOT acting in lieu of the funeral director because if they were they wouldn't need to ask this question!).

Laws also vary by airline, so that will be a factor as well. Your funeral director (on the Philippine side) should be familiar with shipping remains so knowing what the shipping airline requires is also important.

If the family doesn't have a funeral director yet one resource they can use is the Funeral Consumers' Alliance. They can visit the national website - - and find their State's FCA chapter. Contacting that chapter should get them referred to funeral directors in their area so that they can shop around.




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Cynthia Beal


Typical questions include 1) Where can I go for a natural burial? 2) What types of coffins, urns and other "packaging" are best for natural decomposition? 3)How do I plan for a natural funeral? 4) Do I have to be embalmed? and other questions in this vein. I'm available to answer general consumer questions about natural burial, home and natural funerals, and sustainable cemetery management. I answer questions about general cemetery matters, and offer suggestions about how to deal with remains, cremated or buried, interment rights, rules for cemeteries and plot owners, covering conventional as well as alternative options. I also answer questions from professionals, home funeral guides, and family members about how to manage a natural funeral either in the mortuary or at the home, how to best use natural coffins and urns, and how to convert cemeteries to natural, sustainable practices. I will answer questions from volunteer cemetery managers about how to offer natural burial in their rural, Pioneer, or non-profit cemeteries. If I don't know an answer I'll refer the questioner to someone who does. DISCLAIMER -- I am a certified pre-need sales person in the State of Oregon. I am not a licensed attorney, tax adviser, estate planner, funeral director, embalmer, accountant, public official, or any other professional that may be associated with issues the question brings up and any answers I provide should not be relied upon if such expertise is required by the asker (as per the All Expert suggestion). I provide my own personal opinions, based on my experience in business, Nature and its systems, and with human beings after 55 years of life on the planet.


Natural burial and sustainable cemetery management experience: I'm the founder of the Natural Burial Company and a member of the Sustainable Cemetery Management Group. Over 25 years in the natural products industry, and 9 years running the Natural Burial Company. I've done some consulting for existing and start-up natural cemetery operations. I'm currently an instructor at Oregon State University, facilitating the creation of a program in sustainable cemetery management and stimulating research in cemetery-oriented processes and functions.

ICCFA - International Cemetery, Crematory and Funeral Association Green Business Network Funeral Consumers Alliance

American Cemetery Magazine; Funeral Business Advisor; Real Goods Source Book; American Funeral Director Magazine, etc.

There is no degree in natural burials or funerals, and no accredited education provided for sustainable cemetery management. We're developing a program at Oregon State University but it hasn't fully launched yet.

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