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Snowbirds: What Happens if You Die Outside of Canada?

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Snowbirds: What happens if you die outside Canada?


It’s not pleasant to think about, but it could happen: While travelling, you could pass away unexpectedly. How would this affect your family? In addition to coping with the emotional shock, they might have to deal with language barriers, bewildering local laws and the task of bringing your remains back to Canada. But by planning ahead, you can greatly ease this potential burden.

For starters, consider purchasing a prepaid funeral plan. Depending on the plan, the funeral home can deal with statutory or customs requirements of the country in which the death occurred.

If you haven't made your final arrangements, or if your plan doesn’t cover international transportation, your family might have to spend thousands of dollars to move a casket, though the costs may be considerably lower if you choose cremation.  To alleviate these concerns, consider purchasing travel insurance before you go abroad.

Depending on the policy, travel insurance can cover body preparation, paperwork, associated certificates, casket and, most importantly, transportation of the body or ashes from the place of death to Canada, and then to a funeral home.

Chances are you will enjoy your trip and return home safely. Still, by prepaying your funeral and taking out adequate travel insurance, you can minimize the financial costs and logistical challenges your family would face if you died unexpectedly in another country or continent.

Categorized under: pre-planning, tips-for-seniors

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