December 2, 2022

If you’re reading this article, someone you love has passed away. If you have a large number of relatives that weren’t able to attend the service, you may want to send them a small keepsake urn that can hold a portion of the ashes. 

Maybe, per your loved one’s last wishes, you need to send the entire urn to another family member. Either way, you need to know if you can mail the ashes. 

The answer is yes. 

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As long as you learn how to ship cremated remains and follow all the rules and regulations, you’ll be good to go. Keep reading to learn more. 

Inner Container 

To ship cremated remains, you’re going to need an inner and outer container. We’re going to talk about the inner one first. 

It has to be durable to make the trip without breaking. It also has to be sift-proof. What this means is that it needs to be constructed in a way that it won’t let a single bit of powder escape during transit. 

You don’t have to put the inner container in a plastic bag before you place it into the outer one, but it’s recommended. 

If you’re a bit lost when it comes to choosing an inner container, your funeral director can present you with a few options. You can also find what you need on 

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Outer Container 

The outer container has to be about as durable as the inner one. Like the inner container, you’ll have to find one that’s sift-proof. 

Line the inside of the outer container with plastic. This way, if some powder does manage to get out, you’ve got a protective layer that can act as backup. 

If you want to make sure that your outer container meets all the requirements, look into a cremation package from the USPS. 

Protecting the Container

The last thing you want is for your loved one’s remains to arrive at their destination in a broken urn. It’s fragile cargo that does require some kind of padding to protect. 

You can wrap the urn in bubble wrap. Stuffing your package with foam peanuts and air pillows is also a viable option. 

Identify the Contents

You’re required to identify your loved one’s remains by printing off the appropriate label from the USPS website. If you don’t have a printer, you can grab one from your local postal office. 

Make sure you write down the shipping information as clearly as possible. It’s also recommended to write the recipient’s info on a piece of paper and place it into the box with the turn. That will allow the USPS to get the package to the right place even if the label is damaged during transit. 

Shipping to an International Address

Is shipping cremated remains to another country possible? The answer here is yes, but you have to use Priority Mail Express International. If the country you’re shipping to doesn’t accept this type of shipment, you won’t be able to send the remains via the mail. 

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Some destinations such as Ireland and Belgium won’t accept cremated remains at all. 

If you don’t have any of these restrictions getting in your way, feel free to head to your local post office. You’ll need to follow the same steps that we talked about above. 

Courier Service

It’s unfortunate, but you can’t ship your loved one’s ashes via FedEx or UPS. Courier services don’t accept them.  

Shipping By Air 

One of the main cremation benefits is that an urn is small enough to take onto a plane with you. You can put it in a carry-on if you want to. The problem is that getting your loved one’s remains where they need to go via air is complicated. 

You can use an air courier service or travel with your loved one’s remains yourself. Whatever option you choose, you’ll have to let the airline know at least 7 days in advance. 

You can put your loved one’s ashes in your luggage, but there are some requirements you’ll have to meet.

You’ll need to bring a copy of your loved one’s death certificate with you and fill out the appropriate paperwork. Having a letter from the funeral home is helpful as well. 

Keep in mind that depending on the airline, you may not be able to bring the cremation urn on board even with the proper documentation. 

How Much Does It Cost?

Now for the big question, how much will it cost to ship your loved one’s ashes? The price won’t hit your wallet as hard as you may think. 

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If you’re sending the urn to a domestic address, you can expect to spend about 30 dollars. The package will arrive at the recipient’s doorstep within a few days. 

Shipping internationally is a little more expensive because you have to use Priority Mail Express International.  Depending on where you want to send the urn, you could spend hundreds of dollars. 

How to Ship Cremated Remains the Right Way  

If you have a lot of family members that can’t make your loved one’s funeral, you may want to send them some of the ashes. 

The deceased might have wanted their urn to go to a specific person. Whatever the reason, you’ll have to learn how to ship cremated remains. 

If you don’t follow the requirements, put in place by the USPS, the ashes may not get where they need to go.

For more tips that will help you with your loved one’s funeral arrangements, explore the rest of our blog.