As you might know, there are many kinds of services that will make or do things with cremated remains to help you honor and remember your loved one in unusual ways. Or it just may be time to take the plastic box of grandma’s remains and send them to one or more family members to have a remembrance ceremony in their own way. In many cases, you may want or need to ship them to others.
The U.S. Post Office is the only legal method of shipping cremated remains domestically or internationally? FedEx won’t do it, nor will the United Parcel Service. The USPS Priority Mail Express® Service will send the ashes of a person or a pet where they need to go.
Before you go to the Post Office:
- You’ll need to pack the remains in two containers – an inner container and an outer container (i.e. a box) with padding between the two.
- The inner container must be strong and durable. It must
be properly sealed so that it is siftproof. A siftproof container prevents loose powder from leaking or sifting out during transit.
- While not a requirement, it’s recommended that the inner container be placed in a sealed plastic bag.
- For international shipments, the inner container must be a funeral urn.
- Use padding around the inner container, such as bubble wrap or foam peanuts, to prevent breakage during transportation.
- The outer container is a cardboard shipping box. You might want to line it with plastic, just in case there’s leakage from the inner container.
- Make sure there is no movement of the contents within the shipping box.
- Before closing and sealing the shipping box, place a slip of paper with both the sender’s and addressee’s address and contact information inside the box. That way, if the label on the outside is obscured, postal employees can still find out where it’s to go by looking inside the box.
- Clearly identify the contents as cremated remains! The post office provides a handy free label to put on the outer container.
- Ship the box via Priority Mail Express Service.