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    Thread: Dying Abroad


    1. #1
      Florida Redhead

      Dying Abroad

      This stems from a link in the "Retiring Abroad" thread.
      There is a link with useful information, including "dying abroad".
      What to do when someone dies | Age Concern England

      Anything can happen.....we know not the day nor the hour, even if you're quite young, it could be an accident.

      I know some people don't like to even think of death, especially their own......but it stands to reason - if you're going to retire abroad, there is a chance you might also kick the bucket abroad.
      You owe it to your family to make contingency plans, make your wishes known to them, and make sure there is money available to cover your final expenses.
      Being Irish, I have a philosophical approach to death.
      I regard it as the last great adventure!
      I have taken out an extra life insurance policy for my trip home to Ireland, my wake, and disposal. If I'm in the sea, just a wake and Memorial Mass in Ireland.

      What really woke me up was in December 1988 we were going to Florida to spend New Year with Dave's parents. Our Flight number was PanAm 103.
      One week before our flight, a plane with the same Flight number was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland. Some of the bodies were never recovered.

      Everybody said "Surely you've cancelled?" I said No, I can't think of a safer flight now.
      A few days before we left, I wrote to my son who was at University in London.
      It was a nice cheerful letter, but I told him where to find our wills, insurance, etc.
      His reaction was predictable - "Aww MUM!
      I included a list of all the people to call, including the Credit Union where he would have access to emergency funds immediately.
      I told him which Priest to call, details of the Funeral Mass including what music I want. I told him if he didn't give me a real country Wake I would be back to haunt him!
      I said if I die in the USA, have me cremated and bury my ashes in the lovely little Churchyard in Tipperary, with the best view in the World. I've already arranged that part.
      Dave wants full military honours in the USA, which he is entitled to.
      Now we've put all our information on a CD for Chris, and made copies for my brothers.
      I'm also putting together a DVD for my little grandson, with funny stories about our family, photos, poems and songs.

      I've seen so many families in turmoil because they had no idea what their loved ones wanted. I have also seen animosity between siblings who had different ideas. And of course we've all seen or heard of long-lost relatives turning up looking for a diamond ring they were "promised"......

      That isn't going to happen in my case!!!:no:


    2. Moneycorp - Commercial foreign exchange since 1979
    3. #2
      Doz
      Excellent post FR. Its made me think! I need to address some of the things here.
      I can just imagine my son saying the exact same thing when i present him with a list of the necessaries lol

    4. #3
      skink
      Yes good post FR though I'm always amazed at the number of people that want their body shifted "back home" even though their "home" has moved? Maybe I'm being a bit insensitive (apologies if I am) but I figure that when I pop my clogs I might as well be cremated wherever I am in the world, since the body will be finished with.

    5. #4
      Florida Redhead
      Quote Originally Posted by skink View Post
      Yes good post FR though I'm always amazed at the number of people that want their body shifted "back home" even though their "home" has moved? Maybe I'm being a bit insensitive (apologies if I am) but I figure that when I pop my clogs I might as well be cremated wherever I am in the world, since the body will be finished with.
      I agree, it shouldn't matter.
      I never liked the idea of cremation, but as we all go back to dust anyway, it just speeds up the process. Plus it's the most hygienic and practical way of disposing of and transporting the remains of loved ones.
      When our body dies, it's like a snake shedding it's skin, we don't need it any longer. Yet I think we should treat mortal remains with respect.
      We live on in our children and in the memories of those who love us, and it's my belief the soul is immortal, but that's another matter.
      I've been to many funerals, in a variety of faiths, on both sides of the Atlantic.
      They have ranged from sad embarrassing "lets-get-this-over-with" formalities, to ultra-precise Military gun salutes and flag presentations, to uplifting and very moving farewell ceremonies.
      I even have some funny true stories about funerals I've attended.

      The ones I always felt most comfortable at were traditional Irish send-offs.
      My Mum & Dad died very suddenly within 24 hours of each other, after 48 years of happy marriage. While we were in total shock, my 2 brothers and I had to put together a double funeral and invite people from Canada, Ireland and England.
      The thought uppermost was "What would they want us to do?"
      We arranged a beautiful, musical Mass with the childrens' choir singing my Mum's favourite hymns. The wake was full of stories and memories from family and friends, Irish songs my Dad used to sing, and I danced a reel for him. Of course there was food and drink, ending with the traditional "parting glass" of Jameson's.

      As for the "home" reference....I am the first of my family to cross the Atlantic, except for a gr-gr-uncle who became heavyweight champion in the 1880s. He's in the boxing hall of fame.
      There's just Dave and I, we have nobody else in the USA, except some dear friends.
      His parents (who adopted him) are buried in Florida National cemetery, among manicured lawns and neat ranks of gravestones.
      My ancestors and deceased relatives are all in 2 Churchyards in the hills of Tipperary.
      The little white cottage where my Dad and Granddad were born is still there, next to the trout stream which kept the family alive in the Famine.

      To sum up......my body lives in the USA, but my soul lives in Ireland.
      Last edited by Florida Redhead; 29-03-2009 at 11:31 PM.
      skink likes this.

    6. #5
      Andy Chapman
      Another great & usefull thread Maggie.




      Thankyou

    7. #6
      skink
      Ah I can understand your way of thinking FR and I think it's (a) sense of family history and (b) whether you've close family ties back in the "homeland". I have the first but not the latter alas.

    8. #7
      purple
      As far as I'm concerned, my body is a body, so there's actually nothing for me to worry about once I'm dead. Burial or cremation makes no difference to me, but transporting ashes is easier, and cremation is space saving.

      Mine will be cremated here (only if I'm unfortunate enough to actually be here when it happens) and returned to England, but believe me I'm hoping to live for a long long time! lol I know what doesn't work out for everyone.
      I made a will before I was 18 and I've updated it to suit my circumstance a couple of times since.
      Everyone is aware (in writing) that I'd like my ashes taken back over to England and scattered in the place where I was happiest as a kid. Honestly it makes no real difference to me where my remains go, but I think it would make my family back home happiest if "I" ended up there, and I certainly don't want to be an integral part of america for ever lol.

      I have an insurance in place that will cover the costs of the incineration, and a firstclass ticket for my OH or one of my close family to get the ashes back to England in the urn and enough money for them to have some fun while they're over there.
      I don't believe in an afterlife or anything and I'm not worried about dying, it's a bullet none of us dodges and we all die eventually.
      To me it just makes sense for us all to face up to death and make the arrangements we want to make while we can make them.

    9. #8
      Florida Redhead
      Quote Originally Posted by purple View Post
      To me it just makes sense for us all to face up to death and make the arrangements we want to make while we can make them.
      Exactly.
      Families need to go through the grieving process, no matter what their beliefs are.
      Some friends of mine were so traumatized by their Mum's death, they had her cremated and didn't give any instructions re the ashes.
      It was only much later they regretted they didn't have any kind of disposal ceremony.
      The cost of death in the USA can be astronomical.
      Even though my father-in-law's funeral was Military so we didn't have to pay for a cemetery plot, it still cost $4,400.....and that was in 1995.

    10. #9
      purple
      Quote Originally Posted by Florida Redhead View Post
      Even though my father-in-law's funeral was Military so we didn't have to pay for a cemetery plot, it still cost $4,400.....and that was in 1995.

      It's around 6K now.
      Suppose that's why so many people here seem to buy their plots in their younger years and do it on a monthly payment plan.

    11. #10
      toxan
      If you have left the UK, and still stae that you want to be buried in the UK, this means that you still have a connection with the UK and Inheritance tax comes into play. Most people clearly syate they want to be buried //cremated in their new home, to overcome this.
      Ktee likes this.

     

     
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