Education — Precompose

How to Arrange for Transport to Recompose

Arranging for safe and respectful transport

The Recompose price of $5,500 includes transport of your body to the Recompose location from within King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.  We also offer transport from counties within Washington State for an additional fee. Current prices for each county are listed in our General Price List (GPL). If you are within Washington State, upon your death your family will call Recompose and a member of our team will pick up your body and steward its safe delivery to Recompose.

In order to ensure this process goes smoothly, we ask all Precompose members to complete a Transport Form:

Outside Washington State 

If you live outside of Washington State, you will need to make additional arrangements for your body to be transported to Recompose upon your death. You can work with a funeral home in your area, or you can ask your friends and family to transport your body themselves with the proper permits.

Working With Another Funeral Home

A funeral home can be a helpful partner in transporting your body. While most funeral homes are experienced with transport, the Recompose process is new for everyone including funeral homes and there will be a period of education that comes with it. Thank you for becoming an advocate for ecological funeral options and consumer rights. When approaching a funeral home, you may want to start the conversation by saying something like, “I would like to have my body transported to the Seattle area. I have chosen a funeral home called Recompose to handle my death care services. Can you help me make arrangements?” It can be helpful to suggest they think of Recompose like they would think of any other cemetery or mortuary that is accepting a body after transport.

It may be helpful to look for a funeral home that accommodates sustainable funeral practices such as green burial or alkaline hydrolysis. It can also be helpful to look for a funeral home that works with a Jewish community, as some Jewish funeral practices prohibit embalming and they may be more familiar with preferences against embalming. Funeral homes are also welcome to contact Recompose directly if they have questions.

Bodies that come to Recompose must not be embalmed. Some funeral homes and certain states have guidelines that direct bodies to be embalmed before they are transported. When a funeral home tells you embalming is “required,” that is most often their individual policy rather than an inflexible law. Regions with embalming guidelines are required to allow exceptions to these rules for religious or belief preferences. The Recompose staff can help you utilize this exception.

If you need help finding a funeral home willing to accommodate you or have any questions throughout this process, let us know and we can help research transport partners in your area. In the future, Recompose will also have a list of recommended funeral homes.

Once you’ve made arrangements for your transport, please let your family know to contact the transporting funeral home at the time of your death. The transporting funeral home will then manage pickup of your body at the place of death and ensure its safe delivery to Recompose. Transporting funeral homes can contact us directly for the address of our location or any other questions.

Transport by Friends or Family  

In most states, it is legal for your family to drive your body to Recompose themselves. (Please note airlines only allow transport of bodies via a licensed funeral home.)

While it varies by state, in general, this is how the process works: upon your death, Recompose will help your family contact a funeral home in your state to get them to issue a death certificate as well as a burial transit permit. The people transporting you will need to keep these documents with them for the entire journey from the place of death to Recompose. If you know your friends and family will be transporting your body to us soon, let us know now and we can help make sure they have the information they need.

If you choose this option, you will also need to arrange for special considerations like refrigeration of the body with dry ice and, in some states, the rigid container required for body transport. It may be helpful to research the laws and guidelines in your state in advance. It can be challenging to find transparent and unbiased information about your death care rights. You will also want to communicate clearly with your friends and family about your wishes and their capacity to fulfill them. If you live in a state that that has guidelines around embalming before transport, the Recompose staff can help you secure an exception utilizing the religious or belief accommodations mentioned above. Contact us any time with questions and we’d be happy to help.

When you are ready to complete your Transport Form:

Once you’ve completed your Transport Form, your next step is to complete your Vital Statistics. You can see a complete list of Precompose documents and information here. Thank you for investing the time to document your wishes now, and for being part of the Recompose community!

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Land Acknowledgement

Recompose acknowledges we make our lives and livelihoods on the lands of the Coast Salish People, specifically the Duwamish People. We honor with gratitude the Duwamish People past and present, the land itself, and the Duwamish Tribe.

Colonization is an active, persistent process. Indigenous communities continue to be resilient in protecting their ecological and cultural lifeways and deathways despite ongoing oppression. Recompose respects, shares, and supports this commitment to climate healing and environmental justice. Join Recompose in contributing to Real Rent Duwamish.

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