Monument Design Photo Gallery
Prices | Request A Brochure | Email Us
Request A CAD Drawing | Send Us Your Memorial Design Idea
724-770-0100
Appointments Are Recommended For Showroom Visits, Call Or Click Here

How You Can Be Buried on Your Own Property in All 50 States

If you are considering a home burial for a loved one, it is good to know that most states make it perfectly legal to take a body home from the hospital, nursing home, or other institution and bury it on your private property. Only Indiana, California and Washington State outlaw the practice totally. This means most families in America have an option other than burying a loved one in a cemetery where they will rarely see the grave and be required to obey restrictions as to the type of burial and memorial they can have.

In every state, next of kin has custody and control of the body after death. You are allowed to carry out post-death functions such as bathing and dressing the body and holding any type of ceremony you wish. According to the Home Funeral Alliance, “Religious observations, family gatherings, memorials, and private events are not under the jurisdiction of the State or professionals in the funeral industry, who have no medico-legal authority unless it is transferred to them when they are paid for service”.

Home burial is a wonderful way to have a very intimate ceremony around the creation of the grave and to remain close to the deceased for as long as you own the property. It also costs significantly less than buying and maintaining a cemetery gravesite. In most states, the only restrictions to home burial are found in local zoning laws that tell you how and where you can bury the body. For instance, they may outline how far from your neighbor’s property you can place a gravesite, how deep the grave must be, how close to a water source such as a stream or a lake you can bury the body, and various other restrictions. However, none of these laws should prevent you from carrying out your home burial plans in some form or another.

Be aware that a handful of states do require that you hire a funeral director to handle portions of the post-death process. These are Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and New York. Funeral Directors are knowledgeable of the laws of the state or community and can help you through the sometimes overwhelming legal processes you need to be aware of. Most states let you do it all on your own, but you still have to abide by the statutes, rules and regulations concerning your state and locality.

With that in mind, this page outlines the rules you need to follow and the steps you need to take into account when performing a home burial. At the bottom of this page is a “State-by-State Home Burial Regulations” section where you can find a snapshot of the laws for your particular state.

Resources for Learning About Home Burial on Private Property

Families that choose home burial often make many, if not all, the important decisions regarding the disposition of the body without the help of a funeral director. Fortunately, there are resources available that can help you carry out the home burial process legally, safely, affordably, and properly.

Funeral Consumers Alliance (https://funerals.org/local-fca/) is a nonprofit organization that protects consumers' rights to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral. It has local chapters throughout the United States that can offer you sound advice on home burials.

The National Home Funeral Alliance (https://www.homefuneralalliance.org/directories.html#!directory) has directories that will help you find those in service to guide you, from celebrants to home funeral guides to funeral professionals who will partner with you. 

The Funeral Ethics Organization (http://www.funeralethics.org/rights.htm) has a pdf for each state that details your consumer rights concerning funerals and burials. The organization “promotes ethical dealings in all death-related transactions by working for better understanding of ethical issues among funeral, cemetery, memorial industry practitioners, law enforcement, organ procurement organizations, and state agencies, as well as better understanding between these and the general public”.

NOLO (https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/home-funeral-laws) is a legal advice site where you can learn the rules that govern home funerals in your state.

The company COEIO (http://coeio.com/burial-laws-state/) promotes the tradition of natural burials - the way burials were done before the introduction of chemical embalming methods and non-biodegradable coffins. It also has a list of rules for home burials for each state.

With over 85 years of experience, Rome Monument is qualified to offer families advice on home funerals and show you the different types of monuments to mark your home burial site. We are a national cemetery and home burial monument company that builds 100% personalized memorials for your private property. Feel free to call the main Rome Monument office in Rochester, PA at 724-770-0100 and ask for Vince Dioguardi or Chris Morgan. Either of these compassionate gentlemen will be happy to help you with this emotional process.

Immediately Following the Death of a Loved One

After a loved one passes away, the next of kin has the legal right and responsibility to handle all of the disposition arrangements. However, there are 10 states in which a funeral director must be hired to file the death certificate or, in some cases, remove the body from the hospital. The most restrictive rules are in New York and Louisiana, where a licensed funeral director must oversee just about anything concerning the body or the funeral itself. Check the “State-by-State Home Funeral Regulations” chart below to see what the rules of your state are regarding funeral directors and their duties. Whether the person died away from home or at home, the body first needs to be bathed, dressed.

Even with a home burial, you will need to act within legal and ethical guidelines. You will still have to fill out and sign a death certificate (with the help of a nurse or doctor) and file it with the county clerk’s or registrar’s office. If the person died with a contagious disease, there are rules concerning the treatment and disposition of the body. Most states either recommend or require that you report the existence of a communicable disease to an attending physician or medical examiner.

If the burial is performed within 24 hours of death, you can usually skip any requirements for refrigeration or embalming. After 24 to 48 hours, several states require that a method of preservation be used, particularly if the person died of an infectious disease or will be made available for public viewing.

Transporting the Body to Its Final Resting Place

By law, you own the body after death and, remaining mindful of your state’s laws, can move the body however you like. This means you can use your own vehicle as a dead body transport vehicle and be your own driver. There is no restriction to the type of vehicle you can use – except, of course, for size. You won’t be able to fit a casket or coffin in a small or medium size car – although moving it yourself does not require the body to be placed in a casket, coffin or other container. A mini-van, large SUV, or pickup truck are practical options.

If you wait too long to transport the body from another location, you may run into state rules regarding the requirements for embalming or refrigeration after a certain amount of time has passed – usually 24-48 hours.

If you live in the same state where your loved one died, transporting the body from another location to your home can be fairly easy. Funeral homes are experienced at moving bodies. They make the process go smoothly, but they are also more expensive than if you moved it yourself.

If you are transporting the body by common carrier, such as a truck, a train, or an airplane, you will need a sealed casket or have the body embalmed or refrigerated. This prevents the spread of disease. Most states have specific transportation regulations regarding people who died of an infectious or communicable disease. Check with your common carrier or local authorities.

Transporting a body across state lines can be more involved and more expensive. If you are shipping by ground, you will need to know the laws of each state along the route regarding the transportation of a dead body. For instance, one state may require that the body be embalmed while another state does not. Funeral homes have respected carriers already in place to transport bodies safely.

Several airline companies offer shipment of human remains. Only a known shipper can make arrangements to ship a dead body by air. A family cannot deal directly with the airline. A funeral director can handle all the arrangements and paperwork for you. For airline freight, the body needs to be embalmed or prepared with dry ice, and the casket placed in a special air freight tray.

If shipping the deceased by air is too expensive or too complicated, you can choose to have the body cremated at the place of death and shipped home in an urn for very little cost. Cremated remains can be carried on as hand luggage on most airlines. The U.S. Postal Service also handles the shipping of cremains.

CARING FOR THE DECEASED AT HOME

Once the body is home, you have much work to do with respect to preserving the body, burying the body and planning a home funeral or a life celebration.

Preserving and Prepping the Body at Home

First, make sure the body is bathed and dressed, then minimally packed with dry ice and kept in a cool room to preserve the body. You can also apply makeup and place a blanket over the body. By doing these things, you will not have to bury the body immediately upon your return home, but you can keep the body available for viewing until you are ready to say goodbye. You will also have more time to prepare for a proper burial on your property and to arrange the funeral service or celebration of life.

How to Make a Grave for a Home Burial

The next step is to plan the creation of the grave, if you haven’t already. One important note here: Digging a grave is not easy! You will be displacing about 150 square feet of dirt. That can take many hours. It is advisable to get several strong family members involved in the grave digging so you can each take rests at regular intervals. It will be a good workout and useful therapy for everybody! Rarely are caskets or other wrappings required for the body. That is purely up to you what you do.

Finding the Perfect Location for the Grave

Take some time to find the ideal spot to place the grave. Look for a beautiful space in a natural setting where people can easily find the grave and comfortably spend time there. Local zoning laws will put some restrictions on where the body can be buried. Having a grave too close to a water source is either not wise or not legal. It also may not be permitted to have a gravesite within a certain distance of a building or your property line. These are called setbacks, and setback laws are different for each state. Often, setback rules make it all but impossible to put a grave in someone’s urban or suburban property without breaking the law.

Common sense will tell you not to bury the body in soft sandy soil or hard rocky soil. Find a place with firm ground, but a place you can dig up to six feet down. It is not always necessary to dig that deep, but it is a good idea (and sometimes required) that the top of the casket or body be at least 3 feet beneath the surface. Animals cannot smell remains buried at least three feet beneath the surface, so you can be confident the grave will not be ravaged by a raccoon, cat, or dog. Before digging, check with authorities to see where underground pipes, power lines, and other hidden obstacles may be located. Then avoid them at all cost.

Collect the Right Gravedigging Tools and Equipment

According to veteran gravedigger Anthony Pranger of Carolina Memorial Sanctuary (https://carolinamemorialsanctuary.org/how-to-dig-a-grave-by-hand/), here is a list of tools and equipment you’ll need, as well as some helpful tips on how best to dig a grave:

  1. A lawn mower, weed eater, loppers and pruning shears to clear the area around the gravesite
  2. A good sharp spade for the primary digging tool
  3. A pick/mattock to break up roots, clay, and rocks
  4. A chainsaw for extremely large tough roots
  5. A rock or spud bar to displace large rocks
  6. A post-hole digger or yardstick to use as a depth gauge
  7. A garden rake to smooth and level the bottom of the grave
  8. An edging tool to sculpt the sides of the grave
  9. A grave template with the dimensions of the grave
  10. At least 3 large tarps to place the dirt on and to cover the dirt

Preparing the Home Burial Site on Your Private Property

Now it’s time to clear the area of debris and make it look beautiful for your service and future graveside visits. Mow the lawn, remove rocks and tree limbs and overhanging branches, and tidy up the area. Then mark the exact spot where you are going to place the grave. Place stakes at the four corners of the grave. You can also create a paper or cardboard template to lay over the gravesite to ensure the measurements are exact. Lay the template on the ground and use a shovel to dig a border around it. Finally, lay 3 tarps down next to the gravesite where you will put the dirt that you remove from the ground.

Digging the Grave for a Home Burial

It takes about eight to ten hours to dig a human size grave. It is a very, very difficult task! Get a whole bunch of family and friends to help and you can cut a few hours off the job. But don’t tell them it’s a very, very difficult task!

When digging the grave, you will go through several distinct layers of soil. They will differ in moisture content, bacteria, fungi, air, light, etc. Keep the layers separate when removing them so that the ecosystem can return to normal after you fill the grave back up. Use a different tarp for each layer. When the soil changes color and composition, that means you have encountered a new layer.

  • Top Layer: The top layer of earth is composed of organic matter and loose topsoil and is anywhere from 3-7 inches deep. You’ll be digging up the shallow roots of grasses and herbaceous plants are in this layer, as well as topsoil that is usually a dark color with a loose, granular texture.
  • Middle Layer: The next layer is called the eluviated or leaching layer, which goes down another eight to twelve inches. It is lighter in color than the topsoil, with fewer hairy or stringy roots. It is still relatively loose, and many thicker roots can still be found in this layer. You will also find earthworms, beetles or other invertebrate life here. Feel free to permanently remove the roots of any undesirable weeds.
  • Lower Layer: Below the leaching layer is the subsoil, made up of mostly clay and mineral deposits. It is usually very dense and heavy and you’ll be digging up stones and cutting through rock shelves. Best to have a good pick, rock bar, and several helpers when working through this layer.

Once the final layer is excavated, square the corners of the bottom of the grave and level with a hoe and rake. To prevent anyone from falling in the hole and to keep water out, place boards across the open grave. Then cover it with a tarp and anchor the tarp with rocks. Cover the piles of dirt as well to prevent erosion.

You will need to make a register for the grave. This means that you will need a piece of paper with the name, address, date of birth, age, date, and place of burial and the name of the "minister" presiding over the burial. You’ll also need to provide the register a drawing showing the exact location of the grave. This way you will never have to worry about the grave being disturbed, even if you eventually sell the land.

Creating a Container for the Body

How do you want to bury the deceased? The body can be dressed or naked, wound in a sheet or put in a body bag, placed in a coffin or a casket – the choice is yours. Cemeteries have rules and regulations regarding the method of burial, but you don’t.

If you don’t want to harm the environment or pollute it with chemicals or other unnatural, non-biodegradable materials, here are some tips from green burial expert J.B. Bradfield (https://www.amazon.com/Green-Burial-D-I-Y-Guide-Practice/dp/0952328003). First and foremost, anything going into the ground (shrouds or other burial containers) should be made of natural materials which biodegrade easily.

Feel free to make an eco-friendly coffin or casket with your own hands. If you don’t know the difference, coffins have a tapered shoulder shape, and caskets have a rectangular shape. Coffins made of cardboard or wicker won’t harm the environment. You can also wrap the body in a simple cotton shroud made from natural fibers such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool.

You don’t any type of container to bury a body on private property if that is what you desire.

Having an outer burial container such as a grave liner, burial vault, or lawn crypt, protects the casket and keeps the ground around the gravesite stable. These are not biodegradable, however, and should not be used for a green burial.

A grave liner covers only the top and sides of the casket. The bottom of the casket is in contact with the ground. Grave liners are typically made of concrete and lined with plastic or metal. There are two types of grave liners. A “sectional” grave liner is made of six sections and assembled in the grave. Solid concrete burial liner boxes come in one piece and are extremely heavy - too heavy to lift even with all the friends who came to help dig the grave.

Burial vaults completely contain the casket on all sides. They are also made of concrete and lined with plastic or metal.

Lawn Crypts, often used in cemeteries, are more solidly constructed than any other type of burial liner, but probably unnecessary and too costly for home burial. They are twice the height of a liner box because they have two compartments to hold two people, one above the other.

There are also burial vaults and grave liners for cremated remains (urn vaults). (https://www.romemonuments.com/cemetery_cremation_burial_options) They are much smaller than those for a full body burial (as they only need to contain an urn, rather than a casket), and are far less pricey as well.

Hold Your Own Home Funeral or “Celebration of Life”

When burying the body at home, many families choose to hold an event at home similar to a funeral service that includes friends, family, coworkers and other important people in the deceased’s life. This helps family members move through the grieving process as they pay special tribute to the life of their loved one. There are no rules or regulations for this event. Home funerals can include religious items and traditions as part of the ceremony. Or they can be “celebrations of life”, an event focused on sharing stories of the deceased and commemorating the joys he or she brought into the lives of others. It is a time to remember and a time for joy – a time to enjoy good food, good friends, and some refreshing beverage as well. If you choose, it is not necessary to include the burial as part of a celebration of life.

Some families hold visitations over several days during certain hours of the day. People can bring plates and drinks for everyone to share. They can say goodbye to the person who has passed away. And they can certainly help to relieve the suffering of the family and keep them busy over several difficult days.

A graveside service is another option. Plan a particular day and time to bury the body. You may need to send out emails or invitations to the people you want to be in attendance. Ask friends and family to say a prayer, read a eulogy, recite from a holy book, sing a song, talk about a specific incident that meant a lot to them. Then you can ask very special acquaintances to help lower the body into the grave for a last farewell. Each person at the service can throw a shovelful of dirt into the grave until it is all filled back up.

Another option is to have a party following or before burial. It doesn’t necessarily have to be at your home. Capture the event with photos or video to keep the memories for years to come.

Include sentimental memorabilia or a memory board, a photo album, a remembrance video,

Lowering the Body Into the Grave

There are several methods you can use to lower the body into the grave. A quilt, canvas slings, or ropes held by people on both sides of the grave are practical ways to lower a body. When the body is in place, participants in the ceremony can throw shovelsful of soil into the grave…or you can wait several days before filling the hole.

Place a Memorial, Marker or Monument at the Gravesite

One advantage of having a gravesite on private property is that you can choose almost any type of memorial for the deceased, making sure you abide by local zoning restrictions. Here are just a few options for headstones, gravestones, markers or monuments.

  • Cremation Urns
  • Traditional or Cremation Pedestals
  • Traditional or Cremation Benches
  • Flat Traditional or Cremation Markers
  • Upright Traditional or Cremation Monuments
  • Traditional or Cremation Cemetery Buildings (Mausoleums, Columbariums with Niches)
  • Traditional or Cremation Statues
  • Traditional or Cremation Sculptures
  • Traditional or Cremation Natural Boulders with Inscriptions or Bronze Plaque
  • Traditional or Cremation Plaques
  • Granite Vaults
  • Private Family Columbariums with Niches

There are many ways to personalize each of these options. Add meaningful etchings, engravings, portraits, or inscriptions that make it a one-of-a-kind memorial dedicated to a loved one. Rome Monument has been designing and building monuments for families with home gravesites since 1934. We can help you decide which type of memorial is best for your purposes. At Rome, we can create a 100% personalized monument just for you…and just the way you want, often at a price that is less than what other monument companies, funeral homes, and cemeteries charge. That’s because we have our own production facility with our own designers and craftsmen on staff. Our personalized headstone designs come in a variety of styles, shapes, and colors with different price ranges to fit your budget. They often incorporate symbols and imagery that convey the specific nationality or religion of the deceased. Visit the Design Gallery to view examples of memorials we’ve created for cemeteries and home burial sites in the United States.

Maintaining Your Home Gravesite and Memorial

You will have to attend to the gravesite every so often to keep the area beautiful and the grave markers in pristine condition. For starters, you’ll need to do your own landscaping – mowing, pulling weeds, cutting encroaching tree branches, etc. If the dirt collapses around the grave, you’ll be grabbing a shovel again to do some more fill.

If you have a cemetery marker such as a headstone or monument, you’ll want to clean the granite a couple times a year to remove any dirt or organic plant growth. Use a soft bristled brush and water. Add professional brand non-ionic detergent if necessary. Nothing harsh should be applied to the granite.

If you have a bronze marker, use a stainless steel brush to remove dirt and corrosion on the surface. Use a scrub brush to apply water and mild detergent to the surface. Rinse with water. Dry with a soft cloth.

If you would like to place flowers around the grave, that is fine, but they will require extra work. Consider artificial flowers that will stay bright and appear to be blooming year ‘round. Of course, bushes are another option. They will have to be trimmed regularly, of course.

Also consider what kind of memorabilia you place at the gravesite. Certain items can break or be blown away or become waterlogged.

Rome Monument offers monument, gravestone and mausoleum maintenance, cleaning and restoration services to families with home gravesites. Call us at 724-770-0100 for more information or to request our headstone cleaning services. Click here to request more information or to schedule gravestone cleaning services if you would like to talk with Rome Monument about our restoring a monument (s) to its original appearance.

The Rome Monument cleaning crew polishes and cleans both granite and flat bronze grave markers and monuments. Rome Monument understands how to maintain headstones and monuments so that the place that marks the final resting place is clean and beautiful. 

In the Event You Move from Your Home Burial Site

A home burial site is considered a cemetery, even if only one person is buried there. Certain perpetuity clauses and restrictions go along with that designation, ensuring that future residents know of the cemetery's location and existence. The deed to the property should also have wording concerning the existence of your cemetery. Disturbing a home burial ground is illegal.

State-by-State Home Burial Regulations

Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding home burials. You need to be aware of these to carry out your home burial legally, safely, and properly. Essentially, there are three different scenarios that vary state by state:

  • Some states do not mandate any outside involvement in the funeral and burial - you can do it all yourself.
  • Some states mandate a funeral director’s involvement, from signing the death certificate to overseeing burial or cremation. These states include Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, and New York.
  • Other states do not allow home burials at all such as California, Indiana, and Washington.

There are other regulations regarding the preservation of the body, transporting the body, required use of a funeral director, contagious diseases, and more. Bur first, let’s take a look at some terms we’ll be using.

“Final disposition” is what you have done to the body following death, including burial, cremation, transporting the body, funeral service or a celebration of life, type of memorial you choose, etc.

“Embalming” refers to the chemical process performed on the body to delay decomposition. It is used for sanitary reasons as well. Embalming makes the deceased suitable for public or private viewing and keeps the body preserved for medical examination. States sometimes require embalming when transporting a body by common carrier or when the person has died of a communicable disease. When a body is embalmed, it is generally preserved for about a week.

“Refrigeration” is when a body is preserved through refrigeration with ice or dry ice or gel packs. Keeping the body temperature below 40°F delays decomposition. Some states allow refrigeration instead of embalming for preserving a body. It can also be used when a body is to be cremated. If you are holding a natural home burial, you should choose refrigeration over embalming because of the harmful chemicals used in the embalming process. When a body is refrigerated, it only delays decomposition a couple days.

“Contagious, communicable, transmittable, or infectious diseases” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infection) are ones that are spread from one person to another through a variety of ways, including contact with blood and bodily fluids or breathing in an airborne virus. Anthrax poisoning, hemorrhagic fever, cholera, smallpox or typhus are considered contagious diseases. AIDS is not. When a body dies with a communicable disease, many states require reporting the disease to a licensed physician or health official. It may affect how a body can be transported and disposed of. If you dispose of the body immediately, these diseases should cause no health problems.

A “Funeral Director” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funeral_director) is involved in the business of certain funeral rites, including embalming, burial and cremation. He or she also helps arrange funeral ceremonies. Funeral directors do not necessarily work at a funeral home. They can work independently. Some states require the involvement of a funeral director in the disposition of a dead body.

“Cremation” is the process of turning a body to ashes by use of various heating treatments. The body can also be pulverizing a body into small fragments. Cremated remains (cremains) are often cast to the wind in a funeral ceremony or placed in an urn where they can be displayed at home, buried in the ground, or placed in a monument. Some states require that dead bodies, under certain conditions, be cremated, and NOT be cremated under other circumstances.

“Preservation time” (https://beyondthedash.com/blog/how-long-can-you-delay-a-funeral/6112) refers to the amount of time that passes between the time a person dies and when action needs to be taken to preserve the body for public showing, burial, transportation, or other health-related reasons. After 24 hours, a body starts decomposing and must be embalmed or refrigerated until it is disposed of by cremation or burial. States often have different rules regarding how much time you have before the body has to be preserved in some form.

Requirements for home burial are determined by each state. Most states allow home burials but often with certain stipulations attached. These can include, requiring:

  • a funeral director be involved in the process
  • embalming and refrigeration
  • using a casket or container for burial on your property
  • using a casket or container for transporting the body to your property
  • special considerations for bodies with a contagious/transferable/communicable disease
  • types of disposition that can be performed
  • cremation in certain situations
  • obeying state and local zoning laws regarding where a body can be buried safely

Alabama 

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming: Required only if you leave the state
Preservation Time Requirements: None
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Cremation: 24-hour wait time required

DETAILS:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws before establishing a home cemetery or burying on private land. 
  • It is legally required to hire a Funeral Director to handle certain parts of the funeral. 
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • Embalming is required in order to leave the state unless the body is going to be used for medical research
  • 24-hour mandatory wait time to cremate

For more information, read the “Consumer Rights for Alabama” at http://www.funeralethics.org/ALCR.pdf

Alaska

Home Burials Permitted: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming: Required only if you leave the state
Preservation Time Requirements: None
Contagious Disease: Some require physician’s advice. Check statute
Cremation: 24-hour wait time required

DETAILS:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Check statute for specific communicable diseases that require a physician’s advice

For more information, read the “Consumer Rights for Alaska” at http://www.funeralethics.org/AKCR.pdf

Arizona

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Casket Required: NO
Embalming or Refrigeration: Required after 24 hours
Contagious Disease: Reporting to attending physician recommended
Cremation: 24-hour wait time required

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial,
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Embalming OR refrigeration is required if a body is not being disposed within 24 hours.
  • State law does not require the use of a casket, and an individual can build one or bring an alternative container they bought online.

For more information, read the “Consumer Rights for Arizona” at http://www.funeralethics.org/AZCR.pdf

Arkansas

Home Burials: NO, except with special permit
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Reporting to attending physician recommended
Embalming or Refrigeration for burial: Required after 24 hours. Required if leaving the state. Required when shipping by common carrier.
Embalming or Refrigeration for cremation: Required after 48 hours

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • Bodies must be buried in an established cemetery.  
  • Special permitting for a family burial plot can be applied for.
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated at <45° after 24 hours unless cremating; neither are required for 48 hours if planning to cremate
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • Embalming is required in order to leave the state
  • Embalming is required when shipping by common carrier

For more information, read the “Consumer Rights for Arkansas” at http://www.funeralethics.org/ARCR.pdf

California

Home Burials: NO, except with special permit (See below)
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: NO. Unless shipping by common carrier. (Airtight container acceptable)
Casket Required: NO
Preservation Time Requirements: NONE
Contagious Disease: Check with physician recommended

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • Embalming OR refrigeration is required if a body is not being disposed within 24 hours
  • Bodies must be buried in an established cemetery unless a special permit for a family burial plot is applied for.
  • Local municipalities have jurisdiction over cemetery matters, and you will need to negotiate locally to establish a family cemetery on your own land.
  • Embalming is not required. However, the person with the right to control disposition must accept or decline embalming by signing a specific form prescribed by the Bureau. Additionally, a funeral establishment must refrigerate an unembalmed body in its possession if burial does not take place within 24 hours (there are some exceptions for home death care). A coroner may also require embalming in certain circumstances.
  • The law does not require outer burial containers, such as vaults or grave liners, but cemeteries may require them because they keep the ground from settling after burial. Natural burials and cemeteries are explicitly listed as legal and preferable for those who want to have minimum impact on the environment.
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • Required to be embalmed OR shipped in an airtight container by common carrier and when forwarding

For more information, read the “Consumer Rights for California” at http://www.funeralethics.org/CACR.pdf

Colorado

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: After 24 hours. Required to be embalmed OR shipped in an airtight container by common carrier.
Contagious Disease: Must be reported to local or state health officers by person acting as funeral director

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated after 24 hours
  • Contagious or communicable diseases must be reported to local or state health officers by person acting as funeral director
  • Required to be embalmed OR shipped in an airtight container by common carrier

For more information, read the “Consumer Rights for Colorado” at http://www.funeralethics.org/COCR.pdf

Connecticut

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: Only if died of contagious disease
Communicable Disease: Must be handled by Funeral Director
Cremation Time Period: Must wait 48 hours before cremating

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial,
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • It is also legally required to use a funeral director, even if you are burying on private land.
  • Embalming is only required if a person died of a contagious disease. Otherwise, refrigeration serves the same purpose. 
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Disposition must occur within a reasonable time
  • Funeral director must be hired to remove the body, file the death certificate, and handle the disposition of bodies with communicable disease
  • 48 hour mandatory wait time to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Connecticut”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/CTCR.pdf

Delaware

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required:
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming or Refrigeration Required: After 24 hours

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws before establishing a home cemetery or burying on private land.
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated after 24 hours
  • Disposition must occur within 5 days
  • Embalming is prohibited for select diseases

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Delaware”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/DECR.pdf

Florida

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required:
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming or Refrigeration Required: After 24 hours
Cremation: 48-hr wait time

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial,
  • but you must check local zoning laws before establishing a home cemetery or burying on private land.
  • Must be embalmed OR refrigerated after 24 hours
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • 48-hour mandatory wait time to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Florida”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/FLCR.pdf

Georgia

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws before establishing a home cemetery or burying on private land.
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Georgia”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/GACR.pdf

Hawaii

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming or Refrigeration Required: After 30 hours

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws before establishing a home cemetery or burying on private land.
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated (preferably in a facility) after 30 hours
  • Embalming is prohibited for select infectious diseases

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Hawaii”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/HICR.pdf

Idaho

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming Required: Only with transport by common carrier

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials.
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Physician should be consulted for death by contagious or communicable disease
  • Embalming is required with the use of common carrier

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Idaho”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/IDCR.pdf

Illinois

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Cremation: 24-hr wait period

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial,
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Funeral director must be hired to file the death certificate
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • 24 hour mandatory wait time to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Illinois”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/ILCR.pdf

Indiana

Home Burials: NO, except with special permit
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming Required: NO
Cremation: 48-hr wait period

DETAILS:

  • Bodies must be buried in an established cemetery.  
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Special permitting for a family burial plot can be applied for.
  • There are NO laws requiring embalming.
  • Funeral Director must be hired to handle the disposition permit, which requires that they file the death certificate to receive it; must be hired to receive cremated remains
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Disposition must occur within a reasonable time
  • Reporting of infectious disease to attending physician is recommended
  • 48-hour mandatory wait time to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Indiana”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/INCR.pdf

Iowa

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician required
Embalming Required: After 72 hours

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Body can be held without preservation up to 72 hours; then refrigerated at between 38 and 42 degrees for 72 more
  • Communicable disease must be reported to attending physician
  • Funeral director must be hired to handle arrangements with crematories and to embalm bodies with infectious disease
  • Embalming is required for bodies with communicable diseases

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Iowa”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/IACR.pdf

Kansas

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Check statutes
Embalming Required: After 24 hours

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated after 24 hours; extensions possible
  • Check statutes for specific infectious or contagious diseases that must be handled by a licensed Funeral Director unless disposition occurs within 24 hours
  • Embalming required for specific diseases if disposal not complete within 24 hours
  • A sealed metal casket for immediate burial may substitute for embalming of bodies with a communicable disease
  • Required to be embalmed OR shipped in an airtight container by common carrier

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Kansas”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/KSCR.pdf

Kentucky

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended

DETAILS:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Kentucky”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/KYCR.pdf

Louisiana

Home Burials: NO, except with special permit
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • Bodies must be buried in an established cemetery.
  • Special permitting for a family burial plot can be applied for.
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated at below 45° after 30 hours
  • Consult with physician if contagious or communicable disease is involved
  • Funeral director must be hired to cover sweeping powers for all aspects of after death care “…any service whatsoever connected with the management of funerals…”

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Louisiana”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/LACR.pdf

Maine

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician
Cremation: 48-hr wait period

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Report diseases to attending physician to see if medical examiner needs to be involved
  • Required to be embalmed OR shipped in a sealed airtight container by common carrier
  • 48 hour mandatory wait time to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Maine”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/MECR.pdf

Maryland

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician
Cremation: 12-hr mandatory wait period

DETAILS:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Report contagious disease to attending physician
  • 12 hour wait time to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Maryland”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/MDCR.pdf

Massachusetts

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Cremation: 48-hr wait period

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • 48 hour mandatory wait time to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Massachusetts”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/MACR.pdf

Michigan

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming: For Infectious or Rare Disease

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • Funeral director must be hired to file the death certificate and oversee disposition
  • Embalming is required for bodies with rare infectious or communicable diseases
  • Refrigeration is NOT accepted as a preservation replacement
  • Must be embalmed after 48 hours if body has not reached final destination – applies to FDs only

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Michigan”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/MICR.pdf

Minnesota

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: After 72 hours

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated after 72 hours; refrigeration limited to 6 days; dry ice use limited to 4 days; disposition must occur within a reasonable time
  • Embalming for contagious diseases may be ordered by the Commissioner of Health
  • Bodies must be embalmed for shipping by common carrier

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Minnesota”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/MNCR.pdf

Mississippi

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: After 24 hours
Contagious Disease: Report to Medical Examiner required

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated after 24 hours if destination cannot be reached and does not take place within 48 hours
  • Contagious disease that endangers public health must be reported to a Medical Examiner

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Mississippi”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/MSCR.pdf

Missouri

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming Required: NO, see exceptions below

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • Embalming is required for bodies with infectious or communicable diseases if not buried or cremated within 24 hours
  • Embalming OR wrapping in disinfectant-soaked sheet and shipped in a sealed airtight container by common carrier is required for bodies with specific communicable diseases

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Missouri”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/MOCR.pdf

Montana

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Dispose of body ASAP
Embalming Required: After 48 hours
Cremation: 24-hr wait period

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • A body that died of infectious disease must be disposed of as soon as reasonably possible and with minimal handling 
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated if not expected to reach its destination within 48 hours
  • 24 hour mandatory wait period to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Montana”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/MTCR.pdf

Nebraska

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming Required: With use of common carrier

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • Funeral director must be hired to file the death certificate, sign transit permits, supervise interments
  • Embalming is required with use of common carrier

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Nebraska”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/NECR.pdf

Nevada

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: NO, see exceptions below
Cremation: Refrigerate after 24 hours

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Bodies held for cremation must be refrigerated after 24 hours
  • Report contagious or communicable disease to attending physician to consult state guidelines
  • Bodies with infectious disease may be embalmed by order of the Board of Health
  • Bodies must be embalmed for shipping by common carrier

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Nevada”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/NVCR.pdf

New Hampshire

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming Required: After 24 hours
Cremation: 48-hr mandatory wait period

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • Dead bodies may not be exposed to the public for a period in excess of 24 hours without embalming
  • 48 hour mandatory wait period to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for New Hampshire”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/NHCR.pdf

New Jersey

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: NO, see exception below

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Funeral director must be hired to file the death certificate and supervise disposition
  • Bodies must be embalmed to be shipped through common carrier if destination will not be reached within 24 hours

For more information on “Consumer Rights for New Jersey”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/NJCR.pdf

New Mexico

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming or Refrigeration Required: After 24 hours
Contagious Disease: Report to Office of Medical Investigation required

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial,
  • but you must check local zoning laws before establishing a home cemetery or burying on private land.
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated at below 40° if not disposed of within 24 hours
  • Report contagious or communicable disease to the Office of Medical Investigation
  • Bodies must be embalmed OR sealed in an airtight container for shipping by common carrier

For more information on “Consumer Rights for New Mexico”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/NMCR.pdf

New York

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: YES
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming Required: NO

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious disease to attending physician is recommended
  • Funeral director must be hired to file the death certificate; receive body from a hospital, institution or other place; personally supervise the funeral services; personally supervise the interment or cremation

For more information on “Consumer Rights for New York”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/NYCR.pdf

North Carolina

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming Required: See below
Cremation: 24-hr wait period

DETAILS:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial,
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious disease to attending physician or medical examiner is recommended
  • Embalming is not allowed when death is due to specific diseases; bodies that died of contagious diseases must be encased in a sealed casket
  • 24 hour mandatory wait period to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for North Carolina”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/NCCR.pdf

North Dakota

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: If body will not reach its destination within 24 hours, or if disposition is not accomplished within 48 hours. For bodies with specific communicable disease

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Requires immediate disposition under specific conditions; any body must be embalmed if it will not reach its destination within 24 hours, or if disposition is not accomplished within 48; all dispositions must occur within 8 days
  • Embalming is required for bodies with specific communicable disease and if body will not reach its destination within 24 hours, or if disposition is not accomplished within 48 hours.
  • Refrigeration is NOT accepted as a preservation replacement

For more information on “Consumer Rights for North Dakota”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/NDCR.pdf

Ohio

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Must be buried or cremated within 24 hours
Cremation: 24-hr wait period

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial,
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Bodies with communicable diseases must be buried or cremated within 24 hours
  • 24 hour mandatory wait time to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Ohio”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/OHCR.pdf

Oklahoma

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Oklahoma”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/OKCR.pdf

Oregon

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: NO, see exceptions below
Contagious Disease: Embalming required if viewed publicly

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Dispositions not occurring within 10 days must be reported to the Mortuary Board
  • Embalming is required for bodies with specific communicable diseases in order to be viewed publicly. Sealed casket may substitute for embalming when shipping by common carrier

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Oregon”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/ORCR.pdf

Pennsylvania

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming or Refrigeration Required: After 24 hours

DETAILS:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Bodies must be refrigerated if final disposition does not occur within 24 hours, or else embalmed and placed in a sealed casket. 
  • If the death was due to a noncontagious disease and will be shipped by common carrier (such as an airplane) to a place that cannot be reached within 24 hours after death, the only choice for a body is to be embalmed or placed in a sealed container.
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Dispositions not occurring within 10 days must be reported to the Mortuary Board
  • Embalming is required for bodies with specific communicable diseases in order to be viewed publicly. Funeral homes must embalm, refrigerate, or place in a sealed casket if body is not expected to reach final destination within 24 hours, by regulation, not statute –applies to FDs only. Sealed casket may substitute for embalming when shipping by common carrier

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Pennsylvania”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/PACR.pdf

Rhode Island

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming Required: for shipping by common carrier

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial,
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • Bodies must be embalmed OR sealed in an airtight container for shipping by common carrier.

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Rhode Island”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/RICR.pdf

South Carolina

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended

For more information on “Consumer Rights for South Carolina”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/SCCR.pdf

South Dakota

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended

For more information on “Consumer Rights for South Dakota”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/SDCR.pdf

Tennessee

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Embalming Required: NO
Casket Required: NO
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Additionally, embalming is not required. Refrigeration serves the same purpose.
  • A casket is also not required for burial by state law, but cemeteries may have their own individual policies for containers.
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Connecticut”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/TNCR.pdf

Texas

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Embalming or Refrigeration Required: After 24 hours unless in sealed container
Cremation: 48-hr wait period

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Bodies must be embalmed OR refrigerated to 35-40° after 24 hours unless placed in a sealed container
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • 48 hour mandatory wait time to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Texas”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/TXCR.pdf

Utah

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Utah”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/UTCR.pdf

Vermont

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Cremation: 24-hr wait period

DETAILS:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended. Local health officer may be involved in disposition arrangements in these cases
  • 24 hour mandatory wait period to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Vermont”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/VTCR.pdf

Virginia

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Cremation: 24-hr wait period
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician required
Embalming or Refrigeration Required: After 48 hours

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • Body must be embalmed OR refrigerated after 48 hours
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended
  • 24 hour mandatory wait period to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Virginia”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/VACR.pdf

Washington

Home Burials: NO (See exception below)

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • Bodies must be buried at established cemeteries
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • A casket is also not required for burial or cremation.
  • State Board of Health determines restrictions, if any
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Washington”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/WACR.pdf

West Virginia

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended

DETAILS:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Reporting of contagious or communicable disease to attending physician is recommended

For more information on “Consumer Rights for West Virginia”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/WVCR.pdf

Wisconsin

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: Report to attending physician recommended
Cremation: 48-hr wait period

DETAILS/OTHER:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Health Department determines restrictions, if any
  • Reporting of contagious or infectious disease to attending physician is recommended
  • 48 hour mandatory wait period to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Wisconsin”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/WICR.pdf

Wyoming

Home Burials: YES
Funeral Director Required: NO
Check Local Zoning Laws: YES
Contagious Disease: See requirements below for public funerals
Embalming Required: For certain communicable diseases and common carrier
Cremation: 24-hr wait period

DETAILS:

  • There are no laws that prohibit home burial
  • You must check local zoning laws for restrictions on home burials
  • No preservation time requirements for home funeral families
  • Embalming is required for bodies with specific communicable diseases
  • Public funerals for bodies that died of communicable diseases require supervision by a health department official; funeral homes must embalm, refrigerate, cremate or bury within 36 hours by regulation, not statute – applies to FDs only
  • Embalming is required for shipping by common carrier
  • 24 hour mandatory wait period to cremate

For more information on “Consumer Rights for Wyoming”, go to http://www.funeralethics.org/WYCR.pdf

Learn More About Home Burial on Private Property

Rome Monument is a national cemetery and home burial monument company that builds 100% personalized memorials for your private property. With over 85 years of experience, we can offer you advice on home funerals and show you the different types of monuments to mark your home burial site. Feel free to call the main Rome Monument office in Rochester, PA at 724-770-0100 and ask for Vince Dioguardi or Chris Morgan. Either of these compassionate gentlemen will be happy to help you with this emotional process.