Is It Legal to Bury Human Ashes in Your Backyard

This distinction is important because you must obtain permission before scattering ashes on private property. And if the location is a stadium or amusement park, your application will likely be denied. In many cases, if you are caught handing out ashes, the police will be called. Some people were fined and given community service. Also, many owners will have the ashes removed and respectfully disposed of elsewhere — so while you`ve scattered your friend`s ashes at Disney World, chances are they won`t stay there. After a loved one is cremated, many people don`t know what to do with the ashes – or the remains, as they are also called. Some families choose to keep the remains in an urn in their home, while others scatter the ashes in a popular or significant location. Burying ashes in a cemetery or other location is also a very common choice. This is perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when scattering ashes: think of other people. You`ll notice that many of the ash laws scattered above specifically mention staying away from trails and other areas used by the public. If they are not very finely pulverized, the remains may be distinctive.

No one wants to find a bunch of leftovers while hiking with their kids or playing on the beach. Georgia is the only state that has set a deadline for scattering ashes at sea, which must be done within 50 days of cremation. After that, it is no longer allowed. If you plan to scatter the ashes on a grave or crypt, be sure to speak to the person`s immediate family (if possible) before doing so. You must order the certificate from the state and county where your loved one died. This must be done within 72 hours of death. A doctor must complete the medical portion of the certificate within 24 hours of your loved one`s death. Cremated remains can last for millennia if buried in sealed urns, but usually degrade after a few decades if stored in biodegradable containers.

Burying loose ash in the soil greatly accelerates this process, but it can temporarily have a negative impact on surrounding plant life. Next, you`ll want to think about how you want to preserve the body, especially if you don`t intend to bury it within 24 hours. It`s important to choose an urn that`s right for your family, whether it`s as a temporary resting place before distributing your loved one`s ashes, or if it`s moving permanently into your home. For more information on the different types of ballot boxes, see this article. If you live in a state that requires burials to be conducted in established cemeteries, you may still be able to bury your loved one on your property by creating a family cemetery. You can do this by checking your community`s zoning laws, contacting your health department, and registering with your local family clerk at the cemetery before the funeral. According to EPA guidelines, you must travel at least 3 nautical miles from the low-water mark and use a biodegradable urn that decomposes relatively quickly in the water. Ocean waters within this 3-mile limit are regulated by individual states, so you`ll need to learn your local laws if you want to bury the remains closer to shore. Learn more about our tips for planning a funeral at sea. The Funeral Ethics Organization ( has a PDF for each state detailing your consumer rights regarding funerals and funerals. The organization « promotes ethical business in all death-related transactions by advocating for a better understanding of ethical issues among practitioners of burials, cemeteries, memorials, law enforcement, organ procurement organizations and government agencies, and for a better understanding between them and the public. » If you plan to bury an urn, be sure to bury the urn deep enough to keep it safe and intact for the foreseeable future.

Many cemeteries have their own urn burial guidelines, but if you`re burying an urn alone, it`s good to know what the general expectations are.

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