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Can you bury your loved one at home? Is it legal?

With the passing of a loved one come the numerous choices that must be made with regards to services, caskets or urns and burial. There are a variety of options available when it comes to burial and choosing the best place to lay your loved one to rest is an important and vital decision. Many make the choice based on whether their loved one is being laid to rest in an urn or a casket. Still others make their decision based on a family plot or mausoleum. One question that is frequently asked is whether or not you can choose to bury your loved one on your own land. The answer to this varies depending on your town bylaws and your own personal feelings towards having a deceased loved one on your property.

In most states it is actually legal to bury your loved one on your property but there are a number of things to consider. There are several agencies in the United States that exist with the sole purpose of helping families that wish to do home burial. You can engage the services of a death midwife who will help you make the proper arrangements for home burial of a body. A death midwife in the state of Oregon is required to be licensed and only six states across the US require that you have involvement from a funeral director. The sole purpose of the death midwife is to make certain that any steps you may not have thought of during this time of grief are taken care of and that the burial of the body is done with dignity and within the proper standards to ensure the safety of the body into the earth. Please note it is necessary to obtain local consent from your local authority before burial can take place.

Home burial has become increasingly popular due to the financial stress that many families face today and the ever increasing cost of funerals. The average funeral can cost in excess of $5000 whereas with home burial you are looking at as little as $200 for the cost of a pine coffin. It is important to note that one detriment to home burial is that if you should move you are obligated to report the burial of a body on the property and this can cause home values to decrease. Also, if you choose to move it is in most cases impossible to bring the deceased body with you unless the body was cremated and buried in a cremation urn.

Burying your loved one at home can help you through the grieving process by adding an immense amount of joy in caring the body of your loved one on your terms. This intimate time for you and your family allows you to share privately in bidding farewell to your loved one and also gives you a convenient place to visit when you are in need of being with your beloved. Be sure to check with your town hall for any restrictions or necessary consents before engaging in home burial.