Your Legal Right to Home Burial

Home burial is legal in some states and counties. The number of backyard burials is increasing, and has done so dramatically over the past 5 years. The Funeral Consumer’s Alliance reports that only two companies aided families holding home funerals in 2002, but now there are at least 45 companies.

Regarding Home Burial, most counties ask for a certain acreage amount, a distance of at least 150’ from a water supply, and at least two feet of earth on top. Before burial, the person in charge must sign the burial-transit permit and return it within 10 days to the registration of the county in which the death occurred. The practice is generally discouraged because of the potential affect on the property value. Because the practice is not common yet, society is still uncomfortable with it. Neighbors might find it disturbing to watch someone bring a body home, hold a funeral in their home, and then bury the body in their yard. However, a number of planned “Green Burial Preserves” are currently in development throughout the country to fulfill the demand for natural burials.

Please share your thoughts on home burials. Have you helped conduct a home burial or known someone with a private property cemetery? What advice can you share with others?