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Funerals/Memorial Marker without Burying Cremains?

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Question
My parents own their cemetery lots in Ohio, but wish to be cremated. The cost for vaults, open/close, etc. is horribly high even for cremains, so they have alternate plans for their ashes to be spread in a location special to them.  Can a marker be placed on the lot without actually buring their cremains? My Dad is a veteran and will be provided a bronze plaque by the government. We planned to get my Mom a matching plaque on a granite slab and put it on one lot.  Per the memorial garden where the lots are located, we can use a single lot and put a double marker vertically.

Answer
It sounds to me as if they/you may be dealing with a for-profit cemetery if a vault is being required for cremated remains and the O/C charges are high. Unfortunately, I can't answer the question about the marker. Each cemetery is allowed to make up their own rules and regulations, so I would have no way of knowing.

There are veterans cemeteries in Dayton and Rittman. Are they/you anywhere near either one? That would reduce costs, and your parents might be able to sell the other lots or donate them to a church and take a tax deduction.

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Lisa Carlson

Expertise

Funeral Law. Having written a 512-page book on funeral law for consumers with state-by-state information, I am very conversant with consumer rights in this regard: What are the laws on disposition of cremated remains? Is embalming required? Do I have to use a funeral home? Can I have a home wake? Is it a state law to buy a vault? I prepaid for a funeral but changed my mind. They won`t give me all my money back. What can I do? . . . If you have an immediate need for information because a death has just occurred or is about to occur, you may call me at 802-482-6021.

Experience

I have monitored the funeral industry on behalf of consumers for over 20 years. I have been a guest speaker to funeral trade organizations, consumer workshops, and social service professionals. I am regularly consulted by lawyers and legislators as well as journalists.

Organizations
Funeral Ethics Organization (www.funeralethics.org) Funeral Consumers Alliance (www.funerals.org)

Publications
Caring for Your Own Dead (1987) Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998) I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch (2001) Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (2011) with co-author Joshua Slocum

Education/Credentials
Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

Past/Present Clients
Available as an expert witness for funeral-related court cases.

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