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Funerals/fee on how long to keep ashes


I am trying to get information. I had my daughter cremated 12 years ago and have been unable to get her. When we cremated her I only had to pay $190.00 for the Urn. When we were unable to get her I emailed to funeral to let them know and no answer. Then last year we got a hold of the funeral and asked about her remains and they said they would get back at my mother in law because they had to find her remains. Then I called and left a message to have the Director to call me back. Never did. Then I email again and called to get her remains. Well the director told I will have to dish out about $900 to get her remains. Here I thought I only had to pay $190. He told me the interest rate for keeping her 12 years was 18%. I was wondering what the law was. I mean I will pay the $190 because that is what I have. At the time we had no money when we cremated my baby. No one told us that the 18% was in the contract. I was distraught at the time. I don't even remember someone telling that we could just put her in a jar and take her home. I just want to know the law and if this is to much money to pay and what I can do. Or who I can talk too. Thank you for your time.

Twelve years is a VERY long time. I'm frankly surprised the funeral home still has the ashes. They were certainly unfair to require you to purchase an urn at all, so if you decide you don't want the urn, there would be no interest, only storage. What is the name of the funeral home and in what town? I'd like to do some checking.


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Lisa Carlson


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.


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.

Funeral Ethics Organization ( Funeral Consumers Alliance (

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

Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

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

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