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Funerals/Existing headstone & cremation


We live in Virginia.  We own our cemetery plot and several years ago added traditional headstone complete with everything except the date of death.  Now, we have decided we would rather be cremated.  Can we still be buried there and if so what type of container would be necessary?  Thank you for any info you can provide.

Yes, cremated remains can be buried in the plot. Obviously there's room for several other family members, but the cemetery will surely charge for extra rights of interment in that case. Talk to the cemetery. These days the rascals are requiring a totally unnecessary "urn vault." If so, I'm guessing they'll want to sell you one for say $595. Ask for the specific requirements, measurement, construction material, etc. Then hop on the internet. I quickly found one for $63 w. free shipping.


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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

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Available as an expert witness for funeral-related court cases.

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