Funerals/grave change


my sister was buried in a cemetery she did not want to be can i move her body to lie in rest in the cemetery she wanted to be

Hi Sherri,

Disinterment regulations vary from State to State. I think your best bet would be to contact the cemetery that you want to move her to and discuss your wishes with them. They'll also be able to help you identify whether or not you have the rights to disturb the grave or not.

If you don't, they should have some advice about where you can go to get any legal questions answered, and you may have to get permissions from other next of kin, depending upon your situation. States usually have a list of next of kin by relationship, and if you're at the top of the list you'll probably be able to do what you want.

Disinterment and reburial are usually expensive, but the cemetery that you'll be doing the new business with is quite likely to be helpful since you're bringing them new business. If you're crossing state lines they should be able to help you navigate that. If you're not and it's all in-state, so much the better.

I do recommend you get a complete quote (from both sides - disinterment and new burial) up front, in writing, and take a few days to think it over to make sure all the steps make sense to you before you sign anything or pay any money. Verify with the cemetery that you're removing her from that all the charges are correct and that the task list and permits required are all complete.

If you run into obstacles or costs that don't feel right, don't hesitate to contact the consumer service person at your State's Cemetery and Mortuary Board with your questions, just to be on the safe side. You should be able to find their contact information easily on your state's official website.

Good luck. I hope your way is smooth.



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Cynthia Beal


Typical questions include 1) Where can I go for a natural burial? 2) What types of coffins, urns and other "packaging" are best for natural decomposition? 3)How do I plan for a natural funeral? 4) Do I have to be embalmed? and other questions in this vein. I'm available to answer general consumer questions about natural burial, home and natural funerals, and sustainable cemetery management. I answer questions about general cemetery matters, and offer suggestions about how to deal with remains, cremated or buried, interment rights, rules for cemeteries and plot owners, covering conventional as well as alternative options. I also answer questions from professionals, home funeral guides, and family members about how to manage a natural funeral either in the mortuary or at the home, how to best use natural coffins and urns, and how to convert cemeteries to natural, sustainable practices. I will answer questions from volunteer cemetery managers about how to offer natural burial in their rural, Pioneer, or non-profit cemeteries. If I don't know an answer I'll refer the questioner to someone who does. DISCLAIMER -- I am a certified pre-need sales person in the State of Oregon. I am not a licensed attorney, tax adviser, estate planner, funeral director, embalmer, accountant, public official, or any other professional that may be associated with issues the question brings up and any answers I provide should not be relied upon if such expertise is required by the asker (as per the All Expert suggestion). I provide my own personal opinions, based on my experience in business, Nature and its systems, and with human beings after 55 years of life on the planet.


Natural burial and sustainable cemetery management experience: I'm the founder of the Natural Burial Company and a member of the Cemetery Association of Oregon. Over 25 years in the natural products industry, and over a decade of running the Natural Burial Company, founded in 2004. I've done some consulting for existing and start-up natural cemetery operations. I'm currently an instructor at Oregon State University, facilitating the creation of a program in sustainable cemetery management and stimulating research in cemetery-oriented processes and functions, and I own two historic cemeteries the feature natural burial, based in Oregon.

ICCFA - International Cemetery, Crematory and Funeral Association Green Business Network Funeral Consumers Alliance

American Cemetery Magazine; Funeral Business Advisor; Real Goods Source Book; American Funeral Director Magazine, etc.

There is no degree in natural burials or funerals, and no accredited education provided for sustainable cemetery management. We're developing a program at Oregon State University but it hasn't fully launched yet.

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