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Funerals/Process to exhume brother


My Mom has always told me the story about when my brother was born in 1974 that he had a good strong cry and looked healthy but the doctors whisked him away only to return later to say that he had passed due to medical problems.  There were some other families in there having kids and she reports one was from a prevalent well to do family.  She has wondered for almost 40 years if there is a chance something sneaky happened.  

I talked to her about the chances of using DNA just to give her peace and she thought that was a good idea.  Can you give me guidance on the process, estimated ball park costs, any other helpful information.



The costs can vary from $100 to a couple of thousand --

The other costs would be the opening and closing of the grave--check with the cemetery--and the cost of a funeral director to oversee the process. After all this time, the body may be very decomposed. Call several funeral homes to get an estimate. I'm thinking it might be $1,000 or more. Let me know what you find out. This sounds interesting!!


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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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