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Funerals/Using casket from Costco for Alabama burial

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Question
My brother died this morning. No insurance. I would like to order a casket from Costco. However, they do not ship to Alabama. Will the funeral home allow the family to use a casket from Costco if we have the casket delivered to another state, pick up the casket and deliver to the funeral home. Or does Alabama laws not allow this. Thanks. Any guidance will help.

Answer
State law wouldn't stop you from doing that. But you might be honest with the funeral director about finances and talk about options. Very often the funeral director can get out a catalog with less expensive ones than in the showroom and order for next-day delivery. Then you won't have a disappointed (or angry) FD on your hands. I'm sorry for your loss.

You can also build your own casket for probably under $200. Typical measurements are two feet wide, one foot deep, and as long as you need it. Then line it with pillows and a blanket or material of your choice.

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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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