Funerals/burial rights


I truly do not want a funeral.  I could care less how I am buried. I don't want anyone to see me dead and remember me that way.  I have made a will and made it clear that all I want is for everyone to get to gather and have a party and remember me as I am not as a dead body.  I see no need for an expensive funeral and casket.  What is the absolute least I have to do to dispose of the body?  Do I have to have the casket put in a vault?  Do I have to have a casket?  Do I have to be buried in a cemetery? Do I have to have a marker?  Do I have to be embalmed etc.?  I do not want to be cremated, biblically it appears to be important to bury the bones.  However, I if its feasible, I wouldn't mind the flesh being burnt off the bones and the just the bones buried.  Basically I don't care about my remains at all, they are just that and I want to know what the absolute least and cheapest thing I can have don't to dispose of my remains.    Thank you, Debbie   I will looking for your email

The first thing you need to do is talk about your wishes with those who are likely to survive you to make sure they'll be comfortable with your plans.

You don't need to be embalmed. You don't need a casket or a vault or a marker. I'm thinking you might be happy to donate your body to the Body Farm in Tennessee -- -- Your only expense would be the transportation to TN. Shop around as the prices are likely to vary widely.

An alternative would be burial in a green burial ground. I don't know of any in Indiana at the moment but the movement is growing. . .


In Indiana you can name an agent for body disposition who need not be a next-of-kin. The proper form is found in Indiana code 29-2-19-13. A will is sometimes not read until after a funeral, so having someone you trust in charge at the time of death would make sense.


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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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