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Funerals/Moving Domestic Partner Remains

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Question
My domestic partner died in a tragic car accident in Quincy, IL. At the time I was overcome with grief and was not thinking clearly. We lived in Chicago. He was in Quincy visiting relatives. I was not completely clear on my rights at the time since we were legal civil union partners so I conceded and didnt have the emotional energy to deal with the burial site.  I have since traveled over 500 miles round trip every weekend to visit him.  I want to have him moved and buried at a site where we will both be laid to rest. I have spoken with the local funeral home that did his original preparations however they are not equipped to move him.  I am first seeking the appropriate resource to move him and want to know if I have to include the vault or if I can have him moved without the vault and purchase a new vault for the permanent burial?  Second what is the process?  Do I have to hire a local funeral home and a funeral home in Quincy or do I coordinate with a funeral home in the Chicago area to make all of the arrangements? I am at a loss. It has only been 6 months and I am heartbroken not being able to visit him as frequently as I want and also having a place where we will both be laid to rest.  Thank you for your much needed help.

Answer
I would start with a funeral director in Chicago and definitely price at least three. Try Rago Brothers as they were a firm used by a consumer group for many years because of their low prices. They can answer the question about the vault better than I. And if they need the help of a Quincy FH, let them arrange it as it may be cheaper that way.

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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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