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Funerals/Private property for family burial


I would like to establish a private land family burial cemetery in Pickens County Alabama.  They are asking for a perk test, a soil test, and an engineer must run the land lines. Is this correct and could you direct me to a resource to help me with the rules and regulations. Thank you for your time.

There are no state regulations for a family cemetery. Sounds like the county has some requirements, however. Not sure why the soil and perk tests. That said, it should be 150 feet or so away from any water supply. Ask to see the regs with those requirements. If it doesn't specifically say it has to be surveyed, a hand-drawn map to record with the deed should be enough.

For information to bypass the funeral industry entirely, you can download state chapters from the Bookstore at for only $5.


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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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