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Funerals/Indiana funeral laws

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Question
QUESTION: I'm a new Death Midwife wanting to practice in Indianapolis, Indiana. I don't know where to start to get these laws and have been told they are very confusing. I don't want to get any family or myself in legal trouble, so where do I start?  Where can I get your book on funeral law by state?
Thanks, Sally

ANSWER: You can get the Indiana chapter from the Bookstore at www.funerals.org for only $5.

You say you're a "death midwife." Exactly what are you planning to do? Are you giving your services for free or charging?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I want to charge for the service of helping the families with vigils, paperwork, home funeral and hopefully, a green burial.

Answer
In Indiana, the burial transit permit may be issued only to a funeral director once the death certificate is filed. With electronic death registration, there is essentially no "paperwork" for the family or a home funeral guide to do.

Burial must be in an established cemetery in Indiana. I don't know how many are setting aside areas for vault-less (green) burials. You'll have to call around to see.

As I wrote earlier, any hands-on help is a violation of the licensing laws. Fine to educate families which Josh and I do for free over the phone all the time.

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Where did you get your training? Have you volunteered for hospice so you have some actual experience?

You may not be pleased with what I have to say, but hope you'll think about my concerns --

http://finalrights.org/?p=282

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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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