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Funerals/moving buried bodies from one state to another

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Question
I have a friend who's mother had 2 children that passed away over 50 years ago. One lived about an hour after birth, the other lived about 24 hours after birth. The children are buried in Steele, Missouri and his mother wants them moved to Arkansas to be next to her when she dies. They were not put into a vault and pretty sure the caskets were made of wood. She has headstones for both children. For me, I'm thinking there is nothing left to move or just fragments of clothing or bones. I suggested that she have memorial service at the cemetery and have new headstones put in place, instead of going to the expense of moving them. But she said that she would always know they are not there but in Missouri. Can you tell me what is her best option in this case, since I'm no expert, she won't listen to me. Thank you.

Answer
You may be absolutely right, but it sounds as if she won't accept that. There is a casket/vault combination often used for infant deaths. If one of those was used, then it will likely be intact. But I don't know if those were in use 50 years ago. If things have disintegrated, she'll have to pay for new caskets or maybe one combined casket to move the fragments. See what the local funeral director suggests.

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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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