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Funerals/Removing remains of parents to NC


QUESTION: Both of my parents are buried in Texas, where I once resided for a few years.  I have since moved back home to N.C. (where both of them were born). I would like to have them disinterred and moved to N.C. There are 3 siblings - my younger brother is totally in agreement with moving - older brother is estranged from his siblings. Do I need permission of older sibling to start process or does permission of myself and other sibling count as "majority rules"? (according to Texas laws)

Thank you.

ANSWER: It will likely depend entirely on the cemetery where they are buried. If SCI owns the cemetery, they'll likely make it difficult. If it's a town or county cemetery, you have a better chance.

If the parents have been buried for some time, the caskets have likely rusted or rotted out, and it won't be a pleasant process. You might consider having them cremated before moving them to NC. That will also save a lot of money at the cemetery in NC. Otherwise, you'll likely need new caskets.

When you do get ready to do the disinterment, make *sure* the funeral home you use is not owned by SCI. Prices are high and they hard-pressure to up-sell. If there is a Funeral Consumers Alliance near you, they can recommend a funeral home.

P.S. I wouldn't even mention the third sibling while making arrangements.

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Thanks so much for your answer, but what is SCI?  The cemetery is a small private cemetery and I had talked to the cemetery sexton before I left Texas and she was happy to work with me if need be and stated that she would buy back the lots if I wanted to sell them.

My parents have been deceased for a while, my dad since 1998 and my Mom since 2010-they were buried in vaults - does that make a difference condition- wise?  So, in other words, the third sibling would have no bearing in this process? He would be unable to dispute any decision regarding this if he found out? I will certainly take your funeral home advice under consideration. The average consumer knows none of this do they?

Thanks so much Lisa.

ANSWER: SCI is Service Corporation International operating under the "Dignity Memorial" logo. Hard-sell, up-sell. But it sounds as if you have a wonderful sexton to work with. Where in TX? I'll check to see if there's an FCA group nearby.

Check with the funeral director to see if they can lift the vaults. Just not sure about that. If so, they could be trucked to NC without a new casket.

I've sent an e-mail to a TX lawyer about your estranged sibling. I'll let you know what he says.

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Thank you so much for your quick response.In answer to your question, the cemetery is Rosedale Cemetery in Gladewater, Texas (east Texas).  I have seen the "Dignity Memorial" designation in the past in funeral advertisements.

Looking forward to the response from the Texas lawyer - I believe that is our biggest hurdle.

He said,

"They will have to file an exhumation request with the probate judge who has jurisdiction in the county of burial.  Whether that judge will require anything more than notice to the third sibling, I donít know.  However, notice is probably a requirement and can likely be done by certified mail.  If it sounds straightforward to the judge, itís not likely to be a problem.  As you know, however, it is likely an expensive thing to do"

Hare is a list of TX FCAs, nonprofit consumer groups -- May be able to help finding an affordable funeral home to work with.


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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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