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Funerals/Funerals In Second Marriages


After my wife of 40 years passed away, It was her wish to be cremated and I still have her ashes. I have since found a wonderful woman who is divorced and we are planning to be married. We have talked about burial plans briefly, but no serious discussions as yet. I do not own a cemetery plot, but I do wish to be buried. So the question is what would be the proper thing to do depending on who passes first, and what options would we have? We live in New York.

It seems to me the first question should be about what to do with your last wife's ashes. Does she have family buried nearby? It might make sense to scatter the ashes near a favorite spot unless you want a marker. If you had children with that wife, you might consult them to see what they want.

As for your funeral plans with a second wife, go ahead and make whatever plans feel right to both of you.


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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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