The Rules and Regulations on Cremation and Scattering Ashes

Did you know that in this country one person dies every eleven seconds? According to the government’s population clock, there is also someone born every nine seconds. But just like birth, death is a part of life so it is important to prepare for it, whether it is for yourself or those nearest and dearest. 

Cremation is a preferred alternative to traditional burial for many people. Are you thinking about burying or scattering your loved one’s cremated ashes? Here are rules on scattering ashes, and the laws about burying cremated remains.


The first step in cremation is to identify the authorizing agent or next of kin to start the process. Cremation regulations vary, so look up the official form for your state, and have it signed by the person who will be legally responsible for the cremation. If the next of kin is more than one person, like a few children, then all of them must sign the document. 


Once the authorization form has been signed, and the death certificate has been filed, you will need to have a permit for cremation issued. Check with your county about this, and find out if there is a fee. Some areas have a small charge for both the certificate and permit. 

Laws About Burying Cremated Remains Outdoors

Before scattering ashes, you should check your state and local laws. For example, while most national parks allow it, you will have to get permission first from the National Park Service and in some cases, a permit. Many states have laws about burying ashes on private property, so you may not be able to bury the ashes in a cemetery without their permission. 

Burial at Sea

While scattering ashes at sea are permitted by most states, do your research about regulations and permits. Some states require that all burials should be reported to the EPA. And there are often requirements about how far out to sea you must go before releasing the ashes, and what kind of urn you can use.  

Cremation Options

If you are researching the cost of cremation you will find that just like cremation laws by state, prices also vary–but also from company to company. Some funeral homes might charge more than a dedicated crematorium since their primary focus is on burials. Before making a commitment you should explore your options and find the best match for your wishes and budget. 

Honor Your Loved One’s Wishes

Once you’ve read the laws about burying cremated remains in your area, you can make an informed decision. Then you can honor your loved one’s last wishes about where they’re scattered for their final resting place. And this gesture could also help bring closure for you, too. 

Did you find this article about cremation helpful? Want to learn more about other useful topics? Then check out the lifestyle section on this site! 

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