Home Funerals and Burials
Home burials were a common practice for many years. Since the mid-1900s, however, most funeral traditions in the United States have moved away from home funerals. Many people today do not even realize that home funerals are an option in almost every state in the US. The Green Burial Council is working to approve funeral homes that accommodate families looking for home funeral options.
In many cases the home burial must be done with the assistance of a funeral director. Minimum acreage requirements and a plat map may also be required, depending on the regulations in your state.
Home Burials Increasing in Popularity
While many are looking for green burial options, they are also looking for a way to reduce the financial burden of funeral arrangements. Home burials are a promising option. Typical funerals can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 or more. But home burials are about more than saving money, they can be extremely dignified and personal ways to remember the lives of love ones.
Because many may not know where to start when it comes to home burials, many families may find help from a death midwife. Several professionals across the country assist with home funeral arrangements. Oregon is one state that has already established a licensing process for death midwives.
In all, there are only six states that demand a funeral director be involved in the burial process: Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and New York. Each of these states has laws on the books that require a licensed funeral director be involved in the handling of human remains. In the remaining states and in Washington, D.C., the deceased’s family can be responsible the handling of remains. In addition to traditional interment, many families also opt for cremation with burial on private land.
Some choose to further personalize their home burials even further by opting for home-built caskets and choosing to hold services and the burial on personal property. With these options available, many home burials are natural or green burials that do not require embalming, do not use biodegradable caskets or burial shrouds, and eliminate the need for burial vaults and other liners.
While some are still not confident about arranging home burials, there is little reason to worry. When they are carried out according to state and local health and safety regulations, home burials offer grieving families a greener, more affordable, and more sustainable option. In addition, many people prefer the comfort and intimacy of home burials.