Legal/Your Rights

Restoring Families’ Rights to Choose Home Funerals

This guide, co-written with home funeral educator and advocate Lee Webster, is for any family or official interested in learning about undertaker-free, family-directed funerals at home. It explains that they are usually legal, and notes the minority of states that make it difficult or impossible. Read more

How to arrange a home funeral

What is a home funeral? With a home funeral, family or friends take charge of caring for the body after death, either alone or with the help of a funeral professional. They might bring or keep the deceased at home, wash and dress the body, arrange for a casket or shroud, prepare the necessary documents, hold a vigil or ceremony, and/or transport the body to the cemetery or crematory. Read more

Your Funeral Rights

Planning  Appointment of agent.  If you are concerned that your next-of-kin might not follow your wishes about the disposition of your body, in most states you can designate another person as your agent to carry out your wishes. To find your state’s laws, and links to appropriate forms, see “Who has the legal right” on FCA’s website, Read more

Who has the legal right to make decisions about your funeral?

Personal Preference Laws for Body Disposition In more than half the states, there is a statutory obligation for survivors to honor the written wishes of the deceased, to follow your personal preference. In a few states, your wishes may be over-turned in the case of cremation, however. Read more

Veterans’ Funeral and Burial Benefits


All veterans are entitled to burial in one of the 151 national veterans cemeteries, a headstone or marker, and a burial flag. There will be no charge for the gravesite, opening and closing the grave, a vault or liner, and setting the marker. Read more

Paying Final Respects – Your Rights When Buying a Funeral

YOUR RIGHTS WHEN BUYING FUNERAL GOODS AND SERVICES This article, published by the Federal Trade Commission, is a straightforward guide to your rights. Don’t die before you read it! Paying Final Respects: Your Rights When Buying Funeral Goods & Services When a loved one dies, grieving family members and friends often are confronted with dozens of decisions about the funeral ­— all of which must be made quickly and often under great emotional stress. Read more

Filing a Complaint

HOW TO START No one is perfect, including funeral directors and cemeterians. We all make mistakes. If you are dissatisfied with your funeral or cemetery experience, try to settle your concerns with those involved first. That’s how you would want to be treated, if it were your business. Read more