Three Questions To Help You Decide If At-Home Burial Is Right For You

Although a private or at-home burial is an option that's growing in popularity in recent years, it's not an option that will ideally suit everyone. If you're pre-planning your own funeral, however, it's definitely worth giving it some thought. In some situations, a private burial may be the perfect memorial to a life well-lived. Here are three questions to ask yourself when considering this option.

1. Do you have a family property?

If you own (or have a relative who owns) a large property that's likely to be in the family for the next hundred years or so, a family burial plot or even just a single family grave allows easy access to the memorial where relatives can feel close to loved ones who have passed on. But if your family tends to move around a lot, you may not have the type of home that's likely to be in the family for as long as your relatives will want to mourn you for. If the property is sold, it could be very difficult to access your resting place, so if it's not likely the property will stay in the family, it might work better to choose a spot at a green burial facility.

2. Do you have relatives living nearby who are willing to help?

If your relatives don't live nearby, they won't be at hand to care for your remains once you've passed on. And even if they are at hand and are willing to help, consider their personalities; do the relatives who would be handling your remains have the type of personality that would derive comfort from being allowed to assist you one last time, or are they likely to simply become incapacitated with grief when faced with such a task?

3. Do local laws permit at-home burial?

Although at-home burial can be managed in such a way that it poses no risk to the environment or public health, several states don't allow it. California, Washington State, and Indiana are the main ones that don't yet allow it. If, however, you don't live in one of these states and you're willing to do the research required to figure out which permits you'll need to get and so on, it should be quite doable. 

These three questions will help you in your preliminary funeral planning as you decide between the broad categories of funerals available. Remember, no matter which type of funeral you choose, you can personalize it to suit your character and memorialize your lifetime accomplishments as well. If you decide home funeral isn't for you or there are certain aspects that sound too tricky to manage, you can have a funeral home step in and help with part of the process (for example, you could have the viewing and preparation at the funeral home and then have the burial itself on family land).