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How to Dispose of Ashes Following a Cremation

Updated February 21, 2017

After a cremation, you might be left wondering what to do with your loved one's ashes. Some people choose to place the ashes in a decorative urn and leave it on display to remember the loved one who has passed, but this is not the best solution for everyone. You may choose to dispose of the ashes in another loving, respectful way instead. If this is the best choice for you, make sure you use a disposal method that is legal in your area.

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  1. Call the funeral director who handled the cremation to find out what is legal in your area. While there are general disposal methods that are legal in most areas, it's always a good idea to find out about any specific requirements or regulations where you live before disposing of ashes.

  2. Talk to the director of a local park if you want to dispose of the ashes in the park or in a nearby body of water that is locally owned. Depending on the regulations involved, you may be able to spread the ashes in the water or at the site where a tree is planted. Be sure to ask if any permits are required.

  3. Contact your state government office to dispose of the ashes in bodies of water that are state-owned. There are different regulations to consider, such as how far out you need to travel and how deep the water has to be to legally dispose of the ashes following a cremation.

  4. Obtain an appropriate permit if you are wish to dispose of the ashes in a public park or federally owned body of water.

  5. Spread the ashes on your private property or on the private property of someone who has given you permission to do so. There are no regulations for spreading or burying ashes on private property as long as the owner of the property has no issue with it.

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About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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