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Cremation and Burial laws in Houston


Each State in the US has its own unique rules and regulations that dictate what happens to a body after death. Most of the States have different laws regarding cremation, burial, how to get a death certificate and embalming. We look at some of the laws governing death matters in Texas with a special focus on Houston.

How do you obtain a death certificate in Houston?

A death certificate is a crucial document. You will need it each time you claim property that belonged to the deceased. Such property may include proceeds from their life insurance or social security benefits.

The law states that a death certificate must be filed with the registrar in your locality within a period of ten days after death. The easiest way of obtaining the death certificate is by requesting the organization that files the certificate to order them on your behalf at the time of death.

On the other hand, if the person died more than 25 years ago, you can only acquire a copy of the individual’s death certificate if you are an immediate family member. Additionally, anyone with a legal documentation as a proof of guardianship can request for the death certificate.

Is a casket necessary for cremation or burial?

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No specific law in Houston TX requires you to have a casket for burial. Make a point of liaising with cemetery because it may be a requirement on their end. The same applies to cremation. The only condition is that any casket that is to be used for cremation should not have any metal parts.

On the contrary, the Federal law requires all funeral homes in Houston or cremation organizations to inform the bereaved families that they may use an alternative container. It is the responsibility of the funeral home to avail you with the suitable containers that may replace caskets.

What does the Law state about purchasing of caskets?

The law does not pin you down to buying the casket from the funeral homes in Houston. The regulation requires the funeral home to accept caskets that you may purchase from other external sources. You may also decide to build one for a family member who has just passed away.

Where can you bury your body in Houston?

In most cases, bodies are buried in established cemeteries. Alternatively, you could bury your loved one on a private land. Then you must follow up with the town clerk to establish the local zoning laws that you must follow conducting a home burial.

Properly demarcate the area on your private land that you have set aside as the burial ground. Transfer it to a map and file it to provide assistance to other people in future.

Is embalming necessary?

Embalming involves draining blood from the body and replacing it with other fluids to delay disintegration. Texas laws do not allow embalming of bodies. However, bodies in transit or those that are not to be disposed within 24 hours, then they may be refrigerated or embalmed.




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