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Old 06-16-2011, 11:10 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Illegal to dump ashes in cemetary?

First off, personally I am pretty damn sure this IS illegal. But just wanted to make sure as well as figure out HOW illegal it is.

Lets say you have already paid for a gravesite. You got your Aunt Edna's ashes and you wish to place them there (probably under cover of darkness) without paying the $750 dollar "burial fee" to basically dig a small hole.

Is that illegal? (Eight ball says yes). How illegal? Does it make a difference if the ashes are just dumped on the ground rather than a small hole dug and the ashes dumped in there?

If one must pick a state in which to answer this question lets go with Kansas.
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2011, 11:22 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by billfish678 View Post
Does it make a difference if the ashes are just dumped on the ground rather than a small hole dug and the ashes dumped in there?
It might make you a little less likely to get caught, if that's what you mean. In addition to the question of whether or not you are breaking any laws with regard to properly disposing of remains, there's this to consider: if you paid for the gravesite, you have a contract with the cemetery. The contract probably tells you what you're required to do if you want to place someone's ashes there. Unless the contract allows you to do whatever you want with the grave site without informing or paying the cemetery, I have the feeling you'd be breaking a law and breaching the contract.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:19 PM
postcards postcards is offline
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You could probably get away with spreading them across the current gravesite, but if you don't bury it deep enough any future re-grading project may unearth the urn. (Cemeteries do regrade in order to compensate for grave settling.)

Note, I didn't say anything was legal, just that you could probably get away with something.

Wait, I just saw that you said "dump the ashes" into the hole. Ignore the second part of my first sentence.
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Last edited by postcards; 06-16-2011 at 01:21 PM.. Reason: actually read the OP
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:48 PM
StarvingButStrong StarvingButStrong is online now
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If you own the gravesite because some other relative of yours is buried there, I think you could get away with it without any fear of legal consequences:

* Buy a pot of flowering plants.

* Dig a slightly deeper than normal hole.

* Pour ashes into the bottom of it, stir them into the dirt at the bottom a little.

* Take plant out of pot, plop into hole, firm the loose dirt around plant. Ta da!


It's possible the cemetery doesn't permit you to put plants on the graves. <<shrug>> So do the planting when the graveyard isn't busy. Later on the grounds keepers will yank your plant out and dispose of it, but no way will they sift around in the dirt hunting for secret ashes.



Hmm. I wonder if cremains have any value as fertilizer?
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:00 PM
Pjen Pjen is offline
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Funny story I just heard on the radio (warning- may be incorrect or an urban legend)

A daughter of a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III (the Great Escape camp where they tunnelled out and the earth was spread by 'Penguins' trudging round the exercise yard) wanted to have her father's ashes spread in the garden of the local Polish centre where he had spent many happy hours. She was told that this was not allowed, so at the funeral wake held at the centre- you guessed it, she wore a trouser suit and...

Made me laugh anyway.
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:51 PM
anson2995 anson2995 is offline
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You need the permission of the cemetery owner to scatter or inter ashes there. In Kansas (and many other states), it is a misdemeanor violation to scatter human ashes on private property without permission. Many cemeteries also require that ashes be buried in a container.

The OP asks "how illegal"? Most likely, if caught, you'd be charged with tresspass and some other misdemeanors. And they'll dig up the ashes, inter them properly, and send you the bill.
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:39 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
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Originally Posted by anson2995 View Post
You need the permission of the cemetery owner to scatter or inter ashes there. In Kansas (and many other states), it is a misdemeanor violation to scatter human ashes on private property without permission. Many cemeteries also require that ashes be buried in a container.
But the OP said that he owned the gravesite. I would think the worst that could happen is that the cemetery could bring a breach of contract suit against you for the burial fee, depending upon what is in the contract.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:50 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by jtgain View Post
But the OP said that he owned the gravesite.
Does one really "own" a gravesite in a typical cemetery? I thought they were usually leased.
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