Can You Be Buried In Your Backyard – 50 State Rules On Home Burials

Funeral homes are expensive and if you have a large family, they can be really expensive. But there is another option for people that want to save money on funerals burial in the backyard. It may sound strange but it’s actually pretty common to bury someone in their own yard. Find out everything you need to know about this affordable alternative by reading our blog post!

Home burials are becoming more popular than ever before, but it’s important to be aware of the legal hurdles you might encounter. Not all municipalities allow home cemeteries or burial on private property. So make sure that your land is zoned appropriately for this activity before beginning any work! You must also abide by state laws which require a funeral director even if you plan to bury somebody in their own backyard and embalming may only be required when someone dies from an infectious disease.

We take a look at some of the things you need to consider before deciding if a home burial is for you. We then move on to each state’s rules in regards to home burials. 

What if I Move Home?

A home burial site is considered a cemetery, even if only one person is buried there. Certain perpetuity clauses and restrictions go along with that designation, ensuring future residents know of the location and existence of your own personal graveyard. The deed to the property should also have wording concerning this fact so nobody attempts to disturb it in any way – because disturbing such sites are illegal!

Consider Your Property Value

A burial site is not desirable to every future homeowner and can have a negative impact on property values, especially if the cemetery has been abandoned. It’s important you disclose this information during any home sale process so potential buyers are aware of it before making an offer or deciding against purchasing your house altogether.

Despite being no real evidence to back this up it would be believed that a home burial will negatively affect the value of your home.

Your Property Is Technically Turned Into A Cemetery

Your property is no longer a home but a cemetery, so it’s important to take into account that you, the homeowner, and all future homeowners will need special permission for any changes or repairs.

Can You Be Buried In Your Backyard

The information provided in this table does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

StateHome Burials PermittedFuneral Director RequiredCheck Local Zoning Laws
AlaskaYesNoYes
ArizonaYesYesYes
ArkansasNoNoYes
CaliforniaNoYesYes
ColoradoYesNoYes
ConnecticutYesYesYes
DelawareYesYesYes
FloridaYesYesYes
GeorgiaYesNoYes
HawaiiYesNoYes
IdahoYesNoYes
IllinoisYesYesYes
IndianaNoYesYes
IowaYesYesYes
KansasYesNoYes
KentuckyYesNoYes
LouisianaNoYesYes
MaineYesNoYes
MarylandYesNoYes
MassachusettsYesNoYes
MichiganYesYesYes
MinnesotaYesNoYes
MississippiYesNoYes
MissouriYesNoYes
MontanaYesNoYes
NebraskaYesYesYes
NevadaYesNoYes
New HampshireYesNoYes
New JerseyYesYesYes
New MexicoYesNoYes
New YorkYesYesYes
North CarolinaYesNoYes
North DakotaYesNoYes
OhioYesNoYes
OklahomaYesNoYes
OregonYesNoYes
PennsylvaniaYesNoYes
Rhode IslandYesNoYes
South CarolinaYesNoYes
South DakotaYesNoYes
TennesseeYesNoYes
TexasYesNoYes
UtahYesNoYes
VermontYesNoYes
VirginiaYesNoYes
WashingtonNoNoNo
West VirginiaYesNoYes
WisconsinYesNoYes
WyomingYesNoYes

Common FAQ’s Regarding Home Burials

We look at some of the common questions people have about home burials and give you all the answers as they stand at the moment. It is always worth double-checking with your local state in case anything has changed. 

Can you be buried without a coffin?

Caskets are often viewed as a necessary part of the funeral process. However, there is no state law that dictates what kind of casket you must be buried in – whether it’s made out of wood or some other material and if your body will be enclosed within another container after death. In fact, many people nowadays have found alternative ways to take care of their dead relatives without using funeral services at all – one such method being natural burial with nothing more than earth between themselves and eternal rest!

Can a husband and wife be buried in the same casket?

It’s not legal to bury two bodies together if one of them is not deceased. It’s a pretty common practice to have the cremains of a loved one buried in an existing casket, like your spouse or parent who preceded the decedent.

Can I build my own casket?

You can choose to bring in your own casket. Caskets are available for every budget, and some of them even have the option of being built by family members if you so desire. The Funeral Rule states that funeral homes cannot charge a handling fee when you decide not to use one they provide – but be sure it’s sturdy enough!