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Can you legally bury a body on your property in Indiana?

We’re all going to die sometime. You will die. I’m going to die. Everyone we know will die. I know that sounds gross and you probably don’t like to think about it, but you know it’s true. Time is undefeated in the game of life. It wins every time. If Time were a sports team, their all-time record (no pun intended) would be around three trillion and zero. Hopefully you’re still a long way from that day, but if you are, you might like the idea of ​​making your final resting place the place you call home. But can you legally do that if you live in Indiana?

What Indiana law says about burying a body on personal property

Let’s say you or a loved one loves the property you live on. Maybe you are traveling in a rural area and there is a specific place that you like. It could be a certain hill or tree that you like to sit on and watch the sunset. It could be a place where wildflowers grow. Whatever it is, you like it so much that you want to spend eternity in this place. Well, as if I didn’t have enough of a downer with all this talk about dying, I’m afraid I have to kill Spoil your last wish too.

According to Rome Monument, Indiana is one of only three states that DO NOT allow burial of bodies on private or private property. California and Washington are the other two.

This is how the Indiana Code 23-14-54-1 puts it concretely:

Sec. 1. Subject to the right to transport and remove the dead
human bodies or other disposals of dead human bodies as provided by
Law, the remains of all persons who die in Indiana or are shipped there
Indiana is deposited:
(1) in the ground in an established cemetery;
(2) in a mausoleum;
(3) in a garden crypt; or
(4) in a columbarium;
within a reasonable time after death, unless ordered by the state
health department.

That being said, there are a few ways to circumvent the law.

Creation of a family cemetery

Of course, if your family, like the paternal side of the family, already has a built-up area that is state-registered as a cemetery, you can always be buried there. However, if you want to build a piece of your own property, online legal encyclopedia NOLO suggests checking with your city or county officer to find out what your local ordinance or zoning statute says.

cremation

Mortician offering client comfort and advice

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You could skip the coffin and burial altogether and opt for cremation instead. Then a friend or family member can place them anywhere on your property you want. However, there are some steps that state regulations must take first, including having the cremation performed by a licensed funeral director and filing the date, a description of ownership, and how the ashes were scattered with your county clerk.

Now that we have that settled, I’m going to clear my browsing history. Searching whether or not burying a body on personal property is legal can raise some suspicions.

[Sources: IN.gov / Rome Monuments / NOLO]

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