Want to learn more about cremation and scattering? Or ready to start pre-planning? We have three different guides to help you learn more. Simply fill out the form below
The following are some of the rules and guidelines pertaining to scattering in various states.
Note that this is not a complete list of all relevant rules and regulations. Those wishing to scatter cremated remains on public or private property should contact the appropriate landowner and/or governing body to determine applicable laws and restrictions.
Owner permission is required for scattering on private property. In order to scatter ashes at a cemetery, permission is required. There are usually designated areas for the burying or scattering of ashes.
Most government lands require the purchase of special permits.
There are many state and national parks which allow for the scattering of ashes. If the scattering of ashes is permitted at the desired location, a site representative will give instructions on all appropriate steps to be taken. This usually includes applying and paying for a special permit. Once the permit has been obtained, only then may the ashes be scattered. This process will take considerable planning.
In public parks or other places where no specific procedures exist, ashes should be scattered at least 100 yards from public roads or trails. Because human ashes are white and highly visible, it is recommended that they be given a shallow burial rather than left in a pile.
Unless otherwise approved, no permanent memorials or markers may be left on public property.
If you are planning to drop the cremated ashes in an urn to the ocean, the urn must be released at least 3 miles from the coastline. The standard rule for spreading a person's ashes is 500 yards from shore.
Air scatterings by airplane or helicopter are valid options in most areas.
If your scattering ceremony is to be held within a city or town limits, city/town ordinance and bylaws should be consulted. If your scattering ceremony is to be held outside of city or town limits then municipal or county ordinance and bylaws should be consulted.
There are no "cremains police" in any state to ensure proper etiquette, permits, or permission are obtained and used. There are no health or safety issues to be concerned about. Use your own common sense.
Scattering cremated ashes is generally a small, private ritual, held away from high visitor-use areas so as not to attract attention that might spoil a highly personal moment.
Be advised that the crematory will most likely have a metal identification tag inside the cremated remains container, which should be removed prior to scattering.
Call 1-800-270-7696 or complete the form to the left for a free copy of our helpful guide “Cremation and Scattering” for more information