Can You Legally Bury A Family Member On Your Property In Minnesota?
It's Halloween season and many Minnesota yards are filled with all sorts of ghoulish decorations, including fake tombstones. While those are just seasonal decorations, what if a deceased family member actually wanted to be buried on family property? Is that even legal?
If you have a family pet that passes away, it's perfectly legal in Minnesota to bury their remains on your property, with the only requirement being to make sure they're buried deep enough to prevent scavenging by other animals in the ground. That's the rule for domestic animals, but when it comes to human remains different rules apply.
Before the legal burial of a body in Minnesota, a casket is required. Minnesota law allows consumers to purchase a casket from a funeral home or from other providers such as a casket store, buying club, or on the internet. Homemade caskets are also allowed.
While laws can differ from state to state, burial laws in Minnesota make burying human remains on private property challenging. As initially stated by the Minnesota Department of Health, "burial of a body must be in a legally registered cemetery."
However, they go on to say that burials on private property are allowed in some cases, but it's not an easy process. First, it is necessary to establish a private cemetery on the private property.
This typically requires that the land be surveyed, mapped, or charted and registered with the county or the city with jurisdiction. The problem with that is that many Minnesota counties do not permit this. If that is the case, local zoning officials must be consulted.
So while it's not necessarily impossible to legally bury a body on private property in Minnesota, it certainly appears to be the exception to the rule. However, the same rules do not apply to cremated remains.
In Minnesota, cremated remains may be legally buried or scattered on private property with no additional permits required and caskets are not required for cremations in the state.
Therefore, if you're in Minnesota and desire to be buried on your private property when you pass, you'll want to consult with city and/or county officials now to take the necessary steps that are legally required.
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