Dallas Cremation Laws: Everything You Need to Know
If you have a cremation in the near future, it is important that you know about the Dallas cremation laws. Click here to learn more.
With countless people opting for cremation over a traditional burial, you probably have questions about whether or not cremation is the choice you want your loved ones to make after you pass.
Or perhaps a loved one has left the option up to you as to how to carry out their funeral and burial and you’re wondering about cremation.
Before making the decision, it’s important to know some of the rules and regulations surrounding a Dallas cremation so that you can come to an informed decision. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Cremation?
The popularity of cremation over traditional burial methods continues to rise.
One of the main reasons that people opt for cremation is because, on average, it costs 1/3 of the price as a typical burial service. The funeral home doesn’t need to be as involved in the cremation process as they would with a burial.
The cremation process begins with the body of the deceased being picked up and taken to the crematory or the funeral home where it is cremated in a plain container.
Depending on where you reside in the state of Texas, the costs for cremation can range from anywhere between $700 to $1600 for direct cremation. Some rural regions cost more than others, so it doesn’t hurt to shop around a bit before settling on one service.
Some families choose to have a funeral service with the deceased before the cremation takes place. Others choose to have the cremation first and then hold a memorial service either with or without the cremated remains present.
It’s up to the family and the deceased to choose how they want a service to proceed.
Who Can Authorize a Dallas Cremation?
Understanding the Texas laws governing cremation is important.
The State of Texas Health and Safety Code dictates that unless a decendent has left directions in writing for the disposition of their remains, the following people, in the priority listed, have the right to control the disposition of the deceased’s body.
This includes cremation. Those who can make the decision regarding cremation are as follows:
- The person designated in writing and signed by the decedent
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- Any of the decedent’s surviving adult children
- Either of the decedent’s surviving parents
- Any of the decedent’s surviving adult siblings
- Any of the qualified executors or administrators of the decedent’s estate
If the person with the right to control the decedent’s remains doesn’t make final arrangements or appoint another person to do so before the 10th day after the decedent died, they will be presumed unable or unwilling to do so.
In this case, the right to control the disposition is passed on to the next prioritized person.
What are the Laws Regarding the Storage and/or Scattering of Cremated Remains?
The storage of cremated remains in Texas is up to the family of the deceased. As a family member, you are at liberty to keep your loved one’s ashes in a crypt, niche, grave, or a container in your home.
Spreading ashes is also acceptable by law in most situations. The cremation process makes human remains harmless so they are of no risk to public health.
Texas law allows you to spread any cremated remains on your private property, but you should always get permission for the landowner of property that you don’t own before spreading ashes elsewhere.
Some cemeteries offer gardens for people to spread the cremated remains of those they love. You can discuss this option with a cemetery representative.
There are no Texas laws that prohibit you from scattering ashes on public land, but it’s recommended that you check with your city and/or county regulations beforehand and use your best judgement.
Permission should be obtained before spreading any ashes on federal property. The chance that you won’t get authorization for doing so is low.
For the most part, as long as your ceremony is quiet and you keep the ashes away from roads, trails, or waterways, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Can Ashes Be Scattered by Air or at Sea?
Although the U.S. government doesn’t consider any harm in the spreading of cremated ashes, the containers are where the problem lies when it comes to spreading ashes by air.
Federal aviation laws forbid the dropping of objects that could injure anyone or cause damage to property.
The Federal Clean Water Act allows for the spreading of cremated remains so long as it is done at least three nautical miles away from land. This includes the spreading of ashes off the coast of Texas.
The spreading of ashes is not allowed right off the beach or in any shallow water pools, ponds, or lakes.
If you’re planning an inland water burial, you should be sure to check the regulations for your city.
Learn More About Cremation in Your Area
Hopefully, this article has answered some of your questions regarding the rules and regulations surrounding a Dallas cremation or cremation in Texas in general.
If you’re interested in learning more about the cost of cremation in Texas, or about the details surrounding a cremation, please feel free to contact us to learn more. We’re here to assist you every step of the way.
We’ve been serving Dallas/Fort Worth families with their cremation needs since 2004 and want to be of help to you during this difficult time. Allow us to assist you in honoring your loved one the way they wanted.