Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why are funerals so expensive?
    • When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding can cost at least three times as much, but because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized. A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business that must factor the overall cost of running a business into the cost of the funeral. The cost does not only include the merchandise, but the extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, vehicles, etc) along with the services of the funeral director in making the arrangements, filing the necessary forms, dealing with the doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and seeing to all the necessary details. 
  • Is it required by law that a person has to be embalmed?
    • No, embalming is not required by Washington State law. However, Washington State does require that a body be refrigerated within a certain time period after death has occurred. For all other states, you must check with that states requirements.
  •  I want to be cremated. Do I have to purchase a casket?
    • No you do not have to purchase a casket. The funeral home or crematory that is performing the cremation process will usually have a minimum requirement that specifics the deceased be placed in a rigid container. The container you select is based on your personal preference and the type of arrangements that you have selected. 
  • Can I transport cremated remains myself?
    • Yes you may. Your funeral director can provide you with a copy of the burial transit permit which should accompany the cremated remains for identification purposes. Generally cremated remains may be hand carried on most airlines as long as the proper documentation is brought and the urn or container is able to be scanned at security. The airlines should always be contacted first to determine the paperwork it requires for transporting. If you are traveling internationally, the country you are entering may require additional paperwork, your funeral director will be able to assist you.
  • Where can I scatter cremated remains?
    • National Parks - you must receive permission from the Chief Park Ranger
    • State trust uplands - you must receive permission from the regional manager for each scattering. However, scattering by commercial scattering services isn't permitted.
    • Public Navigable Waters under state control - including Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, rives, streams, and lakes.
    • The Pacific Ocean - can be done beyond the mean lower low water mark. These scatterings must follow U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's General Permit for Burial at Sea. This includes reporting the burial within 30 days to the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, Region 10, 1200 6th Avenue, Seattle WA  87101
    • Private Land - only with the permission of the land owner.
    • Scattering Garden - Many cemeteries provide gardens for scattering of ashes you can find more information by contacting your local cemetery.
    • By Air - While there are no state laws on this issue, federal aviation laws prohibit dropping objects that might injure people or damage property. The U. S. Government does not consider cremated remains to be hazardous material; all should be well so long as you remove the ashes from their container prior to scattering. 
    • WA State Ferry System - Did you know you can be scattered off of the back of a Washington State Ferry? Reach out to Wsdot or your Funeral Director for more details.