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Funeral Law. Having written a 512-page book on funeral law for consumers with state-by-state information, I am very conversant with consumer rights in this regard: What are the laws on disposition of cremated remains? Is embalming required? Do I have to use a funeral home? Can I have a home wake? Is it a state law to buy a vault? I prepaid for a funeral but changed my mind. They won`t give me all my money back. What can I do? . . . If you have an immediate need for information because a death has just occurred or is about to occur, you may call me at 802-482-6021.

Experience in the area

I have monitored the funeral industry on behalf of consumers for over 20 years. I have been a guest speaker to funeral trade organizations, consumer workshops, and social service professionals. I am regularly consulted by lawyers and legislators as well as journalists.


Funeral Ethics Organization ( Funeral Consumers Alliance (


Caring for Your Own Dead (1987) Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998) I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch (2001) Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (2011) with co-author Joshua Slocum


Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

Past/Present Clients

Available as an expert witness for funeral-related court cases.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Juan10/23/14101010Lisa, Thank you so much for your .....
Tracy10/22/14101010Thank you very much for the informative .....
Jane10/06/14101010Thank you.

Recent Answers from Lisa Carlson

2014-10-23 Occupied Funeral plot sale:

I feel certain you are right about the money-grubbing. No, she has NO right to the plot. Even if she got her father's estate, I feel certain it didn't mention the cemetery plot as it was already used.

2014-10-18 Transportation of a body:

Yes, you may transport a loved one in CA.    The book is "Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death." --  You can download the CA chapter from the Bookstore at www.funerals

2014-10-06 funeral holding body:

Absolutely not unless it's required by state law. Embalming OR refrigeration is required after 24 hours, but I can't imagine a funeral home in Florida not having refrigeration. Tell them you will file

2014-09-24 Sale of Parents Companion Burial Plot:

It is going to be extremely difficult to sell a cemetery plot, esp. with the growing cremation rate in CA (70%).  And do *not* pay to have it listed. I ran a free listing on for two years

2014-09-16 Buddhist cremation:

I think Colorado is the only state where outdoor cremations are being allowed. It is not an efficient use of resources anyway.    If you are having a home funeral without using a funeral director, then


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