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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
Samantha03/09/15101010Thank you so much for your prompt .....
Sandra02/28/15101010She actually called me the same day .....
Thomas Hardman11/17/14101010 
julia 11/09/14101010Dear Lisa, Thank you for your input .....

Recent Answers from Lisa Carlson

2015-04-05 cremation by guardian:

Is your mother mentally alert? If so, she could indeed authorize the cremation without the children's permission. That said, I'm guessing the guardianship gave your sister the right to authorize the cremation

2015-03-31 Transporting the Dead in Texas:

If you're doing this for a fee, you may need to be a licensed funeral director or working for one. To my knowledge, TX doesn't license body transporters as Florida does. I'm not sure such services are

2015-03-07 My dad's remains:

Who paid for the cremation? Have you asked that person for the cremated remains?    The funeral home will claim that they had a contract with the person who paid and that by not paying, you gave up your

2015-03-04 disinterment:

I am sorry for your loss. Yes, as next of kin you have a right to decide about cremation. I wouldn't bother to mention this to the cemetery. You will need to hire a funeral director to oversee the disinterment

2015-02-10 Funeral Home GPL:

NO, a casket is NOT a cash advance item. Cash advance items are third-party items like obit and flowers or clergy honorarium.    Alas, in Florida the FD doesn't have to refund the casket money if you move


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