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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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Stephen07/15/14101010Thanks. I appreciate the time, knowledge, and .....
Linda07/03/14101010She was very helpful. She not only .....
Linda06/27/14101010Thank you for your answer. The cemetery .....

Recent Answers from Lisa Carlson

2014-07-09 Really need advice please..:

It's too bad your dad didn't fill out the part of the advance directive that gives you the right to make decisions for the funeral. Most funeral homes will not cremate when there is disagreement without

2014-07-08 Home Burial in the state of Iowa:

There are no laws that specifically permit or  prohibit burial on your own land, but check with  local zoning. A good practice is 150 feet from a  water supply and 25 feet from a power line.  There should

2014-06-22 Grave and body ownership:

If the grave wasn't mentioned in a will, then I think it is your dad's grave, with no particular rights for his wife. You should talk to the cemetery. Each cemetery can make up their own rules, so there's

2014-06-03 Home Burial in Georgia, Seminole County:

There are no state laws in GA that specifically permit or prohibit home burial. But you should check with the local zoning folks. Bibb County went a little crazy over home burials and passed all kinds

2014-05-29 Private property for family burial:

There are no state regulations for a family cemetery. Sounds like the county has some requirements, however. Not sure why the soil and perk tests. That said, it should be 150 feet or so away from any water


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