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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
rusty04/17/14101010Thank you, the 750.00 will help .....
Barry Horowitz03/29/14101010Thank you so much for the quick .....
anna bolyard03/28/14101010Very prompt and accurate.
jeff03/20/14101010Lisa is wonderful. When I thought there .....
Lisa03/16/14101010Thank you very much for the prompt .....

Recent Answers from Lisa Carlson

2014-04-17 funeral with no money:

There is $750 in state funds that can assist with funeral expenses. The funeral director will know how to apply for that. Where in PA? There are nonprofit consumer groups run by volunteers that have done

2014-04-15 burial vaults:

No state requires vaults. If a funeral director told you it was state law, you should file a complaint with the funeral board. That said, most cemeteries require vaults for maintenance and safety reasons

2014-03-30 Family cemetary:

Bibb County has a regulation that forbids that, but elsewhere you should be able to. Check with local zoning laws, but I'm guessing they'll be silent on this issue. A good practice is 150 ft. from a water

2014-03-29 Moving Domestic Partner Remains:

I would start with a funeral director in Chicago and definitely price at least three. Try Rago Brothers as they were a firm used by a consumer group for many years because of their low prices. They can

2014-03-28 conservation burial:

No reason at all. That said, check the cemetery laws. They might require a perpetual care fund and platting or fencing. That's a problem we have in VT and are trying to change the law to allow burial on


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