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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
Ana09/30/15101010Thank you so much for responding with .....
Amanda09/18/15101010Thank you so much for getting back .....
Lisa08/29/151010Very prompt response

Recent Answers from Lisa Carlson

2015-09-29 disinternment:

Any idea why the widow is refusing? Typically a spouse gets to call the shots, but once she remarries the parents could approach a Probate Court to see if they have any possibility. Sorry that isn't very

2015-09-29 Wife buried in someone else's plot:

I can't tell if David Shipper owns the Midwest Memorial Group, but he does own 28 cemeteries that had been raided of trust funds by Clayton Smart. He used to work for Loewen, and prices were high.    Tell

2015-09-28 Wife buried in someone else's plot:

Do you know who owns this cemetery? There have been some cemetery scandals in recent years, emptying the trust accounts which would invite the double selling. Good for you for holding your ground. Tell

2015-09-22 religious ritual:

If you want to be consumed by fish, then you could pick burial at sea without the burning boat.  Even for that your family would need a medical examiner's permit first. I'm not sure what the penalty would

2015-09-21 religious ritual:

You would need a medical examiner's permit to cremate. Frankly, given the pollution I find that an unwise choice.


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