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Burial and Cremation Laws Florida

Burial and Cremation Laws Florida


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

March 17, 2023

5 Mins


How do I get a death certificate in Florida?

In Florida, within 5 days of the death and before the final burial or cremation, you should file for the death certificate in the office of the local Registrar. It may be filed by either the funeral home, cremation organization or person in charge of the deceased person's remains. 

The doctor or the medical examiner of the deceased is required to mention the date, time, and cause of death within 72 hours of receiving the death certificate. 

Florida is now offering the services to file for death certificates online. You will need to visit the website of the Florida Department of Health and download the form for the death certificate. 

If you do not want to file online, you can simply file for a paper death certificate.

Note- Do not forget to get a few certified copies of the Death certificate as it will be required in a number of tasks. For example, claiming the property of the deceased, social security benefits, payable on death accounts, etc.

Who can order a death certificate in Florida?

Death certificates are of 2 types. (Florida Statutes § 382.025.)

  1. Death certificate that does not include the cause of Death.

This can be ordered by anyone.

  1. Death certificate that includes the cause of Death.

Only the following people may order this type of death certificate.

  • Deceased’s Spouse
  • Deceased’s Parents, adult sibling, adult child, adult grandchild
  • The legal representative of the deceased or anyone mentioned above.
  • Person having an interest in the deceased’s Estate. 

Is Embalming of the body necessary in Florida?

Embalming is the preservation of a dead body using chemicals. 

In Florida, embaling or refrigeration of bodies is required only when the burial does not occur within 24 hours. (Florida Statutes § 497.386 (2019)

You can read more about Body care and cooling techniques on the website of the National Home Funeral Alliance.

Burial and Cremation Laws Florida

In Florida, is a casket necessary?

No law in Florida requires a casket for burial or cremation. Instead, federal law requires that funeral homes and crematories must inform you that you may use alternative containers made from a variety of materials like wood, cardboard, or fibreboards instead of Casket as it is the single greatest expense incurred after death and costs from $500-$20,000. 

Where to bury the bodies in Florida?

Most people prefer burying the bodies in established cemeteries but Home burial is also not prohibited in Florida. Cemeteries can be established at home if they are smaller than 2 acres but make sure to check local zoning rules and do not sell burial places. (Florida Statutes § 497.260 (2019).

Know more about the Home funeral laws in Florida.

Where to store or scatter ashes after cremation in Florida?

No laws in Florida restrict the storing or scattering of ashes. You may store the cremated ashes in an urn, a crypt, a grave, or any container in your home if you wish to do so. So far as the scattering of ashes is concerned, you have many options as Cremation renders ashes harmless. 

Note - That entitled individual has 120 days to claim the ashes from the date of cremation or else the company in charge will dispose of the ashes itself in any manner permitted by the law, including the methods discussed below.

Scattering ashes in an established scattering garden provided by the cemeteries

Scattering ashes on your private property.

Scattering ashes on public land.

Before scattering ashes on local public land, check both city and county regulations and zoning rules.

Scattering ashes on federal land.

One should officially request permission before scattering ashes on federal land. Rules for scattering ashes in National Parks are available online and some national parks allow scattering in designated areas also.

Scattering ashes at sea.

Scattering at beaches or in wading pools by the sea is not permitted by EPA(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and you must notify them within 30 days of scattering ashes at sea. Federal law requires that the ashes must be scattered at least 3 nautical miles from the shore.

Refer to the Burial of Human Remains at Sea on the EPA website for more information.

Scattering ashes by air.

There are no state laws in Florida that prohibit scattering ashes by airplane however federal aviation laws do prohibit dropping any objects that might cause harm to people or property. Cremated ashes are not considered harmful by the U.S. Government but make sure the urn or container used to hold the ashes is not dropped along with the ashes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of a funeral in Florida?

In Florida, the average funeral cost is approximately $6500 or more excluding the cost of cremation.

Who pays for your funeral arrangements?

You have 2 options. First, you can pay for your funeral arrangements before you die, and second is that you can set aside some money for your survivors for this purpose.

How much does an Estate Planning Attorney charge in Florida?

If you are hiring an attorney in Florida for making your Estate planning, it will cost you from $1500 to $3000 depending upon your requirements and your location. TrulyWill offers you to create a comprehensive Estate Plan which is cost-effective and much more accurate and valid than any other Estate Plan which you might have come across.

What is the cost of death certificates in Florida?

The cost of the first certified copy is $5 and $4 for each additional copy.

How long can a funeral home hold a body in Florida?

A dead body may not be held in the home or in transit for more than 24 hours before final burial or cremation unless it is refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, embalmed, or preserved in any manner approved by the licensing authority.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Attorney. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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