Skip to content

What Regulations Must Be Followed When Performing a Burial as a Funeral Director? (10 Important Questions Answered)

Discover the surprising regulations funeral directors must follow when burying a loved one. Learn the 10 important questions answered here.

When performing a burial as a funeral director, regulations that must be followed include obtaining a burial permit, following cemetery rules, obtaining a death certificate, selecting a casket, using embalming procedures, preparing the grave site, observing religious customs, conducting a memorial service, and completing the final disposition.


  1. What Is Required for a Burial Permit?
  2. What Are the Rules to Follow at a Cemetery?
  3. How Do You Obtain a Death Certificate?
  4. What Is Involved in Casket Selection Process?
  5. What Embalming Procedures Are Used During Burials?
  6. How Is Grave Site Preparation Conducted?
  7. Which Religious Customs Should Be Observed During Funerals?
  8. How Can Memorial Services Be Conducted Properly by Funeral Directors?
  9. What Steps Must Be Taken to Complete Final Disposition of Remains After Burial?
  10. Common Mistakes And Misconceptions

What Is Required for a Burial Permit?

In order to obtain a burial permit, the following documents and information are typically required: a permit application form, proof of ownership or right to use the burial site, authorization from next-of-kin, payment of fees and taxes, a disposition permit from the local health department, documentation of any special requirements for cremation or embalming, a copy of the funeral director‘s license, a signed authorization for disposition by a licensed funeral director, written consent from the cemetery owner/operator if applicable, proof that all state laws have been complied with, a copy of the death certificate filed with the county registrar, documentation showing compliance with federal, state, and local laws regarding burials, and a certificate issued by the county clerk authorizing burial.

What Are the Rules to Follow at a Cemetery?

  1. Proper attire is required.
  2. No pets are allowed.
  3. Keep noise to a minimum.
  4. Do not disturb gravesites or monuments.
  5. Follow cemetery regulations and rules of conduct.
  6. Leave flowers, wreaths, and other decorations in designated areas only.
  7. Avoid walking on gravesites or monuments.
  8. Refrain from picking flowers or plants growing in the cemetery grounds.
  9. Obey all posted signs and warnings.
  10. Do not litter.
  11. No weapons are allowed.
  12. Do not damage any property.
  13. Respect the privacy of others.
  14. Leave the area as you found it.

How Do You Obtain a Death Certificate?

In order to obtain a death certificate, you must first contact the funeral home or medical examiner/coroner who is responsible for the burial. They will need to provide you with the necessary identification documents, cause of death, time of death, place of death, personal information, and the deceased‘s social security number. You may also need to provide a physician or hospital statement, an autopsy report (if applicable), and a death registration form. Once all of the required documents have been submitted, you will need to pay a fee in order to receive a certified copy of the death certificate.

What Is Involved in Casket Selection Process?

The casket selection process involves considering a variety of factors, including the materials used to construct the casket, the personalization options available, the price range, the size and weight requirements, the interior design features, the exterior decorations, the custom engraving options, the color selection process, the specialty caskets available, the environmental impact of the choice, the cremation-specific caskets, the religious or cultural preferences, the family input in the decision making process, and the legal regulations governing burial containers.

What Embalming Procedures Are Used During Burials?

Embalming procedures used during burials typically include arterial embalming, cavity embalming, injection of preservatives, drainage of bodily fluids, reconstruction and restoration of features, cosmetology techniques for facial appearance, preservation and sanitation processes, use of dyes to restore natural coloration, application of makeup to enhance facial features, insertion of tubes into major organs for drainage purposes, sewing up incisions made during the embalming process, removal and disposal of medical devices from the body, dressing in appropriate clothing or shrouds, and placement in a casket or other container.

How Is Grave Site Preparation Conducted?

Grave site preparation is conducted by setting up a tent or canopy to provide shelter, marking the grave location, installing drainage systems, laying down gravel and soil, placing headstones or markers, filling in the grave with dirt, leveling and smoothing out the surface, sealing off any exposed areas, applying sod to cover the area, planting flowers, trees, or shrubs around the gravesite, ensuring proper maintenance of cemetery grounds, complying with local regulations for burials, obtaining necessary permits, and working with cemetery staff.

Which Religious Customs Should Be Observed During Funerals?

Religious customs that should be observed during funerals include the use of religious symbols and rituals, appropriate dress code, music selection, memorial services, funeral procession, blessing of the body or ashes, burial or cremation rites, mourning period observance, eulogies and remembrances, offering of condolences to family members, gathering for food after the funeral service, memorial donations in lieu of flowers, ceremonial burial practices, and respecting cultural traditions.

How Can Memorial Services Be Conducted Properly by Funeral Directors?

Funeral directors should ensure that memorial services are conducted properly by adhering to local laws and regulations, selecting appropriate music, maintaining a professional demeanor, respectfully handling remains, ensuring proper documentation is completed, providing support to family members during the service, offering guidance on memorialization options, coordinating with clergy or other officiants as needed, arranging for flowers, decorations, and other items as requested by family members, working with cemeteries or crematoriums to ensure burial arrangements are properly handled, providing transportation services for mourners if necessary, ensuring all paperwork is filed correctly, maintaining a respectful atmosphere throughout the service, and offering grief counseling resources when appropriate.

What Steps Must Be Taken to Complete Final Disposition of Remains After Burial?

  1. Record date and time of burial
  2. Place grave marker or monument
  3. Prepare death certificate for filing with state
  4. File interment card with cemetery office
  5. Complete paperwork for Social Security Administration
  6. Submit obituary to local newspaper
  7. Arrange memorial service, if desired
  8. Dispose of any unclaimed cremated remains
  9. Provide family with copies of all documents related to the final disposition process
  10. Ensure that all fees are paid in full before closing the case
  11. Follow up on any outstanding issues related to the deceased‘s estate
  12. Maintain records regarding the final disposition process
  13. Contact other funeral homes or cemeteries as needed
  14. Close out case file

Common Mistakes And Misconceptions

  1. Misconception: Funeral directors are not required to follow any regulations when performing a burial.

    Correct Viewpoint: Funeral directors must adhere to all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations when performing a burial. This includes obtaining the necessary permits for the burial, ensuring that proper safety protocols are followed during the process, and adhering to any other relevant requirements.
  2. Misconception: A funeral director can bury someone without their family’s permission or knowledge.

    Correct Viewpoint: It is illegal for a funeral director to perform a burial without the consent of the deceased person’s next of kin or legal representative. The family must be notified before any arrangements can be made for a burial service or ceremony.
  3. Misconception: There is no need to obtain an official death certificate prior to burying someone in most cases.

    Correct Viewpoint: An official death certificate must always be obtained prior to arranging for a burial service or ceremony as it serves as proof that the individual has passed away legally and officially in accordance with local laws and regulations governing burials in that particular jurisdiction