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My Dad only has a couple weeks left. I've been asked to transport Dad, in a homemade casket, to the cemetery in my truck. I'm uncomfortable with this idea and have told my family so. I understand the need to save money and want to be supportive, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea.

Among other issues, I'm not sure what I need from a legal standpoint to be able to do this. My brother, who is making the arrangements doesn't know. I think he thinks we're just gonna load Dad up and take him down. The cemetery wants us to think that we can't do it ourselves. I've been trying to do my own research, but I'm not coming up with anything and am not sure who to call to find out.

I imagine I would need a copy of the death certificate in case I got pulled over. What else?

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Each state has laws about the handling of corpses. I think maybe you should speak to a funeral director yourself.
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Not sure if there are sentimental reasons for the DIY, or if your brother is being a total cheapskate and doesn't mind putting YOU in legal jeopardy. You are right to be uncomfortable unless you know its legal, and even then I think we all understand. I had the privilege of holding a wooden box of cremains for the duration of the short the car ride for my FILs memorial service - it was small and low key, but I did feel more than little creepy about the whole thing to be perfectly honest.
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I think perhaps you need to talk to the cemetery in question what their regulations do and don't permit. We had my mil cremated and the cemetery had very specific regulations about what sort of container they were allowed to accept for burial . Find out who regulates cemeteries in your state and what the laws are. Caskets may have to meet a certain code.
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There's a website called Everplans, that appears to have a good bit of information on the subject, in cling regs for each state. In some states, you need a Trans porter's License".
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This reminds me of many years ago, when an older cousin, L, died. He was to be buried about 200 miles from the hospital where he died, in another state. His brother R said he would be happy to make one last trip with him, and R transported the coffin (I think the body was in a coffin -- can't remember for sure) in his SUV. That night included real blizzard conditions. The car almost wound up in a ditch more than once. Now this all sounds rather morbid, I suppose, but both of these men loved a joke and were/are fantastic story tellers, and many, many people have had a good laugh over how the R tells the story of his last trip with joke L

I suggest that if you do this at all, you have some fun with it.

BUT a very valid reason not to do it, whatever the law says, is that YOU are not comfortable with the idea. You do need to do your fair share, and you want to be supportive. But I think expecting you to transport the body in this way is above and beyond a reasonable fair share.

If money is the major concern, cremation may be a more acceptable and dignified alternative, with a memorial service as convenient, perhaps in a community center rather than a funeral home.

This is your father's death we are talking about. Your feelings about how his remains should be treated are as valid as your brother's. Decide for yourself how you want to participate in this event.
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Eyerishlass, no apologies necessary. And the movie reference is appreciated! If we can't find ways to laugh at times like this, the sorrow becomes unbearable.

As for thinking my post was a prank...is anyone familiar with the Janet Evonavich (sp?) books with Stephanie Plum? The first thing I thought of when asked to transport my Dad was, "I need a Lula!". So, there you go.

I want to thank everyone who made suggestions and to let you know that I will follow up on some of them. The hardest part of all of this is not being able to communicate with my brother. So I concentrate on the parts I am being asked to do and try to keep the process simple. As many of you know, the "authorities" involved try to do the exact opposite. Usually because it is to their advantage.

My father wants to be buried next to his father, and my mother (who was cremated) will go into the casket with him. My brother has already signed a contract for that much. It's just the "funeral" side that still needs to be mapped out. But as I said before, I'm not asking because of the volatility of my brother's temper.

I am not a whiner. I believe in personal strength and responsibility. But Dad made his choices. And my brother made his. To those that will say, "that's a cop out", there is (isn't there always?) a whole story left untold here. History that is important. I have been over and over the choices along the way and know in my heart that we would still be where we are right now.

The fantasy that the family could come together for a laying out, have a service at home, transport to the cemetery, then have a party celebrating Dad's life is a wonderful one. I believe it takes a high level of family commitment and mutual support to be successful in removing the formal funeral home from the process.

That is not our family, however. My brother, in his grief, is more volatile than ever and I won't even go visit my father without my husband with me. Right now, I'm just trying to make sure he's not hanging me out to dry.

The transport is across a county line, within the same state. I will try to see what the local police in both counties say, and maybe the state troopers. I still haven't decided to do this, but this gives me something to do to keep my mind busy.
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pfontes - my brother is making those arrangements and last I was told, he was trying to bypass the funeral home part of the process all together, so that's not an option for me.

Babalou - He has been in contact with the cemetery and signed a contract for the burial portion of the process. They gave him the dimensions for the grave liner so the casket could be made to fit within the boundaries.

Folks, I will answer your questions as I can, but I was just wondering if anyone had done this themselves and what the receiving cemetery had required. I have read stories of folks "laying out" at home and finding "green buriels". Transportation to such must be part of the process.

It is an understatement to say my brother and I don't communicate well. And though I know I may not be phrasing things well, he, in his grief, takes his angst out on me. As a result, I investigate all my own questions to avoid negative confrontations. This whole process is hard enough.
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You can save the most money by opting for cremation.
You can save on a casket by ordering it from Costco (no kidding, google it they have detailed instructions). They ship to the funeral because the body needs to be prepared - not a DIY option.
Lastly, check the web page for your medical examiners office. In my county, at least, they have very detailed instructions for low income deceased, there is a free option.
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zebra - I know you're trying to steer clear of funeral homes - but your father has not passed and it is perfectly acceptable talk to funeral home directors about possibilities. Is there a state funeral director's association you can call?

As I stated before, there are pretty clear laws about the handling and burial of the deceased in every state....some states are quite liberal, some are not. You need to know those laws in your state before you load the pickup truck and drive into a heap of trouble right when you don't need it.
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I wouldn't want to be involved in it. The body has to be prepared in a certain way and the casket has to meet certain regulations. I wondered how the body was supposed to be released to you and received for burial. I don't have any ethical problems with the idea of homemade caskets and toting a body in a truck, I just don't how the authorities would feel about it. They are the ones that matter, because the cemetery probably won't receive your father if things are not done by the book.
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