State Laws for Cremation Ashes




While statures and guidelines may not be widely known and not often observed, there are state laws concerning cremation ashes (cremains). For example, Illinois law states you may store cremation ashes in a grave, crypt, or niche.  The law also says that if you want to scatter cremains, it must be done in a legally established scattering area like a scattering garden in a cemetery.  Many cemeteries have gardens designated for scattering ashes, so you can always ask the cemetery about its policies concerning the scattering of cremains.  It is also permissible to scatter ashes on the private property with the consent of the property owner.

If you want to scatter your loved one’s ashes on your own property, it is allowed.  However, most city and county regulations and zoning laws do not permit scattering cremains on public properties. It is a fact that many people proceed with this practice without abiding by the local laws.  Other places for scattering ashes—and their requirements or legalities—include the following:

Scattering Ashes on Federal Land. It is best to request permission before you scatter cremains on federal property. Most national parks include guidelines for scattering ashes on their websites.

Scattering Ashes at Sea. As stated in the federal Clean Water Act, it is required that cremated remains be scattered at least three nautical miles from land. The container—if not disposable—must be disposed of separately. This federal at also governs scattering cremains in rivers and lakes, both of which require permits from the agency that manages those bodies of water.

Scattering Ashes by Air. As long as objects don’t hurt people or property, you can scatter cremains from the air if they have been removed from the container.

Hitzeman Funeral Home and Cremation Services are cremation specialists in Brookfield, Westchester, LaGrange Park, LaGrange, Riverside, North Riverside, Lyons, Countryside, Indian Head Park,  Western Springs, Berwyn and Chicago’s Western Suburbs.