Do I Have to Be Embalmed?

Making decisions and having discussions regarding your end-of-life wishes are not always the most fun subjects. However, there are several factors you should take into consideration when planning for these expenses and how a Final Expense policy could cover them. Ask yourself questions, such as:
Do I want to be cremated or buried?
Do I want an open- or closed-casket ceremony?

You should also consider if embalmment is something you feel is necessary.

Embalming is a procedure that involves the preservation of the human body after death using substances and devices to slow down decomposition. The idea is to preserve the body and make it display-worthy at a funeral, for long-distance transportation, or for medical or scientific uses such as anatomical studies.

Keep in mind that embalmment is entirely up to you as some people do not fancy the idea of getting embalmed due to strong personal or religious beliefs.


Should you choose to be embalmed, keep in mind some aspects that funeral homes and embalmers consider:
Your condition upon death
The illness that caused your death
Medications you were on before your death
Climatic conditions

Some corpses deteriorate faster than others, and the embalmer should be able to give a timeline for decomposition after examination while considering critical aspects.

Keep in mind that embalming does not preserve the body forever. However, if you want an open-casket ceremony, it is recommended as it preserves the body. If long-distance travel is needed to transport the body, then embalming may be required in some states.

Embalming can also come with a hefty price tag of around $750, possibly less or more given the specific location. If you are concerned with the amount of costs that could be involved with your final expenses, then embalming might be something to reconsider.

What do world religions say about embalming?

Although embalming has no origins in Christianity, it is neither encouraged nor discouraged. Islam, Baha’i, and Orthodox Judaic faiths view embalming to be a defilement of the body and forbid it. Hindus and Buddhists prefer cremation. Hence, they do not need embalming.

What does the law say about embalming?

Here are some legal considerations governing embalming practices:

The funeral trade commission requires all funeral homes to convey to families that embalming is not required by law to prevent families from paying unnecessary monies. Except in special cases, embalming is not mandatory.

Embalming is mandated when a cadaver crosses state lines from Alabama and Alaska. Five other states, California, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, and New Jersey, require embalming when the corpse leaves those states by airplane or train.

Embalming and public health

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, embalming has no community health benefit. Hawaii forbids embalming if an individual died of certain infectious diseases. However, many morticians have been taught that embalming safeguards public health, and they continue to spread this fable.

Embalming chemicals are incredibly toxic, and that is why embalmers are directed by OSHA to wear a respirator and full-body covering while performing the procedure.

Want to find out more about embalming and other aspects covered under Final Expense Insurance? Talk to the specialists at Senior Life Services. Regardless of what your end-of-life and burial wishes may be, we will find you a policy that provides the coverage you’re looking for.

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