Silver Spring, MD asked in Health Care Law for Maryland

Q: Need help with burial

Need to bury body on a family plot

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: MD Code, Health-General Article, § 5-514. Burial or disposal of body.

(a) In general. -- An individual may not bury or dispose of a body except:

(1) In a family burial plot or other area allowed by a local ordinance;

(2) In a crematory;

(3) In a cemetery;

(4) By donating the body to medical science; or

(5) By removing the body to another state for final disposition in accordance with the laws of the other state.

(b) Violations; penalty. -- An individual who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $ 5,000 or both.

So, per the law, the only scenario allowed is if your county code permits such burial. You may wish to start here to inquire as to home burial plots, zoning laws, and requirements in Montgomery County:

If you will not be using a funeral director to carry out final arrangements, you must complete and file the death certificate yourself. Maryland law requires you to file the death certificate with the department of health and mental hygiene within 72 hours of the death. (Maryland Code, Health-General, § 4-212.) The deceased person's doctor, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, or a medical examiner must complete the medical portion of the death certificate within 24 hours. (Maryland Code, Health-General, § 4-212.) You must obtain a blank death certificate from the institution where the person died or, if the person died at home, from the office of vital records. The medical provider or medical examiner will supply the date, time, and cause of death before returning the certificate to you for completion and filing. You cannot transport a deceased's body without the death certificate.

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