Home Funeral

Close to your heart.


Many are becoming more active in the after-death care of a deceased loved one. As more participate in this process, we are reminded of the intimate and healing potentials in this final leave-taking.  Below is a step-by-step guide to help you with that process in PA – although each death will be different and you should expect to deal with unforeseen details. Here is a testimonial from a mom who chose a home funeral for her son.


The following is a list of general procedures for caring for your deceased loved one (when the death is not suspicious). However, many places where people die will not release a body to anyone other than a licensed funeral director or someone representing a licensed funeral establishment because they are not familiar with the facts. Make sure you are!

Step by Step

1 Contact Proper Authorities
2 Complete Death Certificate
3 Register Death Certificate
5 Make arrangements for cremation or burial
6 Supply a Burial or Cremation Container
7 Prepare, Shelter and Care For the Body
9 Transport Body of Loved One to Crematory or Burial Ground


In the case of an anticipated death, be SURE to walk through the entire procedure with your local officials and the receiving crematory or cemetery AHEAD of time. Also talk with doctors and nursing staff. Most municipal or hospital officials aren’t interested in anything other than obeying the law. Try not to take any hesitance on their part personally.

If you run into difficulty of any kind, feel free to call Josh Slocum, Executive Director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance at 800-765-0107 or Lisa Carlson, Executive Director of the Funeral Ethics Organization at 866-866-5411. Both have voicemail when they’re away from the phone and try to check often, evenings and weekends included. If you are in a restrictive state or running into problems at a time of need, they may be able to refer you to a friendly funeral director who can do the minimum necessary to facilitate your plans.