I don’t want to get too morbid with Halloween on its way, but I’d like to address a number of questions I’ve fielded from clients about cremation.
For some, cremation seems appealing as a “green” alternative to burial. However, it is not without its own limitations. Do you know that the Texas legislature has enacted rules regarded where individuals can spread cremated ashes? Specifically, the Texas Health and Safety Code specifies that: “A person may scatter cremated remains over uninhabited public land, over a public waterway or sea, or on the private property of a consenting owner. Unless the container is biodegradable, the cremated remains must be removed from the container before being scattered.” Tex. Health and Safety Code Section 716.304. This means that you can use family land or certain public domains for loved one’s ashes.
The Wall Street Journal published an article in 2018 highlighting Disney World’s dark secret – that it is a favorite destination for families to spread ashes. While it’s against Disney policy and state law to do so, it appears that many try to skirt the rules to leave their loved ones’ remains in the happiest place on earth. According to the Wall Street Journal, the practice is common enough that Disney even has code names for clean up of ashes.
While Disney is off limits, most National Parks can serve as your loved one’s final resting place. You will need to submit a request to the National Park or office that manages the site. Specific rules and instructions for submitting your request are available at the National Parks website or Bureau of Land Management site. Different parks have different rules for spreading ashes. Specifically, Bryce Canyon limits scattering of remains to one section of the park – Pirates Point. Other parks may allow scattering by air as long as you do so from a minimum altitude. For example, Yellowstone requires you to scatter ashes from 1,000 feet.