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Burial Options

Burial Options


Burial: Traditional, Direct, Green/Natural

TRADITIONAL FUNERAL (most expensive):

What is a Traditional Funeral (definition: see Funeral Rule

  • Review the Funeral Rule
  • Cooperating Funeral Homes–become an informed consumer
  • Review FTC Funerals: A Consumer Guide (see links)
  • Review The General Price List must state that you have a right to choose services and goods
  • You may buy a casket elsewhere and not pay extra for handling
  • Embalming is not required by law.  Substitute with refrigeration if necessary

DIRECT BURIAL  (less expensive):

What is a Direct Burial (definition: see Funeral Rule

  • Cooperating Funeral Homes-–become an informed consumer
  • Review Funeral Rule
  • Review FTC Funerals: A Consumer Guide (see links)
  • Direct burial–buried shortly after death, simple container, no visitation and no embalming, later memorial service at graveside, cost usually less than traditional.  Costs include basic services fee as well as transportation and care of the body, purchase of burial container and cemetery plot or crypt.  Gravesite service may cost extra.  Verify accuracy of the above summary from “FTC Funerals: A Consumer Guide” (  and compare with services of your chosen funeral provider as well
  • Prices may change–always verify prices and total cost


What is a Cremation/Direct Cremation (definition: see Funeral Rule



What is a Green Burial/Natural Burial (definition:



What is a Home Burial?

  • Home Burial.  SeeCaring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love,” by Lisa Carlson, Upper Access Books, P.O. Box 457, Hinesburg, VT 05461 (a complete guide for those making funeral arrangements with or without a funeral director). May be purchased at



Information about Indigent Burials for individuals including Veterans:

 ·         To be considered for this program the decedent must have died in Harris County.  If the individual dies outside of Harris County then he/she is ineligible (even if the deceased is a Harris County citizen).

·         Income eligibility varies since the program is somewhat unique (the income that is considered is that of the decedent only). The Case Managers seek to assist any next of kin who may inquire about funeral assistance and if possible refer them to various funeral agencies that have provided the agency with their low cost price list.·       

-         Harris County has adopted a cremation first policy for all decedents who do not have immediate next of kin who can opt out of the cremation and request a burial as an alternative disposition.

-      If Harris County assists in either a cremation or burial, the Case Manager will deal with the next of kin and provide the necessary information regarding disposition.· 

-    All next of kin are welcome to attend the funeral services, however those services are limited to approximately 15 minutes in length (no matter the number of next of kin present).  Harris County currently provides up to 9 family services and then approximately 5-9 non-family services each Friday. 

·         Each decedent out at the cemetery will have a marked headstone as soon possible or within the budget cycles.

 The Bereavement Department staff has two Administrative Assistants who can be reached at 713-696-1935 or 713-696-1952, who are available for calls Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm.  After hour calls are handled by the Harris County Operator during the interim hours and that number is (713-755-5000).




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