Is written consent needed to be cremated?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
Jspjsp asked...

My uncle had my grandmother cremated in Pennsylvania and , I'm sure she wanted to be buried .

Expert Answers

Rebekah Peoples, CFSP, CPC, Is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is passionate about serving others and believes that giving clients honest, accurate information empowers them to create tributes and services that are meaningful and appropriate. Her tips about funerals and life can be found at

Yes, in Pennsylvania (and every state) written consent is necessary for someone's body to be cremated. It sounds like your uncle is your grandmother's son and next-of-kin. If he signed for her to be cremated, it implies that he and any of his siblings were in agreement.

Did your grandmother put anything in writing that said she did not want to be cremated? If not, you probably don't have any recourse. If she did, you might want to contact an attorney.

If your uncle has possession of her ashes, you might suggest to him that they be buried as you believe it was her wish. It may not be exactly the way you think she wanted it, but since her body has already been cremated, burying her ashes may bring you and other family members some peace.