Scattering your loved one's ashes at an old family home or well-loved vacation destination is a great way to memorialize him or her. While scattering your loved one's ashes after cremation is popular and often requested in funeral plans, it isn't without its challenges. You will need to get permission to scatter ashes on federally or privately-owned land and many locations will not allow you to place a memorial marker on the site. It's important that as many friends and family of the deceased attend the scattering as possible, as this may be the last chance they have to say goodbye to your loved one. Here's the proper etiquette you need to follow to ensure your loved one's friends and family are satisfied with the cremation process.

Ensure All Of Your Family Members Agree With The Decision

Scattering ashes is a one-time event and some locations may not allow you to leave a marker to memorialize it. Some members of your family may not feel comfortable with this, as they may want the descendants of the deceased to be able to visit the exact location where the ashes were scattered. In addition, some cultures and religions (such as Roman Catholicism) prevent the scattering of ashes and wish them to be buried or interred in a church columbarium. You'll want to make sure all of your family members agree with the decision to scatter the remains.

Check The Legal Regulations On Scattering Ashes

Written permission must be granted to scatter ashes on federal or privately-owned land. Contact the National Park Service or the landowner for information about scattering cremated remains. For burial at sea, you will need to take the remains at least three miles from the coastline and notify the Environmental Protection Agency. You'll also need to check to see if your city or county has any regulations about scattering cremated remains.

While this may seem onerous, cremated human remains pose a minor environmental hazard due to the high level of phosphate they contain. They are also, in a general legal sense, treated much the same as a bodily burial. For example, if a private land owner wants to sell his or her property, he or she will have to notify the buyers if cremated remains were scattered on the land which may dissuade potential buyers.

Host A Memorial Service During The Event

To commemorate the scattering of ashes, it's important to host a memorial service and try to have as many family members attend as possible. This is especially important if you are not allowed to leave any memorial markers on the site; unlike with a burial or internment, where loved ones are free to visit the remains whenever they please, this will be their last chance to say goodbye to the deceased.

As long as friends and family agree with the decision and you receive the proper permission, scattering your loved one's ashes as a way to memorialize him or her can be a great tribute.