People in Montana obviously hold their family members deep in their heart both alive and when they cross that great rainbow bridge.

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Some people arrange for cremation, some have arrangements at a plot a family stakes out in a cemetery were friends and family can visit for generations ahead. Others take a different approach to the afterlife with burials on their own properties.

According to, home burials are allowed in most places by the landowner/family member. Nine states scattered throughout America allow it to happen only with a funeral director involved in the process. States flat-out do not allow home burials are Washington, California, Indiana, and Washington DC.

Montana is one of those states that home burial are allowed. However there are rules that apply before one can just bury a loved one on a particular piece of property.

Madison County in Montana can give a perspective on where a final resting place can be and what some of the steps a family needs to take.

A casket needs to be used made of wood or stronger in the process with ways to identify the individual buried there. Depth is a concern as well, six(6) feet above the water table is required and a minimum of four(4) feet is required to cover the body.

Grave stones or markers on site must be well maintained and clearly identifiable, an easement must be established for "guarantee of future access" which is fancy terms for an area for people to visit a final resting place.

There are "zoning areas" required for a home burial. One acre is required for a lot size for burial, 100 feet from a private water well, stream, or open water, 300 feet from those public areas, and can't be on a 100 year flood plain.

Plots must rest 100 feet away from property boundaries, and 50 feet away from any structure. Montana has a maximum 5 body rule before designating it a cemetery according to law.

There are many things to consider for yours or a family member's afterlife, home burial may be an option. Make sure to know the ins and outs before that day comes.


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