Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Unregulated Disposition of Human Remains – Change Needed

Screenhunter_03_apr_13_1055Ann M. Murphy (Associate Professor, Gonzaga University School of Law; 2007 - 2008 Fulbright Lecturer, Beijing, China) has recently published her article entitled Please Don't Bury Me Down in that Cold Cold Ground: The Need for Uniform Laws on the Disposition of Human Remains, 15 Elder L.J. 381 (2007).

Here is the introductory paragraph to her article:

The disposition of a decedent's remains is a largely unregulated area. While there are federal regulations concerning the funeral industry, there are none dealing with the disposition of remains in particular. The lack of federal regulation, limited state authority on the ownership of remains, and wishes of the decedent often result in conflict. Such conflicts are often left to be resolved by courts and funeral homes. The lack of uniformity in this type of law increases in importance as the baby boom generation ages and demands creative options concerning their final resting place. In this Article, Professor Murphy explores the increasing need for certainty in this area and proposes the adoption of a uniform law patterned on one of the existing state statutory schemes.


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