No. You may either get an Associate of Arts in Mortuary Science degree or complete 2 years in an accredited college. For complete information about education requirements, see How to get your license. If you aren’t sure you have completed the proper courses, send us a photocopy of your transcript for evaluation.
Prearranging your funeral, burial, or cremation, may ease the burden on your survivors in a time of grief. Funeral homes and cemeteries that sell prearrangement funeral service contracts are licensed to do so by the Department of Licensing. When you purchase a contract, they are required to deposit or invest a percentage of the money you pay in an insured account to protect your investment. In addition, we monitor the status of prearrangement trust funds.
Yes, cemeteries are allowed by law to create their own rules for the operation of the cemetery, including rules regarding the planting of trees, bushes, and flowers. You should always check first with cemetery management before planting anything on a grave.
You can preauthorize cremation of your own remains with a written document you have signed in the presence of a witness directly with a funeral establishment. If you don’t make prearrangements, a cremation may be authorized after your death by the following (in the order given):
The person you designate on your U.S. Department of Defense record of emergency data (DDform 93), if you die while service in military service
Your designated agent, as directed through a written document signed and dated in the presence of a witness
If the funeral home or cemetery is unable to locate the next of kin after making a good faith effort to find them, the most responsible person available may authorize a cremation or alternate disposition. (See RCW 68.50.160.)
National parks, after receiving permission from the Chief Park Ranger.
State trust uplands, after receiving permission from the regional manager for each scattering. However, scattering by commercial scattering services isn’t permitted.
Public navigable waters under state control, including Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, rivers, streams, and lakes.
The Pacific Ocean beyond the mean lower low water mark. These scatterings must follow U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s General Permit for Burial at Sea. This includes reporting the burial within 30 days to the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101.
Private land, with the permission of the land owner.
Don’t drop or throw the urn containing the cremated remains. Scatter only the contents. Pour the cremated remains out of the container and dispose of the container separately. There is usually a second identification label and/or a numbered metal disc inside the container. Keep this and dispose of it separately with the container.
Embalming isn’t required, but all human remains must be either embalmed or refrigerated upon receipt unless disposition of the body has been made. Remains can’t be embalmed without authorization from a family member or representative of the deceased (see RCW 18.39.215). If refrigerated, human remains may only be removed from refrigeration for 24 hours or less to perform the activities listed in WAC 246-500-030(2)(e). Otherwise, the remains must remain in refrigeration until final disposition or transport.
Only if you create a cemetery on that property, following all the licensing requirements. It is a misdemeanor to bury any human remains anywhere except inside a cemetery or a building dedicated exclusively for religious purposes. This doesn’t apply to scattering or burial of cremated remains.(RCW 68.50.130)
A fetus of less than 20 weeks gestation isn’t considered by the law to be human remains, and may be buried on private property. However, a fetus of 20 weeks or more gestation is considered to be human remains and must be disposed of in a lawful manner according to state health laws.