Understanding Cremation and Funeral Requirements in Washington State

Since cremation is progressively growing as a choice of disposition, many people are searching online for laws that govern cremation services within their areas. Because the body is completely reduced to ashes, there are strict laws controlling the cremation process.

There are various operational and licensing requirements for crematories and specific state laws outlining how long a cremation should be done after death and who authorizes the same.

Read through this article to find out about various requirements for cremation services Washington.

Choosing the right cremation service provider in Washington State

Being faced with arranging the funeral process is a daunting task, more so if it is a first-time experience. However, the first important step is to pick a funeral director to handle these complex tasks.

This should not only be about planning a “good send-off “; it needs to be about understanding the correct death care required for a loved one that fits into the family’s budget.

There are over 400 funeral businesses within Washington State, so it is advisable to narrow down the search based on the location and the burial needs, i.e., cremation or burial, simple or traditional system.

Is it possible to arrange a home or “green funeral” in Washington?

Yes, it is absolutely lawful to conduct personal death care without getting the help of a funeral director. A “green funeral” or home funeral is a legal alternative in Washington.

As a matter of fact, there are funeral companies and organizations that specifically provide help with home care funeral services within Washington. However, it is not allowed to bury or cremate within the personal compound unless the land is a registered cemetery.

What is the cost of funerals and cremation in Washington State?

This is one of the common online searches for most people in Washington. While cremation service providers are entitled by the law to give a general price list whenever there is an inquiry, many still don’t avail them on their websites.

However, the prices of funeral and cremation services in Washington vary considerably between funeral homes and localities based on the services rendered. According to the National Funeral Director Associations, the average cost of funeral services was $7,640 by 2019 (exclusive of cemetery charges).

Green and Natural Burial alternatives in Washington

Washington has been in the limelight because of its environmentally-friendly disposition advocacies. In May 2019, a bill was signed by the governor, allowing alkaline hydrolysis and natural organic reduction as a way of disposition.

Additionally, Washington has four natural burial cemeteries with each plot costing around $3000. This means that the residents have a variety of death care options for their loved ones, depending on their preferences.

In a nutshell, a direct cremation starts at $600, the natural organic reduction goes between $3800 and $5500, and a complete traditional service being around $7 640.


Every state has well-defined laws governing what happens to the body after death. For instance, there are rules controlling cremation, burial or embalming, scattering of ashes, and how to get a funeral permit.

Understanding these laws is essential in providing the best death care that fits into family preference and budget.

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