Deborah Badillo, CFP®
Client Advisor
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August 22, 2022

After a recent client meeting about estate planning (when we were asked if it was required that your body be processed with formaldehyde whe you die), I told them that I would look into the matter about alternative options for burial.

This got me thinking and brought up images from movies where people take cremated ashes and spread them on the ocean shore; in fact, my husband and I have discussed spreading our ashes over a favorite coral reef we like to frequent in Mexico.

So, I dove in and thought I would share what I learned about alternative options for a traditional coffin burial from my research. Well—not a shocker—the movies get it wrong in that it is against the loaw in Florida to spread ashes from the beach shore. In fact, you need to be at least three miles from land and on a boat to spread ashes at sea.

You also are not required toembalm a body. Depending on the cemetery, you can also be buried without a coffin or use bodegradeable coffin. Cremation is another popular option but a greener alternative is alkaline hydrolysis (aka flameless cremation/aqua cremation) because it does not release particulate matter into the atmosphere as traditional inceneration cremation does.

Other options I found included using the ashes for a tree of coral reef restoration. One such option is the Biotree Urn, which mixes the remains with soil with a resulting tress samplin planted in memory of the deceased. Another option is Eternal Reefs, where the remains are mixed with concrete matter for reef restoration. The concrete ball provies a place for coral plyps to attach and grow. Here are some additional resources for your consideration:

https://www.us-funerals.com/guide-to-arranging-a-green-burial-in-florida/
https://www.npr.org/2007/12/16/17232879/burials-and-cemeteries-go-green
https://www.vanorsdel.com/services/eco-friendly
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/burial-cremation-laws-florida.html

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