What are my choices?
For final disposition of the body, the following choices are available in Washington State:
- Burial (traditional or green)
- Full Body Donation
To ensure your choices are honored, we advise Designating an Agent, filling out a Disposition Authorization separate from your will, and sharing your wishes with your next-of-kin. Do not store your wishes only in a safe deposit box, as it often takes several weeks or longer for next-of-kin to gain access.
- 78% of all Washingtonians choose cremation
- Only one person is cremated at a time, no animals are cremated with humans
- Items may placed in with body and cremated at the same time
- Cremation takes about 2-4 hours
- What is your remains’ final resting place? shelf, closet, buried or scattered
- Embalming is not required by law
- Can only be buried in a licensed cemetery (not on your own land)
- Two kinds of burial: traditional and green
- Cemeteries can dictate size/type of monument
- Washington currently has 5 green cemeteries
Full Body Donation (always have a plan B, such as cremation or burial)
- Mortuary Schools
- Medical Schools - for body donation to medical schools, you must register ahead of time and you must always know that your donation may be rejected for any reason. Please have a Plan B.