Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Florida Cremation Laws

You or your loved one may have decided cremation is the preferred choice for memorialization. Now you may be wondering what restrictions you need to know about when it comes to cremation laws in Florida.


Cremation is of course an option in all 50 states, but each state has different funeral laws that may affect what you can do with cremated remains. Here is a breakdown of the most important cremation laws impacting a Florida resident.

Cremation Laws in Florida are Generally Permissive

Unlike some states, Florida cremation laws are, in general, quite permissive. In fact, there are no laws in the state that prevent you from keeping a loved one's ashes or scattering them. The only restriction is on where they can be scattered.

Additionally, there are no restrictions on if you want to place cremated remains within a cemetery. You can scatter them in a scattering garden or bury them in a casket at a gravesite with a headstone or place them into a columbarium or crypt. As long as you facilitate with the cemetery, you are free to memorialize your cremated loved one as you see fit.

The exception to this is not a state law, but any religious regulations. You may want to check with your religious leader if there are any certain protocols that should be followed as part of your faith.

That said, when it comes to scattering cremations outside of a cemetery, there are some laws to be aware of.

a structure on a beach

1 Scattering Over Land

Land Scattering Cremation Laws in Florida

Florida law does provide some guidance on how and where you can scatter cremated remains on land. For example, if you wish to scatter on your own private land, there are no limitations placed on you by the state of Florida. This is the same for burying the remains.

However, if you wish to scatter on someone else's private property, you can be found guilty of trespassing if you do not first receive permission.

Scattering ashes on public property is a more complex endeavor. While there are no statewide laws in Florida that regulate this action, local city and county regulations may either require you to take specific action or ban it outright. You must therefore consult with a local representative to see what is permissible where. Likewise, if you want to scatter cremated remains on federal land, such as at a national park, you are required to seek permission before doing so.

2 Scattering Over Water

Sea Scattering Cremation Laws in Florida

With Florida being a peninsula that exists between both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, spending time on the water is a way of life for many. This makes it an appropriate resting place for many loved ones. But be advised, there are a number of guidelines for scattering at sea or over inland waters such as lakes, rivers, and streams. All are federal guidelines put in place by the Clean Water Act instead of ones specific to Florida.

If you're scattering in the sea:

  • You must be at least three nautical miles from land
  • You must dispose of a non-biodegradable container separately
  • You must notify the EPA within 30 days
  • You cannot scatter at the beach or in seaside wading pools
  • For inland waters, you may need a permit, so check with the state agency that manages that specific waterway

3 Other Ways to Scatter

Other Scattering Methods

Most of the time, scattering the remains of loved ones involves the aforementioned options of either land or sea. However, you can also scatter above these areas. Get a plane or hot air balloon and you're on your way to an increasingly popular option.

If considering air scattering, note that there are no state laws prohibiting the practice from high altitude. Just be careful when conducting the scattering, as federal aviation guidelines require you do not drop anything that could harm people or property. Cremated remains themselves are not considered hazardous material by the U.S. government, but a container certainly is.

Land Scattering Cremation Laws in Florida

Florida law does provide some guidance on how and where you can scatter cremated remains on land. For example, if you wish to scatter on your own private land, there are no limitations placed on you by the state of Florida. This is the same for burying the remains.

However, if you wish to scatter on someone else's private property, you can be found guilty of trespassing if you do not first receive permission.

Scattering ashes on public property is a more complex endeavor. While there are no statewide laws in Florida that regulate this action, local city and county regulations may either require you to take specific action or ban it outright. You must therefore consult with a local representative to see what is permissible where. Likewise, if you want to scatter cremated remains on federal land, such as at a national park, you are required to seek permission before doing so.

Sea Scattering Cremation Laws in Florida

With Florida being a peninsula that exists between both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, spending time on the water is a way of life for many. This makes it an appropriate resting place for many loved ones. But be advised, there are a number of guidelines for scattering at sea or over inland waters such as lakes, rivers, and streams. All are federal guidelines put in place by the Clean Water Act instead of ones specific to Florida.

If you're scattering in the sea:

  • You must be at least three nautical miles from land
  • You must dispose of a non-biodegradable container separately
  • You must notify the EPA within 30 days
  • You cannot scatter at the beach or in seaside wading pools
  • For inland waters, you may need a permit, so check with the state agency that manages that specific waterway

Other Scattering Methods

Most of the time, scattering the remains of loved ones involves the aforementioned options of either land or sea. However, you can also scatter above these areas. Get a plane or hot air balloon and you're on your way to an increasingly popular option.

If considering air scattering, note that there are no state laws prohibiting the practice from high altitude. Just be careful when conducting the scattering, as federal aviation guidelines require you do not drop anything that could harm people or property. Cremated remains themselves are not considered hazardous material by the U.S. government, but a container certainly is.

Other Things to Consider About Cremation in Florida

As demonstrated above, Florida cremation laws do not place many limitations on how you choose to scatter the remains of your loved one. The laws you need to consider are instead federal, as well as any specific restrictions put in place by local cities, counties, municipalities, or individual property owners.

An example is how Disney officially prohibits the long-standing tradition of individuals secretly bringing cremated remains to scatter in their parks. Ashes found in park rides are disposed of, and anyone caught doing so can be banned from the park. Despite how popular the choice is for many, it's better to not risk getting into legal hot water with the corporation behind the Happiest Place on Earth.

Finding Florida Cemeteries that Cater to Cremation

When planning a memorial and learning where scattering is allowed, it may be best to speak with an expert on the topic. You can start in any of the more than 30 cemeteries listed here.

References:

Keene, V. A. (2019, September 13). Burial & Cremation Laws in Florida. Www.Nolo.Com. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/burial-cremation-laws-florida.html

When u lose some one you are lost in a sense. You need someone to guide you. This is where the Funeral Director comes in. This is not a place that is just trying to get your money. They truly showed how much they care. I never felt like just a number.
Subfor - March '22 Lohman Funeral Home - Daytona
Losing a loved one is the worst time for anyone to enter your life, however Tressa was a Godsend to me at one of the worst times in my life … No one can really express appropriate words to another who may sadly be on this journey. All I can really say to you is you will not go wrong choosing Arlington Park. Tressa went above and beyond helping me through it all. Even when I emailed her questions after hours she responded to me almost immediately after hours … I send you peace and comfort if you are just starting this sad process but I recommend you stop in and talk to Tressa before making any final decisions whether its a sudden loss or you are planning ahead for yourself.
Angela - February '22 Arlington Park Cemetery & Funeral Home
They were very helpful and kind during a most difficult time for me and my sons. Doug, the manager explained all aspects of the final resting place for my husband. Both my sons also bought plots so were could all be close together when we pass. The Fountains is a very peaceful and quiet place. I would highly recommend this as a final resting place for your loved ones.
Debra - January '22 Fountains Memorial Park
I would like to thank Barbara Tejeda, for making the hardest time in our families life, the loss of my father to be a smooth transition. I pray that more people could be as caring and compassionate as she is. GOD bless her always!
Lourdes - December '21 Vista Funeral Home
Nina and the staff here are fantastic … We highly recommend doing final life planning here.
Larry - September '21 Daytona Memorial Park
close