Burial at Sea and other creative ideas
In the last post I wrote about how it’s often a bummer for clients to plan for their final disposition. Some people take it in stride and have some creative thoughts for how their family can say goodbye. I often share a story about a burial at sea for those who are getting creative.
Spreading ashes (or a body) can be illegal in certain places. Take the Florida man, for example, who wanted his loved ones to bury him at sea and then have a fishing party after sending his remains overboard. When the man died, his family dutifully packed him in dry ice and drove down to Daytona beach to charter a boat. They motored a few miles from shore, tossed him in the ocean, and then fished for a while in his memory. I, for one, love this plan and love the idea of burial at sea (so much so I’ve asked my wife to chuck me in the Pacific when I die).
No Cement Shoes
This man’s plan did not go so well. After the burial at sea, his body resurfaced and a fisherman discovered the floating corpse. The police came and opened a murder investigation! Detectives solved the case when they found his obituary indicating his planned “burial at sea.” It turns out having a burial at sea is highly regulated to avoid this exact scenario. Read more about the story here.
So if you’re thinking of a Viking funeral, burial at sea, or even a Sky Burial, make sure you aren’t going to turn your loved ones into criminals for carrying out your wishes!
Colin Ley is a Seattle estate planning attorney. He is also the co-founder of LayRoots along with his wife, Shreya (who will likely opt out of Colin’s burial-at-sea demands).