Embalming: Extra or Essential?

Embalming involves substituting a chemical fluid for blood to preserve the deceased temporarily. This is usually done for cosmetic and sanitary purposes when the deceased is to be viewed in an open casket.

Embalming is not necessary to transport the deceased in a vehicle owned by the funeral home, or by a private vehicle. However, keep in mind that a body could decompose if it is not refrigerated.

Embalming is not required by law. However if the body of a person who died while infected with a communicable disease other than anthrax, plague or viral hemorrhagic fevers will be transported by common carrier, the funeral director or other person in charge of the body must, before delivering the body to the common carrier, ensure that the body is embalmed and enclosed in a sound coffin, wrapped in an impervious body bag secured against leakage, or enclosed in a metal coffin liner.

When death results from anthrax, plague or viral hemorrhagic fevers embalming is not permitted, instead the body is placed in a sealed container..

Consider the benefits of embalming, and the wishes of the deceased and next of kin. If you decide against embalming, inform the funeral home immediately. Funeral homes should only charge you for embalming if you have approved the cost in advance.


Please contact us with any questions you may have.