It is the desire of THE OLD PINE BOX to lessen the strain of the death process on those
who must endure it, be it with our coffins or through the information we can provide on
this site. If you have any questions you would like to see answered here, just send them
along. We'll do our best to provide the most accurate information possible.

Q- Are pine coffins really still legal?
A- Yes, they are. Though effective marketing techniques have made metal sealer caskets
very common, there are no laws restricting pine box coffins. Simple pine coffins are even
required by some religions, such as
Orthodox Judaism.

Q- But doesn't the coffin have to be sealed?
A- Not in most cases. The so called "protective" sealer caskets are a marketing ploy and
nothing more. The
Funeral Rule forbids morticians from claiming these coffins are required
by law or have any preservative benefits. Some mausoleums have even banned sealer
caskets due to problems with them exploding. However in rare instances, such as
transporting non-embalmed remains by air, a sealed casket may be required by airline

Q- If I use a pine coffin do I also need to use a vault or grave liner?
A- This is not dependant on the type of coffin you use but on the cemetery where it will be
interred. No law requires these items but many cemetery policies insist on them.

Q- What are vaults and grave liners, what is their purpose, and what if I don't want to use one?
A- Vaults and grave liners can be concrete, steel, or fiberglass. Vaults usually have a bottom, sides and a lid which is
put in place after the coffin has been placed inside. Liners are bottomless and lowered over the coffin. The only
function of these items is to prevent ground settlement as the coffin degrades. If you want to avoid using a vault or
liner you can purchase your plot from a cemetery that doesn't require them, you can be interred in a "green" cemetery
such as those being created by
Memorial Ecosystems, or you can be interred on your own property.

Q- Is legal to be buried on your own property?
A- In most states, yes. You must check with your local zoning department but this is often an option that people are
not aware of. The location of any home burial must be filed with the local registrar.  

Q- Do you still have to use a funeral director if you have a home burial?
A- Most states have no law requiring the use of a funeral director, regardless of the means of disposition. All funeral
arrangements can be handled by family or friends provided the proper paperwork and permits are obtained. You can
learn more about this from
Final Passages. You can also visit
for a state by state guide to consumers' funeral rights.

Q- If I do use a funeral director, how can I be sure I get an ethical one?
A- Shop around, try to find one that is independently rather than corporately owned, take a friend with you, trust your
intuition, and join the
Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA). The FCA is a non-profit organization which has the
cooperation of ethical funeral homes across the country. There may be a local chapter of the FCA in your area, visit
their web site to find out.

A Note For Your Protection :
A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Law known as the Funeral Rule protects your rights as follows:

~ No funeral home may refuse to accept a coffin from an outside source.
~ No funeral home may charge a fee or in any way alter their prices for handling a coffin from an outside
~ No funeral home may attempt to pressure a buyer against using a coffin from an outside source.

If you would like to receive a FREE copy of the FTC booklet "Funerals: A Consumer's Guide"
please contact us with your request.
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