Home Funerals a.k.a.

Family-directed Funerals a.k.a.

Do-it-yourself Funerals

The State of Utah provides general guidelines and a form to file a Death Record at   https://vitalrecords.health.utah.gov/death 

(scroll down their page to read how to "File a Death Record")










Caring For Your Own Dead 

Let's address fears that some people have when they hear that a neighbor/friend/relative is caring for their dead without hiring a funeral director.


1) Is it lawful? Yes. Utahans have the lawful right to NOT hire a funeral director, or if desired, to hire a Funeral Director for only part of the work. 

2) Is it dangerous? No. Dead bodies don’t harbor dangerous bacteria unless the person died of a contagion (such as Jacob Kruetzfeld or Mycobacterium Tuberculosis). Typical disease dies with the death of the body. If you could care for the person before death then be assured that any risk has decreased after death.

3) Is it messy? No. There's no need to spend thousands of dollars over the possibility of leaking bodily fluids. If it happens, it's minimal. What worked before death for that works after death as well.

4) Doesn't a body need to be embalmed? No. It must be cremated or buried or refrigerated by 24hrs. Refrigeration at home is often accomplished using strategically placed dry ice or refreezable ice packs around the body, or in the colder months simply a room between 33 - 40 degrees F.

5) Is it immodest? No. If you took care of your loved one’s needs in a modest way BEFORE death, you certainly know how to do so after death too.  There's no cause for immodesty.

6) Am I equipped? Yes. If you own, can rent, or borrow a van, truck, or SUV then you can transport a casket (even across state lines). If you know how to conduct a meeting, then you have the skills to run a funeral, memorial or graveside ceremony.

7) Is it complex? No. If you read our step-by-step instructions you'll see that with determination and love you can do this!


I have a friend who was sabotaged from carrying out a funeral without a funeral director because her congregation leader, out of fear and lack of information, pressured her to hire a funeral director. That's why I wrote this article.

Hopefully these 7 facts begin to assure you that you or your neighbor should go ahead and exercise the right to an affordable and fulfilling final goodbye. 


We Did it For Love

(A personal story shared by a member of FCA of Utah)

In the past 4 years I have been in charge of burying both of my parents, a very close friend who had almost no family, and my mother-in-law. My brother made a simple wood casket for my dad.... [continued],


How-To Instructions
SHORT VIDEOS: Part 1 — Moving the Body (3min), 
Part 2 — Washing the Head, Face, and Mouth (11min)
Part 3 — Washing the Body (9min), This video doesn't depict the body properly draped modestly, as you would a living bedridden person
Part 4 — Dressing the Body (6min) includes closing eyes & mouth,
Part 5 — Final Preparations (8min) includes casketing or wrapping in a shroud


PassingThroughOur Hands is a nice documentary style video instruction.

https://fcaga.org/ceremonies/home-funerals-about/home-funeral-videos/ Videos of other peoples home funerals


Undertaken with Love, A Home Funeral Guide for Congregations and Communities, Free .PDF


Final Passages finalpassages.org $26&up. Click on "Our Guidebook". How-to booklets A&B contain elements helpful to Utahans.


Crossings: Caring for Our Own at Death crossings.net has good resources.


Want help performing a home-funeral in another state?National Home Funeral Alliance  or homefuneraldirectory.com

Final Rights. Book by Josh Slocum & Lisa Carlson takes you through story after story of funeral chicanery from sea to shining sea. You'll see Utah highlighted from the very beginning!

A state by state reference is included in the second half of the book (or buy at Funerals.org).


For DIY personal support & encouragement

Mobile View ==>Keep scrolling down for step-by-step instructions (and everything else on our sidebar)

Image of Utah Vital Records page
Home Funeral Instructions

When Death Occurs 
Visual Flow Chart

Dead Bodies the "Danger" That Doesn't Exist
(quotes from experts)

When an Autopsy
 is required


DIY Veteran Families have wonderful experiences coordinating burial directly with National & State Veterans Cemeteries WITHOUT a funeral director.

Provided FREE:

-the grave,

-opening and closing (Internment)


You BUY:

-a vault/grave liner.

More details at: www.cem.va.gov


Viewing: Mourners visit with the body on display.

Visitation: Mourners visit while casket closed or body not present at all (perhaps a single photo on display).

Either can be held at home (for hours or days).  Or, just prior to starting time, at the location of ceremony.

Funeral: a ceremonial meeting where the body is present.

Memorial: a ceremonial meeting where the body is not present.


Final Disposition: the place where the body is relinquished to the forces of nature (either a cemetery, a crematory, or the ocean).

When Partial Mortuary Services are desired   Compare Prices at-a-glance 



An alternative to newspaper prices of $500-$1500.  Get an Obituary for $50:

Utah Obits.tribute.com

Advantages to DIY:
  • You can take your time with your goodbye.

  • The stress of cost is reduced.

  • No one is trying to sell you anything.

  • The body looks more natural and doesn't smell like embalming chemicals (embalming facts).

  • A body can remain 24 hrs/day in your care (with proper cooling) until final disposition.

  • Transporting across state lines is easy. You are not required to have a body embalmed for this (unless you hire a Utah Funeral Director since THEIR Licensure requires it of THEM).