NH Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy
PO Box 456, Holderness NH 03245 603.236.9495
Home Burial in New Hampshire
Burial on home property is an option in New Hampshire. For information on Vermont home burial, go to Important Documents. And for a beautifully written home burial story, go here to Northern Woodlands.org
Some things to consider are:
- Will the property be staying in the family and for how long?
- Who do other family members feel about it?
- Might having a burial on your land impact property values?
- What will the burial cost in terms of rewriting and filing the deed?
- Will the burial promote environmental goals?
- What are your prime reasons for choosing home burial?
State requirements (RSA 289) include:
- must be recorded with the Municipal Cemetery Trustees
- must be recorded on the property deed
- must provide a public right of way
- must be located 100' from any dwelling, store, school or business
- must be located 50' from known water sources and state highways
- must comply with local zoning ordinances
In addition, it would be wise to prepare by doing the following:
- dig a test pit to ascertain the soil make up and identify drainage issues
- research covenant deeds separate from local zoning issues
- research local health ordinances
- draw a plat (record of the location with latitude and longitude coordinates)
- plan to bury around the 3.5 foot level, with 18 inches of soil above the chest or casket top
- consider building a shrouding board with straps for carrying and lowering into the grave
Process for filing paperwork to bury a body on home land:
- Death certificate must be filed with the State Department of Vital Records within 36 hours of the death
- A completed and signed death certificate must be acquired from the medical authority in charge
- With the medical portion complete, the next-of-kin may complete the demographic portion and sign as the director in charge
- The death certificate is then taken to the Town Clerk in the town where the death occurred
- There is no cost to filing directly with a Town Clerk
- The data from the death certificate is then entered into the State's Electronic Death Registration System (ERDS)
- Once filed, a burial/transport permit will be issued; this paper gives next-of-kin authority to transport the body and must run with the body if it is transported to locations other than where the person died
- Once the burial has occurred, the permit is signed by next-of-kin acting as a funeral director and filed with the Town Clerk within 6 days of burial
- A funeral director may also be hired to handle and file the paperwork. A funeral director can also file it with the Town Clerk after burial for a fee.
A home funeral followed by a home burial in Holderness, Spring 2015, with friends and family carrying the shrouding board to the burial plot beside the farm's stone wall