NH Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy
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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