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Improper CremationFor many, the act of cremation is a deeply personal choice, often informed by religious, cultural, or philosophical beliefs. When you entrust a loved one’s remains to a crematory, you expect them to treat the body with the utmost respect and adhere strictly to all established practices and laws. Regrettably, improper cremation practices can and do occur, which can lead to various unfortunate consequences, some of which may be legally actionable via an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Below, our personal injury attorneys explore the top five consequences of improper cremation practices in California.

Violation Of The Acknowledged Disclosure

About The Disclosure

California law mandates a specific disclosure concerning the cremation process, emphasizing how the body, casket, and chamber materials are burned and processed. It explains that some bone fragments may remain post-incineration and that the chamber itself can disintegrate slightly with each cremation, mixing with the cremated remains.


When crematories do not adhere strictly to this process, they violate the trust placed in them by families and also risk contravening state regulations. Any discrepancies can lead to potential legal action against the facility and emotional distress for the family.

Failure To Obtain Proper Authorization

About Authorization

Before cremation can take place, the person with the right to control the body’s disposition must provide written authorization. This authorization should detail the time, location, and manner of the remains’ disposition. The Declaration for Disposition of Cremated or Hydrolyzed Human Remains can be signed by the individual if they are arranging their own cremation.


Undertaking a cremation without proper authorization is a direct violation of the law, and the crematory can face significant legal repercussions, not to mention the emotional turmoil caused to the family.

Neglecting Viewing Rights And Practices

About Viewing

While California law doesn’t prohibit viewing the cremation, facilities that do not offer this option must disclose it in writing prior to contract signing.


If a crematory does not provide this disclosure and denies the family the right to view the cremation process, they may be held liable for breaking the trust agreement and face potential lawsuits.

Improper Handling And Disposition Of Cremated Remains

About Disposition

There are specific rules and methods laid out for the disposition of cremated remains, ranging from placement in a columbarium to scattering at sea. All these methods have certain requirements.


Improper disposition, like scattering remains without a permit or not using an approved container, can lead to emotional distress for the family and potential legal action against the responsible facility or individual.

Issues With Special Circumstances

About Special Circumstances

Whether it’s a death occurring out of state or the country, or even the donation of a body for medical purposes, there are specific protocols and laws that must be followed.


Failure to adhere to these special circumstances, such as not embalming a body before interstate transport, can result in legal complications. It can also prolong the grieving process for families, preventing them from finding closure.

Seeking Assistance From Compassionate Personal Injury Lawyers

Choosing cremation for a loved one is a deeply personal decision that demands respect, trust, and adherence to the law. As highlighted above, when crematories or individuals involved in the process deviate from established procedures, the consequences can be profound both legally and emotionally. If you or someone you know suspects that a loved one may have fallen victim to improper cremation practices, it’s essential to seek legal counsel from a skilled personal injury lawyer to better ensure that your rights are protected and that you can find the closure and peace you deserve.

The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC is committed to helping you get the justice and compensation you deserve. With multiple offices in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our personal injury attorneys represent injured victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.