I believe that the home funeral, and caring for your own loved one after death, can be a beautiful, healing, and therapeutic experience. Home funerals can also provide a sense of community and comfort that you may not feel at the local funeral home. I personally try to be a funeral director that will do everything possible to assist any family with whatever wishes they want to carry out. If you want to have a home funeral, or assist with the care of your loved one, I will do everything I possibly can to accommodate your wishes.
As far as I am aware, there is no law in Arkansas that requires you to hire the services of a funeral director or use a local funeral home to prepare the body of your loved one. It is true that embalming is not required by law in Arkansas
. You can also build or design your own casket, in fact, there is no law that requires you to purchase a casket or vault to bury a loved one. There is no law in Arkansas that says you can't bathe, dress, shroud or casket your loved one. There is no law that I am aware of that requires you to hire a funeral director to transport your loved one from the place of death to the cemetery. It is true, you do not have to hire a funeral director to do many of these things. You can do a home funeral on your own.
You can also designate private property in Arkansas as a private family cemetery. To do this, you should contact your local health department. They will provide all the rules and regulations as well as the steps you need to take to establish a private cemetery in Arkansas.
Recently, I had a discussion with our local funeral board about home funerals in Arkansas, and if they were legal or not. The legal counsel for the Arkansas State Board of funeral service informed me that as long as a person is not holding themselves out to the public they can care for their own dead family members in Arkansas without hiring a funeral director to help them.
However, many families wishing to do a home funeral in Arkansas still need a funeral director to do some things that they don't know how to do or does not have the equipment to do, and this is where things can get a little confusing for those wanting to have a home funeral in Arkansas. While there are currently no laws that I am aware of in Arkansas mandating how you personally care for your loved one in your own home, when you hire a funeral director, there are Arkansas laws and mandates that the funeral director must follow. I will share one with you here, but you can read all of the rules in their entirety at the Arkansas Funeral Service Board website