guide for Connecticut aims to provide you with the basic information to
arrange a funeral or cremation in Connecticut. We have outlined the
key details and state laws you need to be aware of when making funeral
plans. The Federal Trade Commission’s ‘funeral rule’ is superceded
by local state legislation and licensing in certain states, which is why
we have put together this guide to purchasing funeral services and products
in Connecticut. All funeral homes in Connecticut must be licensed
by the Connecticut Department of Public Health State Board of Examiners
of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
just go the local funeral home
they know of, or were referred to. However, if you have specific
needs that must be met you may need to find a funeral home that can match
these needs. For example, do you have a restrictive budget for funeral
expenses, or are you looking for something customized? It can certainly
be helpful to outline what your key priorities are before contacting any
funeral homes. It can also be a good idea to contact more than one
funeral company to compare services and prices, as these can vary considerably,
even in the same area.
How do you choose which funeral
home or cremation provider is right for your needs?
Making funeral arrangements
can be extremely daunting, especially as most people are thrust into doing
this at the time of need, and whilst emotionally distressed. There
are many decisions to be made, and if you have never arranged a funeral
before, it can be overwhelming.
This is why it can be especially
important to find the ‘right’ funeral home to provide funeral services
for you. This means a funeral company who can best provide for what
your specific requirements are. Many people opt to
How do I find a funeral home
or cremation provider in Connecticut?
You can use our funeral home
directory that lists all funeral homes in Connecticut. Click on the
left hand navigation link for ‘Funeral Homes’. All funeral homes
are organized by city in zip code order, making it easy to find and review
funeral homes in your area. Alternatively, you can use the short
cut links to the main cities on the right hand.
Do you want a burial or cremation?
This is probably the first,
and key, decision you need to make. Although burial has long been
the traditional funeral choice for many years in Connecticut, the cremation
rate is increasing and is now around 40% of all dispositions. Whether
to choose burial or cremation should be an entirely personal choice.
A burial usually works out more expensive than a cremation, which is why
more people are shifting towards cremation as a preferred choice.
In Connecticut you can if
you wish, name an ‘agent’ who can assume responsibility for a disposition,
if you want someone other than the next-of-kin to make funeral arrangements.
Connecticut state law also requires that there be a 48-hour waiting period
before a cremation can be performed.
Can I arrange a ‘home funeral’
or green burial in Connecticut?
Connecticut is one of only 8
states where you MUST employ the services of funeral director by law.
This means that even if you choose to conduct home death care and your
own immediate or green burial, you will need to employ a funeral director
to file the necessary permits on your behalf. This does mean that
you can still carry out a home funeral if you wish, but you will need the
basic services of a funeral home. In such cases the funeral director
will charge a basic fee and may wish to oversee the actual disposition
to ensure it is performed accordingly, as it is his name on the burial
or cremation permit.
If you wish to conduct a
home funeral, you can read in more detail about home death care in our
resources at the bottom of this page. There are several organizations
that offer guidance and support to assist families take care of their own
dead. It is possible to bury the deceased on your own land – see
our later section on burial and cemetery plot requirements.
What is the cost of a funeral
or cremation in Connecticut?
In a 1997 funeral home investigation
by the Attorney General and the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group,
the average cost of a funeral in Connecticut was recorded as $6,000.
Today it is likely to be significantly higher than this, the National Funeral
Directors Association (NFDA 2012) puts the average cost of a funeral in
the U.S. at $7,755, and this does not include the cemetery plot costs.
From our research average costs seem to be higher in Connecticut than some
other states. The best price we could locate for a complete direct
cremation in Connecticut was $1248.00. The average price for a direct
cremation can be nearer $2,200.
If you are concerned about
the cost of funeral expenses and are looking for a simple, low cost cremation,
we would recommend you contact the DFS Memorials member for Connecticut.
All State Cremation and Funeral Care serve the whole state of Connecticut
and offer a complete direct cremation for $1,248.00. Scott can be
reached 24/7 to offer immediate assistance on (203) 864-6010.
The Funeral Consumers Alliance
of Connecticut (FCA of CT) offers funeral price surveys to their members.
Membership costs $35 for an individual or $50 for a family. Contact
P.O. Box 34, Bridgewater, CT 06752 Phone (860) 355-4197 for more information.
Also, remember that all funeral
homes MUST provide you with prices when you make an inquiry, even over
the phone, and you do not have to disclose any personal information.
If a funeral home is being evasive about disclosing basic prices over the
phone, this should be a warning sign. Read our resource about the
Federal Trade Commission ‘Funeral Rule’ and how it affects you when making
DFS Memorials - low cost
cremation providers for Connecticut
Connecticut Statewide (203) 864-6010
- Direct Cremations $1248.00
Sending funeral flowers in Connecticut
If you wish to send flowers
to a funeral in Connecticut, US Funerals Online has teamed up with BloomsToday
to offer our visitors the opportunity to save 25% on sending funeral flowers.
Click the link for funeral flowers on the left hand side to order inexpensive
funeral flowers in Connecticut.
Is embalming required in Connecticut?
There is no state law that requires
embalming in Connecticut. Connecticut Public Health Code requires
embalming if there is a contagious disease. Refrigeration is usually
an adequate preservative method of storage of remains, especially if the
disposition is conducted in a timely manner. Some funeral homes do
employ policies that may require embalming in their establishment if an
open casket viewing or service is to be conducted, or if the body is to
be held on their premises for over 48 hours. If the deceased is to
be transported by air, embalming will be required. As there is no
law that requires embalming, do not feel pressurized to have your loved
one embalmed if you do not wish to. Ensure you choose a funeral or
cremation provider with suitable refrigerated storage who can conduct a
cremation or burial as soon as possible.
more popular choice today with
those who opt for a green or natural burial.
What are my options for purchasing
a casket or alternative container?
The Federal Trade Commission’s
(FTC) ‘Funeral Rule’ means that you have the right to purchase a casket
from elsewhere than your funeral home. You can purchase a discounted
casket from a third-party retailer and your funeral home must accept your
casket and cannot charge you a handling charge. You should also note
that a casket is NOT required by Connecticut law for a burial, and all
that IS required for a cremation is a “rigid, combustible container”.
You can, of course, also make your own casket or coffin, and this is becoming
What are burial and cemetery
plot requirements in Connecticut?
There is no law in Connecticut
that specifically prohibits or permits a burial on your own land.
If you wish to bury on your own land, you should check local ordnance and
zoning laws with your county. A burial site must be at least 350
feet from any residence, half a mile from any reservoir or 600 feet from
any ice pond. The casket or coffin must be buried with at least two
and a half feet of earth on top. It is advisable to map out the location
of the burial site for approval by the local Health Department and lodged
with the deeds of the property.
If you opt for a burial plot
in a designated commercial, community or religious cemetery, you do need
to carefully consider the cemetery regulations before purchasing a plot.
Cemeteries have quite strict ‘rules’ about how they are operated, and costs
attached to the services they provide. Do check the fees you will
incur for opening and closing a plot, what rules there are for the erection
of a grave marker and what kind of perpetual care is covered. Although
Connecticut law does not require burial vaults, many cemeteries insist
on a burial liner for a plot. This is largely to help maintain the
integrity of the ground but can mean another significant additional expense.
Can I preplan a funeral or cremation?
How does Connecticut state law govern preneed plans?
Yes, you can preplan a funeral
or cremation in Connecticut; this is commonly referred to as a “preneed
contract”. Only a licensed embalmer or funeral director can sell
preneed funeral plans in Connecticut. These funeral plans are funded
through an Escrow account. These days more people are skeptical about
prepaying for a funeral plan due to the reports of mis-use or embezzlement
Another alternative is to
ascertain the costs for the funeral services you desire and then put aside
the appropriate funds in a payable-on-death (POD) account. The beneficiary
of this account can access the funds immediately in the event of death
without having to go through probate. This can be a safe way to preplan
and save surviving family the distress of decision-making and the financial
burden of meeting funeral expenses at the time of need.
although in general state parks
will only allow scattering away from public use areas, and do not allow
any kind of memorial marker. The scattering of ashes is still a somewhat
‘un-policed’ thing, and you just need to ensure you do so sensibly.
Our ‘Ash Scattering’ section provides guidance on how to scatter cremated
What are the laws for scattering
ashes in Connecticut?
With the cremation rate increasing,
the scattering of cremated remains is becoming a more popular activity.
Many people are unsure about what the laws are that govern the scattering
of ashes in Connecticut. You can scatter ashes on private land with
the consent of the landowner. You can scatter in rural uninhabited
public lands so long as you observe certain commonsense guidelines, such
as scattering at least 100 yards from any trail, body of water or developed
facility. There are no specific policies or permits required to scatter
cremated remains in the state parks of Connecticut,
If you wish to scatter ashes
off the coast of Connecticut, you need to be aware of Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) guidelines that stipulate that a sea burial must be 3 nautical
miles off the coast. Connecticut is in Region 1 of the EPA.
EPA New England
Customer Call Center
New England States:
Phone: (888) 372-7341
A sea scattering can be
conducted either attended or unattended.
towards the costs for a cremation
or burial if the deceased was a SAGA recipient or an indigent person at
the time of death. An application for assistance must be made within
one year of the date of the death and can be made by the family, the person
who made the funeral arrangements or the funeral director.
What help is available with
funeral expenses in Connecticut?
Burial assistance varies considerably
by state and county. Firstly, there is a $255 lump sum death benefit
payable from SSA for those that do qualify. The costs for even a
basic cremation are higher than average in Connecticut, but State Administered
General Assistance (SAGA) is available from the Connecticut Dept. of Social
Services (DSS) who will pay up to $1,800 (less any assets in the deceased’s
If you are in receipt of
Medicaid, it can be an option to put money into a funeral plan as up to
up to $5,400.00 in an irrevocable funeral contract can be excluded from
a Medicaid means-tested assessment.
If the deceased was a veteran
or the dependent of a veteran, there are certain benefits available.
These are namely a free cemetery plot, marker and flag. There is
no VA cemetery in Connecticut but there are state-run veteran cemeteries
at Middletown and Rocky Hill. To find out more about VA benefits
contact your nearest VA office.
Are whole body donations permitted
Yes, you can donate your body
to science if you so wish in Connecticut. The institutions listed below
have anatomical donation programs, although do be aware that there can
be restrictions on donations, and you should check with the institution
US Funerals Online is affiliated
with Medcure.org, who operate a nationwide
body donation program, with free transportation of the deceased and the
return of the cremated remains within 3 – 4 weeks.
The University of Connecticut
School of Medicine
Yale School of Medicine
What do you do if your loved
one dies away from Connecticut?
As we become a more transient
and mobile society, we are experiencing more deaths away from home.
If your loved one died away from Connecticut you will need to decide fairly
quickly if you wish to have the remains transported back home, or have
a cremation conducted at the place of death. Funeral shipping can
add a significant cost to the overall funeral costs. To learn more
about transporting a body visit our Funeral Shipping section.
Where do I get a copy of a death
certificate from in Connecticut?
According to statures (CT law
C.G.S.§ 7-51a) established in July 1997 “only the Funeral Director,
the surviving spouse, next of kin or federal or state agencies authorized
by federal law may receive a copy of a death certificate with the decedent’s
Social Security number or the complete “administrative purposes” section
included on the certificate.” Any other requester of a death certificate
will receive a copy without the deceased’s social security number.
A certified copy of a death certificate in Connecticut costs $20.00.
A copy can be ordered from the State Vital Records in the town where the
death occurred in person or by mail. Alternatively the VitalChek
online system can be used to request a copy.
In 2011 a law (C.G.S. §7-74
(c)) was made effective that provides for a one-time fee waiver for family
of a veteran requesting a copy of a death certificate.
What should you do if you have
a complaint about funeral services or products you have purchased?
If you have a complaint or grievance
against a licensed funeral establishment in Connecticut you should attempt
to resolve it directly with the funeral director in the first instance.
If you cannot do this you can make a formal complaint to the state board.
State Board of Examiners
of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
You can, in fact, check the
license of a funeral home in Connecticut online at the Department of Public
Health, and even check on the history of previous disciplinary action against
410 Capitol Avenue
P. O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.
Way of Connecticut Community e-library
Last Revised 10/30/2013
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