Understanding your choices
A Sacred Moment’s two home funeral choices are designed to meet you where you are. We want to help you create the home funeral that is right for you, your family, friends, and community.
DIY (Family-Directed) Home Funeral- is a consultation service via phone or video call. It’s for a family member or friend who decides to act as licensed funeral director. (This is legal in the state of Washington, where you do not need to engage a funeral home at all if you prefer to act on your own behalf.) You are legally responsible for the paperwork, body care, and transport of your loved one to the place of final disposition. Our hands-on presence in the home is not desired or needed.
In choosing a DIY home funeral, you will be doing most of the tasks yourselves, such as obtaining dry ice, helping build or decorate the casket, organizing food, fielding phone calls, and creating meaningful goodbyes.
The DIY choice works best if plans are made in advance and the death occurs at home. (See below: A Word about Release/Transportation.)
We support families who make this choice, and highly recommend that you engage our consultanting services before attempting to navigate the system on your own. Getting the death certificate signed by the doctor and filed with the county, and obtaining the permits for transportation, take time and attention. Not many people today know that families have these legal rights, so it can be challenging at times. Don’t be daunted, though. It can be done!
Our consultations help your family have a good experience, and also help insure that family-directed home funerals will always be legally possible here in Washington state. Please don’t hesitate to ask how we can assist you.
A Word about Release/Transportation if you choose a DIY (Family-Directed) Home Funeral:
There are times when DIY families must call upon our licensed funeral services in order to accomplish a home funeral. For example, if your loved one dies on a weekend or holiday, in a hospital or other facility, it may be difficult for you to obtain a release and be able to transport the body home yourself. (Medical facilities are not used to families acting on their own behalf, and may refuse to release the body into their care. Also, filing/obtaining the necessary paperwork is not possible on the weekend or holidays.)
A Sacred Moment can help with the release of a body from a facility and with transportation to a home or vigil location, agreeing only to be legally responsible for the body during that very specific time. The family signs a waiver/release form that absolves ASM from any involvement or liability for the body once the deceased is home. This means the family remains the legal funeral director, still signs and files the death certificate, obtains the burial transit permit, and transports their loved one to the crematory or cemetery at the end of the home funeral vigil.
Our Basic Home Funeral– is for families and communities who wish to handle most, but not all, of the home funeral themselves. While participating in a majority of any/all tasks, they still want ASM to act as licensed funeral director. This means that ASM is legally responsible for the paperwork, and the care and transport of the body.
Keep in mind that you need support from family and friends to help with all aspects of the vigil. For example, people will be needed who can get the dry ice, create the vigil space, and help with meaningful goodbyes.
The A La Carte items listed with this option are tasks you can ask ASM to fulfill if there is a need that cannot be met by someone in your support system.