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Burial on Private Property

In Alaska, state laws and regulations are relatively silent on the matter of burying human remains on private property. However, many communities in the State of Alaska have local ordinances that address this issue. Contact your local or regional government office or a local funeral home or mortuary for information on the burial of human remains in your area. Note: The Municipality of Anchorage has local ordinances prohibiting the burial of human remains except in an approved cemetery.

State law requires a person who assumes custody of a dead body for final disposition to obtain a burial-transit permit. A burial-transit permit can obtained from the Bureau of Vital Statistics under the Alaska Division of Public Health. Their website also includes information on obtaining a death certificate. You can contact them at 907-465-3391 for more information. A funeral home may be able to apply for the burial-transit permit.

Private Property Burial Plot Recommendations

If burial on private property is allowed by local authorities in your area, these guidelines should be followed:

  • Burial should be a minimum of 3.5 to 4 feet below the ground surface
  • Burial in a casket or vault is not required
  • Grave sites should not be located on a slope or other area where erosion could eventually expose the body.
  • All grave sites should be a minimum of 200 feet from any stream, lake, or potable water supply
  • Grave sites should be recorded on the deed to the property

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