What Are The Do’s and Don’ts When Scattering Cremated Remains?

June 6, 2023 8:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Hands,Touching,A,Burial,Urn,In,A,Bright,Outdoor,FuneralWhat Are The Do’s and Don’ts When Scattering Cremated Remains?

When a loved one passes away, it’s common for their remains to be cremated, and their ashes are scattered. Scattering cremated remains is a personal and meaningful way to honor the deceased. However, there are specific do’s and don’ts to consider when scattering ashes. In this blog post, we will explore some of the do’s and don’ts of scattering cremated remains to ensure that the act is meaningful, respectful, and legal.

The Do’s of Scattering Cremated Remains:

1. Obtain Permission and Choose a Legal Location:

Before scattering cremated remains, it’s essential to secure permission from the landowner or governing entity where you plan to scatter. Scattering ashes in public or private properties without permission is illegal, and you could face legal action. To avoid this, research the location’s legal requirements beforehand. Choose a location that is meaningful to the loved one and their family while being aware of any laws or regulations.

2. Use Biodegradable Containers:

When scattering ashes, consider using biodegradable containers or bags that are designed for this purpose. Using biodegradable containers ensures that the container easily breaks down, allowing the ashes to scatter naturally. This results in no negative environmental impact.

3. Notify Close Family Members:

Notify close family members and friends of the scattering plans. They may wish to join in the ceremony or pay their respects in their way. This allows all the family members to partake in the mourning process as they see fit.

4. Choose the Right Time and Weather:

Select the appropriate time and weather conditions when scattering ashes. It’s ideal to avoid wind or unfavorable weather conditions that can make the scattering process difficult. Consider the time of day and sunset sensation if there is any. The timing should match the comfort levels of the family members and friends present.

5. Consider a Ceremony:

For many, scattering ashes is a highly personal and spiritual activity, one tinged with deep meaning. A meaningful way to facilitate such an event is to plan a ceremony. This may include speeches, remembrances, and prayers. It gives the family and friends a chance to come together to celebrate the life of their loved one, comfort each other, and provide closure.

The Don’ts of Scattering Cremated Remains:

1. Don’t Commit Trespass:

Scattering cremated remains without permission is an act of trespassing. It can lead to legal repercussions, hefty fines, and even jail time. Before scattering ashes, secure permission, respect privacy, and obey all the laws and regulations related to it.

2. Don’t Scatter Cremated Remains in Public Places:

Scattering ashes in public spaces such as parks, beaches, or rivers can be considered illegal or against the policies on the use of public amenities. It’s essential to research the regulations about scattering ashes in public places.

3. Don’t Scatter All The Ash:

It can be tempting to scatter the entire ashbox contents in one go; however, it’s not always the best option. Some family members or friends may want to keep some of the ashes to place in a memorial or keepsake. Scattering some of the ashes elsewhere, such as another location special to the individual, can also be significant.

4. Don’t Scattering Ashes in Waterways:

Scattering cremated remains in water may seem like a natural choice since it is seen as returning the loved one’s remains to nature. However, scattering ashes in waterways is cruel and detrimental to marine life. The ash content can cause unnecessary harm or pollution to the waterway, which is a disrespect to the loved one and the environment.

5. Don’t Scattering Ashes in High-Wind Areas:

Scattering ashes in high-wind areas can scatter the ashes in unwanted locations, harming people or animals. Choosing a calm and more sheltered area will allow the ashes to scatter in the chosen area without unwanted consequences.


Scattering cremated remains is a deeply personal and meaningful way of honoring the deceased and providing a sense of closure for the loved ones left behind. The guidelines above offer some do’s and don’ts to ensure that the scattering process is respectful, legal and safe.

It’s crucial to obtain permission, choose an appropriate location, time, and weather conditions, and consider holding a ceremony. Using biodegradable containers or bags for scattering ashes ensure no negative environmental impact. Avoid scattering ashes in public places or waterways and do not commit trespassing. Consider keeping some of the ashes or scattering them somewhere else depending on the wishes of family or friends. Lastly, not scattering ashes in high-wind areas is a wise choice to avoid harming people or animals. If you are planning to scatter cremated remains, ensure to observe the do’s and don’ts to make the process meaningful and respectful.

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