What Do You Do With the Body?
Although Morbid - These are Things We Might Want to Know (At some point) OR Maybe I've been Watching too much "Yellowstone"
Do You Need a Funeral Director in Montana?
In all states, it is legal to have your loved one's body at home after they die. Montana does not require you to involve a licensed funeral director in making or carrying out final arrangements. (See, for example, Montana Code § 50-15-403 (2019), which requires "the person in charge of disposition of the dead body" to file the death certificate.)
Must the Body Be Embalmed?
Embalming is almost never required. In Montana, a body must be embalmed or refrigerated only if:
- The body is transported in a vehicle like an airplane or train AND or EITHER
- (1) the body will be enroute for more than 8 hours, or
- (2) the final destination will take longer than 36 hours after the death
- The body will be transported in a private vehicle and cannot reach its destination within 48 hours after the death
And just in case you need a little more information; Refrigeration or dry ice can usually preserve a body for a short time. There are resources available to help you learn to prepare a body at home for burial or cremation. The National Home Funeral Alliance is a good place to start.
*If the person died of a contagious disease, you should consult a doctor.
Getting a Permit to Transport the Body
You'll need a "dead body removal authorization" form from a Doctor, a Coroner, a Physician's Designee or an Advanced Practical Nurse within 24 hours.
Who Has the Right to Make Funeral Arrangements in Montana?
Montana law determines who has the right to make final decisions about a person's body and funeral services.
This right and responsibility goes to the following people, in order: