While losing a loved one is arguably one of the hardest things you'll ever have to go through, spreading their ashes can be cathartic and is often a gesture that honors a special's person's life. But could doing so be breaking the law? Does Michigan have any special restrictions when it comes to spreading a loved one's ashes?

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Cremation Now Surpasses Burial in Michigan

The rate at which families are choosing cremation for loved ones has been steadily increasing over the years. In Michigan, the number of cremations now tops burials with 65% of 'dispositions' being cremations, up from 47% in 2010.

Michigan's percentages are slightly higher than the national average, which puts cremation at about 60%. The National Funeral Directors Association predicts that that percentage will reach 80% by 2035.

SEE ALSO:  Is it Legal to Bury a Pet in Your Yard in Michigan?

Side Note:  Michigan is just one of five states that makes it illegal for funeral homes to own a crematory. Cremation services must be performed by an outside company.

Spreading a Loved One's Ashes in Michigan

Personally, I'm going to insist that my children divide my ashes and store them in ugly urns that must be prominently displayed in their homes for the rest of their lives, just so I can be a burden to them. I'm kidding. Or am I?

But if your loved one would like to have his or her ashes spread in a special place, there are a few things to consider.

In Michigan, there are no state laws that dictate where you store or scatter ashes. The legal website NOLO advises that you are free to scatter a loved one's ashes on your own private property as you wish. You should obtain permission from the landowner before spreading ashes on someone else's private property.

As for publicly-owned land, you may want to check city and county regulations. However, NOLO suggests that most people usually let their own judgment be their guide, spreading ashes on public property as they wish.

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