2020 State Guide to Scattering Ashes - Indiana Edition

This twenty-eighth edition of state-by-state guides related to scattering ashes is focused on the state of Indiana. This unique state is home to stunning waterfalls, impressive caves, thriving communities, and beautiful countryside landscapes.

A majority of people who pass in Indiana and throughout the country continue to choose cremation over burial (mainly due to a lower cremation cost among a number of other reasons). In addition, many people who are choosing to be cremated in Indiana are also electing to have their ashes scattered at a special meaningful location, or another beautiful place outdoors.

With the large and growing amount of people in Indiana interested in having their ashes scattered, funeral directors and cremation service providers in the state receive a number of questions about scattering each day. This includes if scattering is allowed, where in Indiana they can scatter, and what type of urn is recommended to scatter ashes, among many other questions. In this Indiana state guide, we provide answers to these questions and a lot of additional useful information related to scattering ashes in the state.

Regulations in Indiana for Scattering Ashes

scattering ashes Indiana

In Indiana, state law stipulates that cremated ashes may be kept by the person who is legally entitled to them or disposed by: 1) placing them in a grave, crypt, or niche; 2) scattering them in a scattering area, such as a designated scattering garden in a cemetery; or 3) scattering them on the property of a consenting owner, on uninhabited public land, or on a waterway. In addition, Indiana code requires that within 10 days of a placement or scattering, a form that documents the disposition of ashes needs to be filed with the local county recorder.

In addition to the Indiana state laws related to scattering ashes, it’s also important to use common sense when scattering and avoid scattering in crowded areas.

Where Can You Scatter Ashes in Indiana?

There are many beautiful places in the state of Indiana where a loved one or pet’s ashes can be scattered. Through cremation, the resulting ashes are harmless and pose no health risks.

Below we describe some of the most common places where people scatter in Indiana.

  • Scattering Gardens – With the increase in the amount of people in Indiana being cremated, many churches and cemeteries throughout the state are opening up scattering gardens. These are areas on their property identified as places where families can scatter ashes. With a quick internet search, you can most likely find one or more scattering gardens in your area.
  • Private Property – Indiana state law allows people to scatter ashes on the private property of a consenting owner. This can be private property you own (a yard, parcel of land, etc.) or property that’s owned by another person with their permission.
  • Public Land – Indiana state law permits you to scatter ashes on uninhabited public land. Therefore, if you’re interested in scattering on public land, it’s a good idea to check local zoning to make sure it’s considered ‘uninhabited’. It’s also recommended to check with your city or county offices to find out if any local regulations related to scattering ashes exist where you plan on scattering.
  • National Parks – Indiana is home to three amazing National Parks, which attract over 2 million visitors each year. National Parks provide some of the most stunning views in the country and are places where people commonly prefer to scatter ashes. Since every National Park has their own rules and regulations related to scattering, be sure to check with the park ranger’s office where you may be interested in scattering to find out if scattering is allowed there and what rules and regulations may be in place.
  • Water Burial – Water burials continue to be more and more popular throughout the country. If a water burial is of interest to you or your family, be sure to keep in mind that U.S. federal law requires that a water burial, or scattering at sea, is done at least 3 nautical miles from shore. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency needs to be notified within 30 days of a water burial being done.
  • From an Airplane – Similar to most other states, there are no state restrictions in Indiana related to scattering ashes of a loved one from the sky. Just remember that the person doing this needs to hold on to the urn used to scatter – U.S. federal aviation laws prohibit dropping any objects from the sky that could potentially harm property or people.

How to Scatter Ashes in Indiana?

Scattering cremated ashes is becoming more and more common in Indiana and many other states. In line with this growing trend, a number of urns have recently been introduced that are designed to scatter. Many of these ‘scattering urns’ are shaped like a tube or long cylinder, which can help people scatter the ashes away from their body.

Below we highlight some of the leading scattering urns offered by funeral homes in Indiana.

Eco Scattering Urn

The biodegradable Eco Scattering Urn is constructed from bamboo, a fast-growing natural resource. This patented all-natural urn includes a unique locking mechanism, which helps secure the ashes in the urn during transport (and avoid having them spill out) and also gives people the ability to scatter with ease and control. This Eco Scattering Urn comes in four sizes and is offered at affordable prices.

Scattering Urns Made from Paper

Scattering urns manufactured from paper are offered to families at many funeral homes throughout Indiana. These typically have a nature scene or other image printed on the outside, and are less expensive than other urn options. Also, it’s important to note that the paper scattering urns do come with a few drawbacks. This includes that they can break down if used during a weather event and they require an extra step of gluing part of the urn together after loading it with ashes.

Eco Water Urn

If you’re interested in doing a water burial with the ashes of a loved one, there are many urn options now available. The Eco Water Urn, in particular, is a leading new urn option that’s designed for water burials. This patent pending biodegradable urn floats on the water (like a buoy), and after a few minutes the bottom will break open and gracefully free the ashes into the water. This special urn is packaged in an attractive protective case made from bamboo. This case is typically used by families to securely transport the urn containing the ashes of a loved one to a special place on the water to scatter.

More Than One Memorial?

With the significant increase in the number of people choosing cremation in Indiana and other nearby states, many new urns and memorials have recently been introduced. With so many uplifting choices, many families are finding it challenging to select a single urn or memorial and are electing to separate their loved one’s ashes into two or more memorials. This commonly includes scattering a portion of their loved one’s ashes at a special place, then incorporating some or all of the remaining ashes in a bio urn to grow a living tree memorial, or including a portion of the ashes in a special colorful glass decoration, jewelry, a stone, or in a number of other memorial options.

Additional Information About Cremation and Ashes

If you're interested in learning more about cremation and the cost breakdown of what products or services can be included, click here.