This thirty-second edition of state-by-state guides to storing and scattering ashes focuses on Kentucky. This beautiful state is home to rolling green hills of horse country, spectacular mountains, lush forests, thriving cities, and charming small towns.
Funeral directors in Kentucky and surrounding states receive frequent questions about scattering the ashes of a loved one or pet. This includes whether or not it’s allowed, where in Kentucky they can be scattered, and what urn or other container is recommended to scatter. In this state guide we provide useful information to help answer these questions and many others.
Rules Related to Scattering Ashes in Kentucky
Kentucky law states that cremated remains may be disposed of by:
- Placing them in a grave, crypt, or niche
- Scattering them in a designated scattering area, or
- Scattering them in any manner on the private property of a consenting owner
Also, according to state law, after the ashes are in your possession you are allowed to keep or transport them in any way you like without a permit. The cremation process makes it so human and pet ashes are harmless and don’t present any health risks.
Where to Scatter Ashes in Kentucky?
Many families choose to scatter the ashes of a loved one at a special place to them or their family, or another location outdoors. Also, scattering ceremonies are becoming more and more common. A ceremony can be held before, during, or after the scattering of the ashes takes place. It can be a great time to gather family and friends and honor a loved one who passed.
Kentucky is home to some stunning landscapes, providing many beautiful places to scatter. Below we provide information on some of the most common places families scatter ashes in Kentucky.
- Private Property – state law in Kentucky permits you to scatter ashes on your own property, or the private property of owned by others with their consent.
- Scattering Gardens – with the growing number of people in Kentucky choosing cremation over burial, many churches and cemeteries in the state are designating special areas on their property where families can scatter a loved one’s ashes. If this is something of interest to your and your family, a quick internet search can typically find one or more locations in your area.
- National Parks – Kentucky is home to 5 beautiful National Parks that attract nearly 2 million visitors each year. National Parks are common places where families prefer to scatter a loved one’s ashes. As each National Park has its own set of rules and regulations related to scattering ashes, it’s important to reach out to the park ranger’s office where you prefer to scatter to find out if it’s allowed and any rules and regulations that exist.
- Water Burial – with the surge in families choosing cremation nationwide, many also are electing to have a water burial with their loved one’s ashes. If this is something of interest to you it’s important to remember that federal law requires that ashes are scattered in water at least 3 nautical miles from shore and the scattering in water will need to be reported to the EPA within 30 days of it occurring.
- Aerial Scattering – in Kentucky, and most other states, there are currently no laws that restrict scattering ashes from an airplane. If this is of interest to you, just make sure whoever does the scattering from a plane holds on to the urn, as federal aviation law prohibits dropping anything from the sky that can potentially cause harm to people or property.
How to Scatter Ashes?
With the significant increase in the amount of people in Kentucky and many other states choosing cremation and having their ashes scattered, a number of new cremation urns have recently been brought to market that are specifically designed to scatter.
Below we highlight some of the more common cremation urns used to scatter ashes in Kentucky.
Eco Scattering Urn
The patented Eco Scattering Urn is uniquely constructed from bamboo, one of the strongest building materials on earth! The bamboo makes for a beautiful finish on the urn and is also easy to be engraved with your loved one’s name, a saying, image, or other information. One of the main advantages of the Eco Scattering Urn is that it comes with a special locking mechanism, which helps secure the ashes in the urn during transport (so they don’t spill out) and also helps people scatter with control and ease. This unique urn is a long, cylinder shape which helps people scatter ashes away from their body. The Eco Scattering Urn comes in four sizes and starts at $49. In addition, it is TSA compliant and can be taken on an airplane with you.
Paper Scattering Urns
Paper scattering urns are a lower cost option to other urns on the market and can usually be found with a nature scene or other design printed on the outside. Like the Eco Scattering Urn, these have a long, tube-like shape to help people scatter away from their body. While inexpensive, the paper scattering urns do come with a few drawbacks - it’s not advised to use them during a weather event as it could effect the integrity of the urn and there is an extra step of gluing part of it together while loading the ashes.
With the connection many people have with the water, water burials are becoming more and more common throughout the country. The Eco Water Urn is one of the leading urns available that’s designed for water burials. This unique biodegradable urn is made from recycled plant materials with only heat and pressure (no glues or chemicals). It floats upright in the water (similar to a buoy) for up to a few minutes when the bottom breaks open and the ashes are gracefully spread in the water. The Eco Water Urn comes packaged in an attractive bamboo casing, a perfect cover to protect the urn holding you loved one’s ashes while it’s being transported to that special place on the water to scatter.
With the growth in the number of people in Kentucky and many other states choosing to be cremated instead of buried (mainly due to a much lower cremation cost and that many families are less traditional than they once were), many new and uplifting options for memorials have recently become available. With so many ways to honor a loved one, many families are finding it to be a challenge to choose a single memorial, and instead decide to divide up their loved one’s ashes into multiple memorials. This can include separating out their ashes into some of the following common memorial options:
- Scattering at a special meaningful place (or places)
- Placing in a Living Urn to do a tree burial and grow a beautiful living memorial
- Infusing into a glass decorative piece that provides an array of color
- Including in a beautiful stone or other jewelry; or
- Keeping in an urn at home, among many other options