Paperwork for scattering cremated remains (ashes)

In California it is legal to scatter cremated remains by airplane over land locations as well as at sea. There are many requirements in California that one must navigate to do this. In this post we hope to help you understand how to navigate the paperwork for scattering cremated remains.

One of the requirements for scattering ashes is to obtain a Burial Permit reflecting where the scattering is going to take place. One of the calls I get most from Funeral Directors  is how to properly fill out the Burial Permit for scattering cremated remains. I understand that many funeral directors do not regularly work with Cremated Remains scattering companies especially ones that scatter over locations other than at sea. I hope to provide a little clarity.  Below are basics on how to fill out the paperwork.

At Sea

Scattering ashes at sea whether by boat or by airplane the paperwork is the same. Box 15A on the Burial Permit will be scatter at sea and the county. For example If it was an ash scattering at sea off of Santa Monica the paperwork should say “Scatter at Sea off the coast of Los Angeles Co.”. or if it is an ash scattering off of Huntington Beach it would say “Scatter at sea off the coast of Orange Co.”

A Land Location with an address

Scattering cremated remains by airplane over land requires you to have written permission from the land owner or governing agency to do the scattering over their property (HSC 7116). We work with many locations regularly including State Parks, National Parks and Private Property Owners. We can obtain these letters for you. Please visit our locations page for a list of locations we work with regularly. In order to get the Burial Permit you are required to present this written permission to the county Registrar with obtaining the Burial Permit. In box 15A you will need to state that the cremated remains will be scattered and the address of the location (HSC 103055).

A Land Location without an address

If the location does not have an address, or the location is within a larger location then it should reflect a description of the location sufficient to identify the place (HSC 103060). It has been my experience that a description of the area within the larger area and the county or coordinates and the county have worked well. For example. When we scatter over Zuma/ Trancas Canyon that is within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area we fill out box 15 A saying “Scatter over Santa Monica Mountains Zuma/ Trancas Canyon- Los Angeles Co.” We also sometimes use coordinates as a description. For example, when we scatter over a location in the Santa Ana Mountains.  We fill out box 15A this way: “Scatter in the Santa Ana Mts. Orange County N33 42″ by W117 35”.

After the Scattering

After the scattering the person disposing of the cremated remains is required to, within 10 days, send a signed completed copy of the Burial Permit to the county of Disposition and  to the county of issuance (HSC103060). A copy of the completed Burial Permit must also be returned to the person with the right to control disposition within 30 days (BPC 9744). As a Licensed Cremated Remains Disposer in California we file all of this paperwork. If we are contracted through a mortuary, we also supply them a copy of the completed Burial Permit.

The other paperwork that is required for a scattering is written permission from the person with the right to control disposition (BPC 9743). We use our Authorization to Scatter Form for this purpose.  Please contact us if you would like a copy of this Authorization to Scatter Form.

We hope this post helps unravel mystery of the paperwork that is required for scattering cremated remains in California. Please contact us if you have any questions. (800)407-6401.





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