Do I have to use a vault?
There is no NY State law that requires the use of a burial vault. However, most cemeteries require the casket to be placed in a protective outer container suitable to keep the above it from sinking on it. Years ago graves were dug by hand. Today heavy earth moving equipment is used. That equipment may travel on top of many graves to reach the specific location. Vaults and Concrete grave liners provide adequate strength to keep the earth from sinking. Earth burial is often the selected by those who choose the cremation process. As is the case with a casket, the urn or urn vault is buried on the family grave site.
Is embalming required by law?
In New York State Embalming, in nearly all situations, is not required by law. As is the case in most states, however, embalming is required when a reportable contagious disease caused the death or when the remains will to transported from one state to another by common carrier.
Embalming sanitizes and provides temporary preservation of the body, decelerates the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness.
Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most meaningful to them.