Laws & Regulations

Laws & Regulations

We are frequently asked questions regarding the legal regulations and requirements for disposition of a loved one. For your convenience we have gathered together and summarized those laws which apply in the state of Minnesota. If death or burial occurs outside of Minnesota, other laws may also apply.

In general, state laws pertaining to the preparation and disposition of the deceased are covered under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 149a.

The most commonly asked questions involve embalming, cremation, and cemetery requirements. If you have any questions regarding these or other laws, please feel free to contact us.


Except in certain cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements. The most common reason for embalming is public viewing.

Embalming is required by Minnesota Statute 149A.91, subdivision 3 in the following circumstances:

1. If the body will be transported by public transportation
2. If the final disposition will not be accomplished within 72 hours after death
3. If the body will be publicly viewed
4. If so ordered by the commissioner of health for the protection of the public health.


Cremation is covered under Minnesota Statute 149A.95.

Owatonna Crematory Policies
Owatonna Crematory has the statutory right to refuse the acceptance of the delivery of the body of the deceased for any lawful reason. It is further the policy of the crematory to refuse acceptance of the body of the deceased if there is a reasonable basis to believe that acceptance may place crematory personnel or equipment at risk of harm or damage. If acceptance of the body is refused, Owatonna Crematory will explain those reasons, in writing, and deliver the explanation to the funeral establishment in charge of the delivery of the body.

Due to the nature of the cremation process and the limitations of the crematory facilities, Owatonna Crematory will only schedule cremations with witnesses to begin between the hours of eight (8) A.M. and ten (10) A.M. Because of space limitations at the crematory only two (2) individuals will be allowed to witness the cremation. Those witnesses must have written permission from the individual signing the cremation authorization before they will be allowed into the viewing area. The time that witnesses are allowed to remain in the cremation area will be limited to ten (10) minutes after the body of the deceased has been placed in the cremation chamber and the cremation chamber is started. Witnesses shall comply with all written or unwritten crematory policies and procedures and must comply with the instructions of the crematory personnel while in the viewing area. Witnesses may be asked to leave the viewing area if crematory personnel reasonably believe that the behavior of the witness is inappropriate or poses a danger to crematory personnel, equipment, or the witnesses.

Owatonna Crematory will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate witnesses that have physical limitations. Due to building limitations, advance notice of special requirements is requested.

Owatonna Crematory will make all reasonable efforts to allow the opportunity for visitation by the family and friends of the deceased. The body of the deceased will be held for up to eighteen (18) hours after delivery of the body is accepted by Owatonna Crematory for purposes of private visitation. If the body of the deceased is held for more than eighteen (18) hours for purposes of viewing there will be an additional charge as outlined in the applicable price lists. If Owatonna Crematory is asked to hold the body of the deceased for purposes of visitation that makes it impossible to accomplish final disposition within the statutorily required seventy-two (72) hour period, the crematory will require that the body of the deceased be embalmed.

Owatonna Crematory reserves the right to limit the number of individuals that will be allowed to privately view the un-embalmed body of the deceased prior to cremation. Minnesota Statutes Chapter 149A.91, subdivision 3, subparagraph 3 requires that a body be embalmed if the body will be publicly viewed. If, in the sole discretion of Owatonna Crematory, the number of individuals requesting a private visitation is sufficient to constitute a public viewing, the crematory may require that the body of the deceased be embalmed or limit the number of individuals allowed to view the body. In deciding what constitutes a public viewing and whether to require embalming or institute a number limitation on visitation, the crematory will exercise all reasonable care and consider the specific circumstances of each cremation.


Cemetery and Vault Statutes
Cemeteries are also governed by Minnesota Statutes. However, cemeteries may have their own rules, policies and procedures that they establish according to how they feel is the best way to operate their cemetery.

If you have any questions regarding the requirements for a particular cemetery, please feel free to contact us.


Owatonna | (507) 451-7943
1930 Austin Road, Owatonna, MN

West Concord | (507) 527-2253
204 Eugene Street, West Concord, MN

Kenyon | (507) 789-6431
514 Third Street, Kenyon, MN

© Michaelson Funeral Home
Crafted with care by Frazer Consultants & TA

Privacy Policy & Terms of Use | Accessibility