~ (morpheus0013) wrote in little_details,

Required to view the body?

My Google-fu is coming up short again. Context is present-day United States, common practices.

Most of us have probably been the cliche' on some movie or television show wherein a survivor must view the body of a deceased person before the casket can be closed or sealed. Is this actually a legal requirement? I'm dealing with a character who was killed in a fire and is burned beyond recognition; the body has been identified by officials via dental records, but is it necessary for someone to "identify the body" before the casket is sealed for burial?

Searched for terms such as "family must view body before burial," "funeral home viewing," "family identify body," and dug through websites about funeral home practices. Mostly what I've come up with is a lot of news articles about identified dead, and the fact that the funeral home must let you see the body if you ask, but nothing about whether someone is required to peek in there before the funeral.

Bonus question: if there isn't going to be an open casket viewing, does a body have to be dressed in order to be buried? I can't imagine it's against the law to bury a naked body, but is it common practice to dress a body no one is going to see?
Tags: ~funerals

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