The resources below are an ever-growing compilation based on our own personal research. Please note that we are not receiving any kind of compensation for mentioning these organizations, companies or products- we just appreciate the work they're doing!

California Regulations

  • The California Cemetery & Funeral Bureau is the licensing and regulatory agency for all funeral establishments, funeral directors, and embalmers in the State of California.
  • California law requires funeral service providers to secure and file a certificate with the health department. Certified copies of the death certificate are issued by the registrar.
  • Generally, local ordinances or deed restrictions prohibit private burials within city limits. Check with the State Health Department and local zoning authorities for applicable laws.
  • Embalming is not required by California law, but most common carriers will require a body to be embalmed prior to shipping, and funeral homes must embalm or refrigerate within 24 hours by regulation.
  • Burial caskets are not required by California law, but there may be cemetery or mausoleum restrictions regarding caskets and outer burial containers or vaults.
  • There are also regulations around burials at sea. Please see the EPA Guidelines for Sea Burial
  • Cremation caskets are not required by California law, but some type of container such as a cardboard box or canvas pouch is usually required by crematories. Please see the Funeral Consumers Alliance FAQs about cremation.
  • The California Cemetary and Funeral Bureau consumer guide to funeral and cemetery purchases has a detailed summary of regulatory details and price list requirements for funerary services.

San Francisco & Bay Area Resources


Bay Area End of Life Doula Resources:


SF Bay Area Green Burial Businesses:


SF Bay Area Funeral Organizations:


SF Bay Area Hospice Organizations:


The Willed Body Program at UCSF