Contemplating post-life options is an essential part of any Colorado estate plan. While addressing these issues can elicit discomfort, establishing a solid and legally sound plan also provides peace and comfort to the planner and their loved ones. Individuals planning for the disposition and transfer of their assets must address their funeral and burial arrangements.
Generally, burials or cremation are the two leading options for the disposition of remains. In many situations, religion, family history, and finances are some of the foremost considerations in selecting one’s final resting place.
In many states, the only options are burial, cremation, and donation. However, Colorado is one of the first states to permit a third environmentally conscious option: human composting.
What is Human Composting?
Human composting, sometimes known as natural organic reduction, refers to the accelerated decomposition of human remains by organic processes. In essence, human composting converts the human body into soil with the intent of fertilizing the environment.
Like composting any other organic material, human composting requires similar items to convert human remains into the soil. Generally, the remains are placed into a vessel with wood chips, alfalfa, straw, and other organic materials. For about 30 days, the remains are pumped with oxygen to increase microbial activity and create healthy soil.
After this time, the remains will yield about a cubic yard of soil which is then distributed to the deceased’s family or conservation group.
Composting Human Remains in Colorado
As part of the “green burial” movement, Colorado became one of the first three states to legalize the practice of human composting via The Human Remains Natural Reduction Soil law. The law allows the state to regulate human composting and prohibits businesses from selling the soil to grow food for human consumption.
According to national news reports, the Natural Funeral, a Colorado funeral services provider, laid to rest the first legally composted human remains at the Colorado Burial. About six months, the remains of the first person in the state to choose natural organic reduction were placed in a chamber with organic matter. The family donated their loved one’s composted remains to the burial preserve.
The managing partner of the Natural Funeral explained that unlike other forms of disposition, body composting is a four-to-six-month process. Thus, currently, human composting in Colorado costs around $7,900.
Colorado Human Composting Estate Planning Attorney
If you or a loved one is considering establishing an estate plan in Colorado, it is important that you consult with an attorney to contemplate your options for your final remains. The attorneys at the Braverman Law Group provide excellent advice, counsel, and representation in various Colorado estate law matters. Our attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of the evolving nature of Colorado’s human composting laws. In addition to planning for the disposition of one’s remains in Colorado, our attorneys assist clients in establishing estate plans, asset protection matters, trust administration, and gun trusts. Contact the Colorado estate planning attorneys at the Braverman Law Group for a free consultation by calling 303-800-1588.