Michael Jackson's Casket

Wally Skalij-Pool/Getty Images

Why haven't they buried Michael Jackson yet? Legally, isn't there a time limit on how long you have to bury someone?
—Ra Leigh, via Twitter

To put it indelicately, no: The Jackson family can keep the late singer in a fridge indefinitely if they want, according to several state and local agencies I interviewed. Oh, heck, I'll just say it: Michael Jackson is just chillin', and it's all good with the law.

Even so, there are certain lines that even the mighty Jackson royal family cannot cross...

...for example, the body must be "stored properly" in a refrigerated environment or some other sanitary way, per state and local laws. If the body is cremated, state law requires a "durable" container; no commemorative tote bags for the ashes. In the pure interest of legal or scientific matters, I will tell you that sexual contact with the body is illegal. And if Jackson specified a certain type of body disposal—burial, cremation, cryopreservation—in his will, those wishes must be carried out, according to a state health and safety codes.

It took almost a month of legal wrangling before the feuding survivors of Anna Nicole Smith finally buried her in the Bahamas. And family squabbling over James Brown's remains delayed the interment of the singer's remains for more than 10 weeks. As for Michael Jackson, it's been a month since he died on June 25.

As for why M.J. isn't buried yet, family spokespeople won't say; they didn't immediately return a request for comment. But according to CNN reports citing Radar Online, the family still hasn't decided a permanent resting place for Jackson, and they may be awaiting the return of a portion of Jackson's brain before interring him.

Wherever they do bury Jackson, let's hope there's plenty of security. And that the Jackson family charges reasonable prices for tickets to the pilgrimage.

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See how the world said goodbye in our Mourning Michael Jackson gallery.

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