Death, dying and the funeral has changed as society has transformed due to the impacts of industrialization and modernity. The dominant discourse in Western views of death is that it is taboo and society denies death exists. The challenge to this view is the assumption that the United States is not homogenous in its people and culture where only one approach is used to examine society's perspective on death and dying. This paper investigates the traditional Lao-Cambodian funeral practices and the social forces that have caused the Lao-Cambodian funeral practice to change since the population has arrived in America. This paper will describe the funeral ceremonies and practices that occur at the time of death, and examine the economic and social implications of these practices for the community and family. The article examines how and why the funeral practices of immigrant Lao-Cambodians in Southern California have changed. As context, I also examine other groups that have assimilated their funeral practices after immigrating to a new country. I argue that ethnic groups adapt their funeral practices in the new society out of necessity given the social forces that they face in their new home. These structural forces are legal constraints, economic and logistical barriers, influences from Western funeral practices, and change in geographic location. Economic status, level of assimilation, social standing in the Lao community, religion, moral obligation to the deceased, and beliefs in the funeral practices will also influence how one performs contemporary Lao-Cambodian funeral customs. Immigrants adopt American policies and services when they are beneficial to their people and when they are required to or think they are. Through participant observation and in depth interviews, this ethnographic study will explore how the Lao deal and view death and their reasons for funeral adaptation. On a larger scale, this study will contribute to literature on assimilation, Southeast Asians and Southeast Asian funeral practices.