2011-04-18 “Cemeteries”

This week I will continue to talk about Cemeteries.  As I write this, I remember that the Cemetery Fees set by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent have increased today, April 16th .  The cost of a single grave (including the care and maintenance charge) will increase by 2.7% to 1418.87 plus H.S.T. and the charge for opening a grave for a casket now costs $1028.23 plus H.S.T.   So for all of you who pre-paid your funeral costs including the cemetery costs last week…good for you! 

A couple of weeks ago the information I talked about was regarding the Cemeteries that are managed by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.  There are a number of other cemeteries in our area that are not run by the municipality.  Many of those cemeteries are operated by a board who define their own standards so long as they comply with any legislation that is in place.  They also set their own fees which may differ from other cemeteries.  Some of these cemeteries contract out services so that they don’t incur the expense of owning machinery and paying employees.  Some of the cemeteries that were started by families have certain days of the year when descendants of those founders come together and have a “cemetery cleanup day” to keep expenses down. 

The legislation that covers cemeteries in Ontario is called the Cemeteries Act and it can be found on the following website:   http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90c04_e.htm  This act defines the rights and responsibilities of both cemeteries and consumers.  For instance, it states that “no person shall sell interment rights unless that person does so as an agent acting on behalf of a licensed owner”.  What it also says is that if I want to sell my interment rights to a grave, I can “require, by written demand, the owner to repurchase the rights at any time before they are used” and furthermore that “every owner who receives a demand made under subsection (1) shall repurchase the interment rights within thirty days after receiving the demand”.  That covers a common question as to why you can’t sell your graves to someone else.