Recently there have been some challenges when I have tried to arrange for interments in some local cemeteries. Let me explain this to you:
Lets say my grandfather bought 10 plots in a cemetery and put them in his name…his intention being that two would be for himself and his wife and two for each of his four children and their spouses…
If my grandmother died first, my grandfather could grant permission for his wife to be interred in one of the graves because he owned them.
If my grandfather died second, he would have the right to be interred in one of the graves because he owned the graves.
Unless my grandfather designated the use of the remaining graves to specific individuals, then the use of them can only be determined by whoever was entitled to receive the residue of his estate. In any will you might leave your car to somebody and your house to somebody and then the residue of the estate (the collection of everything else in the estate) gets left to someone or in some cases, a number of beneficiaries.
Let’s say that in my grandfathers will it said that the residue of his estate was to be divided between his four children…now the use of those remaining graves will have to be agreed on by all four of his children. So if one of the childrens spouses died and the intent was that he/she would be interred in one of the remaining graves, the four of my grandfathers children would have to sign a form stating that they give permission for that person to use a grave. However…
Before the four children can sign a form stating that they give permission, they may be required to get an affidavit from a lawyer stating that in accordance to estate laws, they are in fact the people who are authorized to sign the form.
Let me ask you this…what do you think is going to happen if someone dies late Thursday and the family wants to have an interment on Monday? Do you think that you would be able to find your grandfathers will and get an affidavit all within a very few hours?
A lot of this can be avoided with some advance planning…for more information, don’t hesitate to call.