2016-04-27 “Cemeteries Part 4”

One last musings on cemeteries…

If you have purchased the interment rights of a grave, you have exactly that…the right to be interred in that grave. If you have purchased interment rights of multiple graves, you should designate who you give permission to be buried in the additional graves. If you don’t make those designations and you pass away, it is still possible for others to be granted permission to be buried in your graves, but it becomes a difficult task to do that.

In the municipally operated cemeteries, in any single grave there can be one casket interred plus two cremations. If there will be no casket interred in a grave then there can be four cremation interred in a single grave.

Let’s say that my grandfather bought eight graves and that he and my grandmother are buried in two of the graves, leaving six empty graves…theoretically there is still room for 6 more casket burials and 16 cremation burials. And let’s say that I want to be interred in a grave beside my grandfather. This is how it goes:

  • If my grandfather didn’t designate who could be interred in the remaining graves, then it is possible that someone in his family could be. So first I would have to find out who the beneficiaries were in his will. In anybody’s will, it might say that you leave your house to someone and you leave your car to someone, and then you leave the residue of your estate (the remainder of the assets including interment rights) to someone. If my grandfather died before my grandmother, she probably would have inherited everything so the rights to the graves would have gone to her.
  • Next I will need to find out who the beneficiaries are who were named in my grandmother’s will. Since my grandfather died first, it’s probable that she would have divided her estate equally between her children.
  • If all of the children of my grandparents are surviving, then they can collectively give permission for me to use a grave. But if some of those children are deceased, then I will have to determine, (since the control of the graves were given to them from my grandmother) who the beneficiaries were of their wills, etc. etc. The bottom line is that it gets complicated and sometimes it gets costly.

If you’ve gotten anything out of the last few musings, I hope it is this: if you have purchased interment rights in a cemetery, keep your address updated with the operator of the cemetery. If you purchase interment rights for you and your spouse, put them in both of your names. If you have multiple interment rights in a cemetery, have a discussion with your family about how the extra graves can be utilized and complete the paperwork with the cemetery operator.

…hope this helps,