The subject of interment rights came to me quite by accident. One of my paternal cousins wanted to place a headstone on her grandmother’s burial site. Her grandmother is buried with my paternal grandparents and other family members.
However, she was told by cemetery staff that she had to get permission from the owner of the plot. Trouble was, the owners were all deceased. The staff member told her that if there was a living heir/descendant to the owner, then a notarized affidavit could be filled out and ownership then transfers to the descendant.
Guess who that descendant was? Yup, me.
My cousin obtained the paperwork. I completed it, had it notarized and then returned it to cemetery staff. Once this was done I, of course, gave my cousin permission to place the headstone for her grandmother.
Prior to this, I had never thought of doing anything like this.
Have you heard of this procedure or done it yourself?
Here is the form I filled out (with names changed to protect living descenants).
I paid $10 to have the form notarized. I am now the documented owner of this plot in Grand Lawn Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan.
WHY WOULD THIS BE IMPORTANT?
- Should anyone want to make changes to any of the gravesites, they would have to get my permission.
- If the cemetery or the City of Detroit or anyone else should decide to use this land for something else, they would, hopefully, notify the owner of record.
- When I make requests to have headstones raised (as I often do), they may be more likely to pay attention to me if I own the plot.
- And the last reason….because it makes me feel good to know that my grandparents and other ancestors are in my care.
I called the specific cemetery and they emailed the form to me right away. Last time I did not keep a blank copy of the form. This time I have scanned and saved it, as I see that it’s the same form I filled out before.
I’m not sure if all states have the same form, but I’m sure with a phone call to whatever cemetery you have in mind, you can find out. I did look online and found that using various search criteria brought up mostly information about heirship for estates.
I would love to hear from others who have gone through this process.
- Did you have any problems?
Copyright © 2010-2016 Diane Gould Hall
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