It would be my assumption that the majority of the country’s cemeteries do not maintain a trust for the maintenance and care of its graves.  While this may differ from state to state, most states’ perpetual care statutes exempt small family cemeteries, not for profit cemeteries, municipal cemeteries, county cemeteries and church cemeteries from their

  • It is inevitable that a cemetery will run out of graves (and revenues) and eventually become the ward of taxpayers.
  • For cemeteries with ample inventory of graves, the public’s embrace of cremation translates to declining grave sales and the acceleration of the cemetery’s demise.

For several years, the media have been making these dire predictions

These are tough times for cemeteries.  Too many planned on a steady revenues from grave sales, and have not trusted enough funds for future maintenance expenses. Grave sale revenues have been dramatically cut by the public’s acceptance of cremation.  Subsequent to the Great Recession of 2008, many of our funeral home clients reported a significant

Preneed planning often begins with the purchase of a cemetery plot or cremation niche.  If that purchase includes a marker or monument, the cemetery will typically seek to deliver the marker so that it may avoid cost increases incurred with regard to granite and bronze.  But, many of us do not like to be reminded

In an unusual move for a death care regulator, the Federal Trade Commission weighed in on the preneed turf war that has erupted between Pennsylvania funeral directors and StoneMor Partners.   At the request of the chairman for a Pennsylvania legislative committee, the FTC responded with a detailed letter warning against various bill proposals aimed at

The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) made an old but persuasive argument to get the IRS to exempt cemetery care trusts from the Medicare tax that will fund ObamaCare.  As discussed in a prior post, the IRS had initially proposed to apply the tax to both cemetery care trusts and preneed trusts.  With

 A cemetery operator recently expressed his frustration with the trust officer of his care fund trust.   An examination of the trust had cited the operator for inappropriate distributions from principal with regard to expense payments.  We suggested to the operator that it is very common for trustees to set up care fund accounts with

In its past two newsletters, my local chapter of the Funeral Consumer Alliance has reported on the difficulties in finding cemeteries that permit natural burials. In the Spring newsletter, the FCA of Greater KC reported on how the Catholic Cemeteries of Northeast Kansas was reconsidering natural burials at one of its six cemeteries. In

As cemeteries struggle with harsh economic conditions, regulators are bound to look at their ‘problem cemeteries’ and weigh whether legal proceedings are necessary to preserve the care funds mandated by state law. To the extent such proceedings are premised in part on how capital gains are defined and whether distributions from capital gains are an