What happens to the ownership of cemetery plots when the owner dies? Does a deceased person own his own cemetery plot?

Asked over 5 years ago - Hope Hull, AL

My 84 year old dad owns several burial plots in a city cemetery. My mom is already buried in one of the plots. He wants to be buried next to her. In addition, he wants my mentally retarded and physically handicapped sister (who has always lived "at home" with him) to later be buried in one of the other plots.

He has shown no interest in transferring ownership of the plots to either me or my older non-handicapped sister. I think he fears losing control of the plots. I don't believe he has an existing or current will.

Even if there was a will, it would seem to me there would be some delay in settling real estate that is part of that will. Without my being the legal owner of the plots, how do I have my dad buried next to my mother?

I do not anticipate any dispute or disagreement about burial arrangements. My older non-handicapped sister and I both know about and are in agreement with my dads wishes.

In addition to being buried there himself, he wants the remaining plots to never pass out of the family. Specifically, he wants the remaining plots to remain unused unless we choose to be buried there ourselves. My older sister and I both plan to try to comply with my dads wishes and we have no plans to ever sell any of the existing burial plots. My older sister and I have chosen to be buried elsewhere. The other plots will remain unused after my handicapped sister is buried there.

However, the whole issue of who owns these plots (after my dad dies) is complicated by the fact that my younger handicapped sister is not mentally competent. I fear that, if some part of the ownership of the plots passes to her, a probate court might require the plots be sold in order to divide the estate between the three living children.

How can my older sister and I ensure that my dad and our handicapped sister can be buried next to my mom? What happens to the deeds to these plots after he dies and for that matter what happens after my older sister and I pass from the scene?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Richard Eugene Ehrlich

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Your dad is taken care of by his ownership interest. When he's gone you or your older sister can take care of the plots as part of his estate to make sure your handicapped sister gets buried there. alternatively, you can contact the cemetery and fill out the necessary forms now that will take care of your sister being buried there. good luck.

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