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Cemetery plots

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  • Pat Lyon
    There are state laws governing cemeteries, but I do not know how they apply to the church-owned ones. They are mostly directed at access and recognition of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2008
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      There are state laws governing cemeteries, but I do not know how they apply
      to the church-owned ones. They are mostly directed at access and
      recognition of cemeteries. When I was on my Lutheran Church Council, that
      particular Church cemetery committee sells the plots, keeps a ledger and
      okays every burial made there. There is a provision for indigent burial
      also. Because it is Church-owned, they can make the rules about who buys
      plots, but once a plot is sold to a particular person it becomes that
      person's property. This came up once when a non-family/non-church member
      was buried in a Church plot and it was determined the family could choose to
      bury whomever they wished in their plot. The rules try to keep the
      ownership within the Church community or their families, partly due to space
      and expansion considerations. The Church foots the expense of upkeep and
      uses donations for the purpose.

      My family has a group of plots in the Clifton Lutheran Cemetery, different
      from the one above, and we also own the plots and pay a perpetual care fee
      for upkeep. Our plots are registered with the Church and the funeral home
      has access to that information. We have a group of 8 plots, my dad and
      sister are buried there and mom and I plan to be buried there. The rest are
      for any family need. When a cousin was killed a few years ago we offered a
      plot but the family preferred to buy their own. My maternal Urban
      grandparents are buried in a 4 plot section of the city cemetery, also
      family-owned, and a few years ago one of their daughters died in a state
      hospital and we buried her with them. Theoretically, we could use the
      remaining plot however the family chooses.

      I know of no instance in which an existing grave was ever reused. Once a
      stone was placed on the wrong plot and when the cemetery went to open the
      adjoining grave they found a casket. That required some checking and
      double-checking but the other grave was opened for use, the stone moved to
      the occupied plot and all worked out. I would go on-line and look at Texas
      Statutes-cemetery and see what else you can find out.

      Pat Lyon
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