The dedication of a new cemetery creates a permanent addition to the community. The extent of the design and planning, financing and long-term maintenance arrangements by those who own or control a cemetery, identified herein as the “cemetery authority,” will determine whether the cemetery is ultimately an asset or detriment to the community.
The necessity to retain documentation relating to funeral and final disposition transactions will vary according to the type of facility, the nature of the transaction, and the type of information involved. For example, cemeteries open with the intent of lasting forever.
All aspects of the final disposition of human remains should be handled with dignity, observing standards of decency, and in accordance with applicable laws. Final disposition can be in the form of burial, entombment, inurnment, burial at sea, scattering, dispersion into space, shipment, or delivery of cremated remains to a designated person.
The site of a cemetery should be dedicated for cemetery purposes and a legal description of the property should be filed with the appropriate governmental entity. There should be a statutory process to ensure dedication procedures protect the interests of interment right owners.
General policy of law does not favor disinterment, absent compelling reasons. However, a cemetery authority may occasionally receive a request for interred human remains to be disinterred and reinterred within the cemetery or removed from the cemetery.
Cemetery authorities offering predeveloped interment spaces for sale to the public should provide assurances that the future development and completion of the contracted- for interment spaces will occur.