Cemeteries Law and Legal Definition

A cemetery is generally defined as a place for the burial of the dead, and may be either public or private, depending on whether or not lots are made available or sold to the general public. In order to promote public health and welfare, the state in the exercise of its police power may provide for the reasonable regulation of cemeteries. Burial plots are property rights which may be sold or transferred by inheritance, subject to restrictions of the cemetery association. There are also rules which govern the upkeep and decoration of burial plots.

Under perpetual care, it remains the responsibility of the cemetery to maintain the grave or plot subject, however, to weather conditions and income to the perpetual care fund. State laws on perpetual care vary, but perpetual care may mean endowed care under an endowment given to the Cemetery to maintain a plot or a grave in accordance with the provisions of the law. If the endowment proves to be insufficient over time, reduced care or maintenance may be necessary.