Abandoned Burial Spaces

Section 289:18

    289:18 Forfeiture Procedures. –
I. Whenever a burial space or spaces in any cemetery subject to the provisions of this subdivision have remained unused for a period of 50 years, and the owner has not improved such space or spaces by causing a monument, gravestone, or other permanent appurtenance to be placed on the burial space, the person, corporate manager, or cemetery trustees having jurisdiction over such cemetery may institute proceedings for the termination and forfeiture of the rights and interests of such owner. All purchase contracts for burial spaces executed after August 7, 1994, shall include a notice that this procedure may be invoked in the future.
II. Whenever such person, corporate manager, or board of trustees determines that the conditions stated in paragraph I have been met, then they may send to the owner a notice of the intent to terminate and forfeit the owner's rights, served on the owner personally by a competent person or sent by certified mail with return receipt requested to the owner's last known address.
III. When the owner receives the forfeiture notice, the owner may notify the cemetery management of continued intent to use the space, in which case this procedure shall be cancelled, or the owner may return the space to the cemetery and receive in compensation the same amount the owner paid for the space, less any portion of the original purchase price that was specified for inclusion in a perpetual care trust fund.
IV. If no response is received from the owner for 60 days, the cemetery management may advertise in a paper of local distribution for information regarding the present whereabouts of the owner. If information is forth-coming, the notification process shall be repeated using the new address information. If no information is received, the original purchase contract may be voided and the space sold to a new owner. Any owner contacting the cemetery management after the space has been resold shall be reimbursed the amount he originally paid, including the portion set aside for perpetual care.

Source. 1994, 318:2, eff. Aug. 7, 1994.