BE WITH YOUR PET FOREVER, EVEN AFTER DEATH!
More and more pet cemeteries nationally are allowing pet owners to have their cremated ashes in an urn be buried with their pet(s). I recently spoke with a pet cemetery representative who told me their cemetery has three sections: one for humans, one for pets, and one for humans who wish to be buried with their pet(s). Times have changed in favor of pet owners staying with their pet(s) even in the afterworld. Long overdue!
If you are considering this type of final resting place, be aware that laws governing this type of funeral plan may vary from state to state. I suggest you do some research by contacting pet cemeteries in your area, ask questions and find out if this type of final resting place is for you and your pet.
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A New York funeral home and its funeral director/owner agreed to pay a $32,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges for violating the agency’s Funeral Rule, which requires funeral providers to provide information consumers need to compare prices and buy only the funeral goods and services they want.
The FTC conducts undercover inspections every year to ensure funeral homes are complying with the Funeral Rule, which gives consumers important rights when making funeral arrangements. The Rule, issued in 1984, requires funeral homes to provide consumers with itemized price lists at the start of any in-person discussions of funeral arrangements, caskets, and/or outer burial containers. The Rule also requires funeral homes to provide price information by telephone on request. It also prohibits funeral homes from requiring consumers to buy any item, such as a casket, as a condition of obtaining any other funeral good or service.
I watched a “60 Minutes Special Edition” report on 5/20/12 hosted by Anderson Cooper on cemetery problems in the United States. It was most interesting and detailed problems within the burial (final disposition) industry.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enacted the Funeral Rule in the 1980’s to help protect consumers nationally when making funeral arrangements at the funeral home level. It is still in effect today. It appears that it is time to consider such a plan for the cemetery industry. The issues pointed out by Mr. Cooper’s report should not be tolerated in that market, as consumers are being hurt at a most vulnerable time in their lives by lax oversight of the cemetery industry. The federal government should step in as it did with the funeral industry and establish rules and regulations to be applied to all cemeteries nationally.
Thank you Mr. Cooper for this most educational and informative report!
With the economy where it is today, some consumers who have purchased burial plots, mausoleum crypts or even cremation niches are trying to sell them. If you are in this category, I suggest trying to sell the property back to the cemetery if it is in a buy back position. You may be offered less money than you paid for the property, but it is an option. Next, try advertising the property in your local newspaper, let the local funeral directors know about your property, seek out burial plot brokers on the web (always make sure these type companies are legitimate) and even look for web sites that advertise this type of property nationally.
This type of real estate is not the easiest piece of property to sell, so plan on seeking out as many areas as possible to help you sell the property. If you are a buyer, always check for the title of the property, making sure the paperwork is in place, and get it verified prior to paying anyone to purchase their property from them, just like any real estate transaction.
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I recently read an article about cemeteries hosting parties to attract future customers. These parties take place on the property and include entertainment, drinks and more. The purpose of these events is to make the locals more aware of what the cemetery offers in an “other than death” experience. The cemeteries hope to make the public more aware of their offerings and make consumers feel more comfortable about purchasing their goods and services either at-need or pre-need .
The issue here is that to attend these events, consumers must walk over and stand on what has been considered sacred property. The deceased have a right to rest in peace without their resting place being walked over by event participants.
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What do you do if you visit a family member’s gravesite, crypt or other cemetery property, and it is not maintained? For example, there is moss or mildew growing on the monument, grass is not manicured, etc.
Review the deed to the cemetery property to see what perpetual care should be provided by the cemetery. The cemetery should be performing the care it agreed to in the purchase contract, and if they are not, this should be brought to the attention of cemetery personnel. If the deed is not available to you or if perpetual care is not discussed in the contract, then talk the problem over with cemetery management.
If you do not get satisfaction there, you could try contacting your local media (TV, newspaper), so perhaps you can get attention drawn to the situation.
Has anyone encountered this problem, and how did you solve it? Please share your experience and suggestions.