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Cemetery Trust Information

The purpose of this page is to identify and outline what is needed or suggested to setup a cemetery trust.

On-line Sources:

1. North American Death Care Regulators Association.

State trusting requirements.

Consumer Tips.

2. Endowment Care Trust Funds. - Background:

A cemetery endowment care trust fund is designed to ensure that income will always be available for the continued maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery, even when all the interment spaces are sold. The cemetery authority should not be permitted to withdraw the principal of the endowment care trust fund, but receives the income earned by the principal to offset maintenance expenses.

These endowment care trust funds often have two components: general care and special care. The income from the general care portion of the endowment care trust fund is used to maintain the entire cemetery based on priorities set by the cemetery authority. Special care is supplemental to or in excess of endowment care, and in accordance with the specific directions of any donor of funds for such purposes, might include care of a specific interment space, care of plantings in a designated area, maintenance of memorials, flower placements, and so on.

3. Pre-Need Cemetery trusts. Content: 

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 contains many significant provisions affecting all taxpayers. Perhaps one of the lesser known, but an exceptionally important area contained within these provisions, involves money that is kept in a Preneed Funeral Trust used for purposes of paying for one's funeral.

4. Maintenance Funds. Content: 

State Governments often mandate that cemeteries set aside a fixed portion of cemetery plot sales for a maintenance fund, thereby creating an implied contract between cemeteries and consumers. In return for a portion of the consumers’ plot purchase price going into a state mandated fund, the cemetery agrees to maintain the graves and cemetery property forever. Many maintenance funds do not generate enough income to cover expenses.

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