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Funerals/Adding my brothers name to the Certificate of Interment Rights


QUESTION: In 1993, when our mother died, we purchased two interment spaces at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, IL. Our mother was buried in one of the spaces. In the process we somehow overlooked that only my name was put on the Certificate of Interment Rights, but my brother's name wasn't included.
The question: what is the process of adding my brother's name to the existing Certificate of Interment Rights and is there significant cost involved?


ANSWER: Ask the cemetery what their procedure is. A letter from you should do the trick. Where will you be buried?

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QUESTION: To answer your question: I have a place at the same cemetery.

Follow up:
I talked to the cemetery today, they told me that based on my written and notarized request (just like you said) they will void the existing deed (with only my name on it)and create a new deed with two names, mine and my brother's. We will need to pay $300 for that. Sounds like a lot of money!
I asked why can't they just add my brother's name to existing deed, based on my request, but the answer was that existing deed can't be changed.
Does it sounds reasonable to you?
Any comments?

Thank you very much for your time and expertise!


Ask to see a copy of their regulations AND a price list. If it's your intention to have your brother buried there, I think your permission is all that's needed without putting him on the deed. Your mother was buried with your permission, no name on the deed, wasn't she? Typically, a records fee would be about $75. Yes, $300 sounds like a lot. Alas, I just checked and the cemetery is owned by SCI--Service Corporation International, the largest funeral conglomerate in the world that wants to please only stockholders, not customers. They generate more than their share of funeral complaints with hard-sell tactics, and their prices are *high*!


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Lisa Carlson


Funeral Law. Having written a 512-page book on funeral law for consumers with state-by-state information, I am very conversant with consumer rights in this regard: What are the laws on disposition of cremated remains? Is embalming required? Do I have to use a funeral home? Can I have a home wake? Is it a state law to buy a vault? I prepaid for a funeral but changed my mind. They won`t give me all my money back. What can I do? . . . If you have an immediate need for information because a death has just occurred or is about to occur, you may call me at 802-482-6021.


I have monitored the funeral industry on behalf of consumers for over 20 years. I have been a guest speaker to funeral trade organizations, consumer workshops, and social service professionals. I am regularly consulted by lawyers and legislators as well as journalists.

Funeral Ethics Organization ( Funeral Consumers Alliance (

Caring for Your Own Dead (1987) Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998) I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch (2001) Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (2011) with co-author Joshua Slocum

Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

Past/Present Clients
Available as an expert witness for funeral-related court cases.

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