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Funerals/Forced Monument Purchases

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Question
 Temporary Monument
Temporary Monument  

Family Monument
Family Monument  
The advertisement for our cemetery states "Welcome to Historic XXXXX Cemetery, a Not-For-Profit association, owned solely by property owners." If we own the plot as "property" what restrictions can be placed on monuments (granite/marble). Our son died recently (35 yoa)and we would like to place a small temporary marker at his cremation interment place but we have heard the cemetery won't let us put one there since they have their own monument co. and they force a very large purchase price to buy from them and they do not carry the stone we want. The same goes for the large monument we will purchase later. These are high quality Georgia, white marble as used in Washington DC.  
In this situation, are we required to buy from the cemetery marker co. or can we buy from an independent of our choice? The difference in price on the small stone is roughly $400.00.

Answer
Ask them if they accept the veteran's markers and see what they say. I'm guessing that will embarrass them.

Such a restriction is a violation of the Sherman Anti-trust Act. There are two cases Rosebrough Monument Co. vs Memorial Park Cemetery Association and Moore vs. Matthews that back up your right to purchase the monument wherever you want. You can do a Google search and print out that info to show the cemetery. If that doesn't work, file a complaint with the Texas Funeral Service Commission -- http://www.tfsc.texas.gov/

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Lisa Carlson

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
Funeral Ethics Organization (www.funeralethics.org) Funeral Consumers Alliance (www.funerals.org)

Publications
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

Education/Credentials
Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

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

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