Funerals/Burial Laws


My grandmother was married to my grandpa for 15 years then he fell in love with my grandma's best friend. My grandparents got divorced and my grandfather remarried. When my grandfather die, he was married to the other women. Since then she has remarried and moved on. Now it is getting time that my grandma is ageing and thinking about burial info. My grandmother would like to be buried with my grandfather. Because the other women remarried, does she loose the rights of the burial spot? Can my grandmother still be buried with my grandfather?

Hi there,

I understand your question.

Laws about who inherits what may differ from state to state. The best answer to your question will be given by the cemetery where your grandfather is buried. Settling circumstances like these, where divorces are involved, is more common for them today, so they'll be familiar with your situation.

When you contact them, they'll have a record of the original interment rights purchased, and they'll be able to let you know what you'll need to do to have your grandmother buried there. The deed's language and your state laws may be such that 1) her name is already on it (he may have never taken it off); 2) the surviving children may have the right to decide; 3) your step-grandmother may be on the deed but be fine about signing the right over to her. One of those three is probably the most likely scenario.

The cemetery will be able to explain to you what needs to be done. And if, for some reason, the grave isn't available for your grandmother's use, there may be one located in the same cemetery, nearby.




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Cynthia Beal


Typical questions include 1) Where can I go for a natural burial? 2) What types of coffins, urns and other "packaging" are best for natural decomposition? 3)How do I plan for a natural funeral? 4) Do I have to be embalmed? and other questions in this vein. I'm available to answer general consumer questions about natural burial, home and natural funerals, and sustainable cemetery management. I answer questions about general cemetery matters, and offer suggestions about how to deal with remains, cremated or buried, interment rights, rules for cemeteries and plot owners, covering conventional as well as alternative options. I also answer questions from professionals, home funeral guides, and family members about how to manage a natural funeral either in the mortuary or at the home, how to best use natural coffins and urns, and how to convert cemeteries to natural, sustainable practices. I will answer questions from volunteer cemetery managers about how to offer natural burial in their rural, Pioneer, or non-profit cemeteries. If I don't know an answer I'll refer the questioner to someone who does. DISCLAIMER -- I am a certified pre-need sales person in the State of Oregon. I am not a licensed attorney, tax adviser, estate planner, funeral director, embalmer, accountant, public official, or any other professional that may be associated with issues the question brings up and any answers I provide should not be relied upon if such expertise is required by the asker (as per the All Expert suggestion). I provide my own personal opinions, based on my experience in business, Nature and its systems, and with human beings after 55 years of life on the planet.


Natural burial and sustainable cemetery management experience: I'm the founder of the Natural Burial Company and a member of the Cemetery Association of Oregon. Over 25 years in the natural products industry, and over a decade of running the Natural Burial Company, founded in 2004. I've done some consulting for existing and start-up natural cemetery operations. I'm currently an instructor at Oregon State University, facilitating the creation of a program in sustainable cemetery management and stimulating research in cemetery-oriented processes and functions, and I own two historic cemeteries the feature natural burial, based in Oregon.

ICCFA - International Cemetery, Crematory and Funeral Association Green Business Network Funeral Consumers Alliance

American Cemetery Magazine; Funeral Business Advisor; Real Goods Source Book; American Funeral Director Magazine, etc.

There is no degree in natural burials or funerals, and no accredited education provided for sustainable cemetery management. We're developing a program at Oregon State University but it hasn't fully launched yet.

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