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Funerals/Sale of Parents Companion Burial Plot


Hi Lisa,

I am Successor Trustee of my fathers Trust and only son.  He passed Sept 5, 2014.  My mother passed back in 2004.  They have a companion plot at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA where I grew up.  Now living in Oregon we would like to sell the plot originally purchased for $2651 now retailing per Green Hills at $13200.  They are preparing an offer while I arrange an ad for Craigslist, Pennysaver etc.  I have looked at "The Cemetery Registry" online that charges about $100 for a listing but thought I would try my own local ads to start.  

Green Hills did just mention a "Probate" form needed establishing me as the only heir in the Trust, notarized and completed no earlier than 40 days after my fathers death.  

My question is do I need to wait to post an ad or simply post that the plot is available after in his case October 16th?  It appears that he Green Hills may not be able to honor the Deed in the hands of the new owner until I have filled out their form.  On the other hand it may only have to do with their requirements to make me an offer on buying the plot back.  I was thinking of posting it at about $10000 plus transfer fee or somewhere lower down to 50%.  I am assuming if Green Hills even makes an offer it will be way below 50% of current retail.  Also, my plan is to use a friend down in the area to hand carry the Deed to the buyer for a cashiers check so there is an in person transaction at Green Hills Memorial Park.

Any advice?  Thanks!

It is going to be extremely difficult to sell a cemetery plot, esp. with the growing cremation rate in CA (70%).  And do *not* pay to have it listed. I ran a free listing on for two years and not a single one sold.

If you can take advantage of the tax break, you might be better off to donate it to a church or victims assistance program. I'll be interested to hear what Green Hills offers.


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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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