Families spend their lives together enjoying every moment, making memories, and sharing stories. A family lot provides the opportunity for families to remain together even when their life story comes to an end. It provides a place for future generations to come visit and learn about who their family was.
At Woodlawn Memorial Park, we receive several inquiries about the future use of existing family lots. In most cases, a request can be accommodated with permission from the lot owner. The proper term for a lot owner is Interment Rights Holder, defined in our bylaws as “a person or corporation owning the right to direct the burial or removal of the deceased, the cremated remains of the deceased and associated memorialization in an Interment Right as registered in the Cemetery records”. There can be more than one Interment Rights Holder to the same location. An Interment Right refers to a grave, lot, niche, or crypt.
Every Interment Right has a specified number and type of interments (burials) permitted. Most single grave lots permit up to 3 interments. (1 full size casket interment plus 2 cremations interments or 3 cremation interments.) So, when you think about it, a 2 grave lot could have up to 6 interments, a 3 grave lot – up to 9 interments and a 4 grave lot – up to 12 interments, etc. Below are 2 of the most common questions we often get asked.
A family member owns a lot at Woodlawn Memorial Park, is there room for me and am I able to use it at my time of need?
There are several steps required before this question can be answered. When we receive this inquiry, our first step is to find the location in question and review how many interments are permitted. We would then see how many interments have taken place and how many others have been given permission to use the lot to determine how many more and what type of interments could still be permitted.
Next, we review who the Interment Rights Holder(s) is as written permission from the Interment Rights Holder(s) is required for anyone to use the lot if they were not included in the original purchase agreement.
A permission letter would be prepared by Woodlawn Memorial Park staff to ensure it captures all necessary information. The Interment Rights Holder(s) must sign the letter. (It is the responsibility of the person making the request to ensure the signed letter is returned to our office.) Once we receive the signed letter, permission for this person would be added to our records so that at the time of need there are no issues or delays for their family.
A family member owns a lot at Woodlawn Memorial Park however they are deceased, is there room for me and am I able to use it at my time of need?
This is the second scenario we are often asked about. The same review process discussed above would be completed however, when the Interment Right Holder(s) is deceased, obtaining permission can be more complex. Currently, the Interment Rights Holders executor(s) would be required to produce a notarized copy of the will for verification of executorship before they would be permitted to give permission for use of the lot. If the Interment Rights Holder(s) estate is closed, permission would be required from all of the living children of the Interment Rights Holder(s).
These examples are simple and straight forward situations. Each situation is unique, and some can be very complex. If you are considering interment in a family lot as part of your estate planning, we urge you to contact our office to ensure all the documentation can be processed well in advance of your time of need. One of our staff members will gladly review your situation and advise you of your next steps.