Tagged: Cemetery Questions
When my mother passed away 30 years ago my father purchased a 2 person niche in the Memory Room at the cemetery. Now that my father’s health is deteriorating we are making arrangements for his cremation. I had contacted the Funeral home 2 years ago and they quoted me $895.00 for the open & closing of the niche plus a $125.00 processing fee. Today when I contacted them, they now have added a $3,500 2nd right of Interment fee. I think they are adding this fee because my father will be cremated at a different location which only charges $495.00 for the cremation. Due to his age, all of his friends and 2 brothers have all passed on and we will do our own Family get together at a later date. So I am wondering if this 2nd right of interment fee necessary.
I would recommend that you contact the cemetery where the niche in the Memory Room was purchased. Before you do that, let me explain what 2nd right of interment fees are and why they are usually charged by the cemetery. (Actually, for a niche this often known as a “2nd right of inurnment.”)
When a cemetery sells a grave space or a niche, what they are actually selling is a “right of interment”, meaning you purchase the right – most often 1 right – to inter remains in that space or niche. When there is a need or request to inter a 2nd set of remains in the same space, the cemetery does indeed charge a 2nd right of interment fee.
However, the price the funeral home gave you of $3,500 for the cemetery’s 2nd right of interment fee doesn’t sound right (it sounds rather high, especially for a niche.) Also, you said your father purchased a 2 person niche. That is known as a “companion niche” which when a companion niche is sold today, the 2nd right of inurnment is usually included (space for 2 urns = 2 inurnment rights) in the purchase price. Since he purchased it 30 years ago, though, I cannot guarantee that the 2nd interment/inurnment right was included which may be why there is a fee for it now.
For these reasons, I do believe it is in your best interest to speak directly with the cemetery about their fees.
The 2nd right of interment is not a funeral home charge, by the way. The funeral home may carry the cemetery’s charges on their contract as a matter of convenience for the family. These are shown on the funeral home’s good and services contract under “Third Party Charges” or “Cash Advance Charges” which means the funeral home does not mark up those charges at all – they simply carry the charges on their contract so the family doesn’t need to write multiple checks.
It is certainly wise for you to look into this now, and I hope this information was helpful to you.
Thank you Jennifer! Just a follow up…..I requested copies of the paperwork my father signed at the time of my mothers death. They could only send me 2 pieces of documents that had really no information on it. With that being said, they waived the $3000 for the 2nd right of inurnment because they could not prove that Dad did or didn’t pay for that feature. Doing some checking with other Funeral Homes in our area they to agreed that the $3000 charge was a lot. They only thing anyone could come up with is that this Funeral Home is Dignity franchise and they can charge what ever they want!
Thank you for you guidance, it saved us a lot of money. $1200 was much easier to pay then $4200.
That is really good news that they came down significantly on the price because that was absolutely the right thing for them to do. You were very smart to pursue this and ask good questions – and that played a huge role in you getting this much more proper result.
Thank you so much for the follow up to let us know! We are certainly honored to be able to help.