Second Rite of Interment-Approvals Needed

3 years, 8 months ago

I am the youngest of 5 siblings and my parents are both deceased and buried next to each other in a cemetery where all of my Mom’s family (parents, grandparents, etc) are buried. One of my sisters has come forward stating she would like to be cremated upon her death and have her cremains buried with my parents. She says this is called second rite of interment and she needs all siblings to sign off and approve.

I’m a bit confused and somewhat upset by this. Since there are 5 of us, I feel this is a bit selfish of her and I’m not sure that I want to sign. Plus, I don’t know what my parents wishes would have been to have just my one sister buried with them or, for that fact, to have any one else buried with them at all. Just looking for a second opinion and expertise in this area as I’m not sure what I should be asking for in terms of a cemetery contract, legal document, etc. to properly make a decision on whether or not I should approve this.

Jennifer Lane
3 years, 8 months ago

Your sister is correct in that it is called a “2nd Right of Interment” and that all the next of kin of the property owners must approve this. Since your parents are the original property owners and both are deceased and interred in those spaces, that does mean that all 5 of you must authorize any 2nd interment in those spaces.

That being said – she cannot do this unless all 5 of you authorize it. One thing to be aware of is that cemeteries typically limit additional interments in a grave to 1. With 2 grave spaces, they likely will only allow 2 sets of cremated remains (1 in each grave).

It sounds like the best way to proceed is to discuss this request with your other siblings, since they will also have to approve as well. It is valid to be concerned about what your parents would have wanted, but do discuss your feelings with your family. If you all do come to agreement to approve this, your sister will enter into a contract with the cemetery where they will charge her a fee for the 2nd Right of Interment and also require signatures from all 5 of you for that to be valid.

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