The Caregiver's Soapbox

Volume 17    www. thedead-beat.com    Issue 4

Bill Stalter           

Dear Counselor.

By Bill Stalter

Dear Counselor,

My mother gave me her power of attorney, but the cemetery where she is buried will not honor my instructions for transferring ownership of the remaining family graves without the consent of my brother and sister.  How do I get the cemetery to follow my instructions?

Almost all financial powers of attorney terminate on the principal’s death.  The lone exception would be when a durable power of attorney includes language giving a right of sepulcher to the agent.  If your mother’s power of attorney was durable, and included right of sepulcher language, it would have given you powers to control the disposition of her body (ie, to carry out her funeral and burial preferences).  But, no power of attorney would give you rights to make financial transactions with her assets after her death.   Most cemeteries give lot owners the option to designate who has the right of interment to vacant spaces they own.  If your parents did not designate who was to receive the interment rights to unused graves they owned, the cemetery is within their rights to seek the consent of your brother and sister before following your instructions.  If there is a dispute with your siblings, the cemetery may require a court order before making any transfers.  Accordingly, you would be best advised to work out an agreement with your brother and sister.

Bill Stalter answers our questions for educational purposes only.  It is The Dead Beat’s intent to give the reader general information about legal issues, not to provide legal advice.  If a reader needs legal advice, he or she should hire an attorney.  Reading The Dead Beat should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney.  When Bill provides legal advice he does so for Stalter Legal Services in Overland Park, Kansas.  Bill also provides consulting services through Preneed Resource Consultants, which can be found at www.preneedresource.com.

We need some questions for the  “Dear Counselor….” column.  Please send your questions to Bill’s e-mail or The Dead Beat’s and we will get some answers in future issues.  Email: wastal@swbell.net

Copyright 2018 - The Dead Beat - all rights reserved