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cemeteries and plots

When you buy a cemetery plot you have the exclusive right to be buried in that plot of land—also known as a right of sepulture (burial or interment).

Laws and definitions of terms vary from state to state but your rights are generally governed by the contract or agreement you sign when you buy the plot; by state laws (statutes) regarding cemeteries and plots; by corporate bylaws for the cemetery corporation that owns and manages the cemetery; by any restrictions in the real property deed (quitclaim deed) used to convey the plot to you; and if you are married when you purchase the plot, by state laws governing marital or community property rights.

Because the right of sepulture is effectively a sale of the land where the plot is located a quitclaim deed or other real property deed may be used to convey or transfer ownership of a plot from the cemetery corporation or a plot owner to a new plot owner.

These laws and agreements may also limit your right to transfer by will ownership of any part of your plot and the right to be buried in the plot (if it is a double plot, for example).

In Texas, when you purchase a cemetery plot, you acquire the exclusive right of sepulture, meaning you have the right to be buried in that specific plot of land. This right is typically governed by a combination of the purchase contract, Texas state statutes, corporate bylaws of the cemetery, any restrictions in the deed conveying the plot, and potentially marital property laws if you are married at the time of purchase. The Texas Health and Safety Code contains specific provisions regarding cemeteries and the disposition of remains, which would include regulations on the sale and transfer of cemetery plots. The transfer of ownership of a cemetery plot is often done through a quitclaim deed or similar legal instrument. However, Texas law and the agreements made at the time of purchase may place restrictions on your ability to transfer the plot through a will or limit who may be buried there, especially in cases of multiple burial plots. It is important to review the specific terms of the contract and applicable laws to understand the full scope of your rights and any limitations.

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