Who Owns the Burial Plot After Internment?

When a person rests in a cemetery, it may be unclear who has the say over the grave plot after burial. The issue can be complicated, and it varies according to many factors. For legal or practical purposes, it is necessary to know who is claiming ownership of the burial lot once the dead have been laid to eternal rest. Here is what you need to know about affordable funeral services and ownership of burial spots. 

Burial Plot

Who owns the burial place after internment?

The burial plot may usually be used for burial purposes.  This is where people come to think about the departed after an individual or family has purchased it. However, the land ownership remains with the cemetery or the entity managing the burial site.

If this grave is in a state or county graveyard, people or families who bought it will still retain their rights to use it for later burial. However, possessing a burial site does not guarantee permanent use. 

The cemeteries have regulations concerning plot utilization and maintenance.  They can repossess either idle or neglected plots. 

What happens to the burial plot if the owner dies

In case of the death of a person with a grave plot in their name, different things may be done to the plot as per agreements made before. 

1. A Will

If the owner wrote a will or arranged for the plot to be transferred upon death, it can be passed to someone named in the will, such as family members.

2. Transfer

If it means the legal requirements to change ownership, the burial space can go to another person from within the immediate family.

3. Neglect

It might just be abandoned in situations without clear wishes or living relatives. Under such circumstances, the cemetery or company overseeing this cemetery may take back these plots.

4. Joint Ownership

Sometimes, several kin have entitlements over this site and must decide how to deal with it and manage its control.

5. Legal Process

Disputes and ambiguous instructions about ownership lead to proceedings. This is when addressing ownership after the demise of an original holder.

Can burial plots be sold or transferred to another person?

1. Burial Plot Sale

At times, a burial plot can be sold off to another individual. This involves the present owner handing over their rights to use the burial plot for interring someone else in return for payment. Not all cemeteries permit the selling of gravesites. You have to look at relevant cemetery rules and regulations.

2. Burial Plot Transfer

Transferring ownership of a burial plot refers to changing ownership from one person to another. This may be done when passing it on to a family member or friend. Transferring ownership usually requires official documents and approval from the cemetery. 

3. Sales and Transfer Regulations

It is worth noting that restrictions and regulations could guide sales and transfers of burial plots. These stipulations vary with different cemeteries or burying sites. It is vital to know such specifications before selling or transferring a grave.

Factors to Consider

Before an individual sells or transfers a plot meant for burying, they must consider what the original owner wanted—any legal constraints and implications for future use. Getting advice from the cemetery authority or lawyers helps ensure this will occur smoothly.


Understanding who owns and what rules govern burial plots is like cracking a riddle many families hold dear. Whether it is about understanding who is allowed to receive these unique places, their maintenance, or the applicable regulations, all these form part of memories about the deceased. Call us if you need help with funeral services or have any questions about funerals.