Frequently Asked Questions
The Diocese will complete the initial registration for all the cemeteries.
The state requires that each cemetery have a published price list. It is okay to have different prices for members and non-members as long as both prices are listed in the price list. The price list must also state the date from which the prices are current. Fees can be adjusted once a year.
If the Funeral Director is including any fees in a contract with the customer and then paying the cemetery for those fees [u]and the cemetery does not have a contract with the customer[/u],then the contract is between the cemetery and the Funeral Director. If the cemetery has a contract with the customer for the services and the Funeral Director is simply collecting the money and reimbursing the cemetery there is no need for a contract with the Funeral Director because your contract is with the customer. The Funeral Director is just collecting the money and distributing the funds at that point.
All Cemeteries charging a burial rite for a second burial on the same grave, or interment fees, should have a contract with the customer and not allow the funeral director to charge for those services in his contract. In this way, you will not be at risk of having the State claim that the funeral director is "managing" your cemetery.
Regarding burial authorization, this always has to be between the cemetery and the customer, [u]not the funeral home.[/u] This form can be given to the funeral director to send to the family member to get a signature on for the cemetery, but always has to be between the cemetery and the representative of the deceased.
The cemetery would use the burial easement/interment contract to list the interment charges,(grave digger,etc.). If the family comes in to the cemetery office, the cemetery personnel would have them sign the contract and the Funeral Director would pay the cemetery on behalf of the family. The funeral director basically fronts the money for the funeral expenses while waiting for the insurance policy or trust money comes in. In the case of a family paying for the funeral up front, they could pay the cemetery directly or the cemetery could let the funeral director know the amount of the interment fee and he could collect from the family and pay the cemetery on their behalf.
A cemetery is an extension of the parish. The activities of a parish (including a cemetery) are under the care of the pastor. The Funeral Director is not the one ultimately responsible for what takes place in the parish. For this reason the cemetery manager must approve all interment scheduling. The Funeral Director should call the Cemetery and ask if an interment can take place at a certain time and the cemetery manager should schedule the interment.
The Funeral Director cannot hire a grave digger for a Catholic Cemetery. Only the Catholic Cemetery can contract with a grave digger to dig in their cemetery. The pastor (or his staff designate) should be the one ordering the opening and should pay for the opening and receive the fees for the opening of the grave. The cemetery must make sure that the grave digger has proof of insurance with the required diocesan limits of coverage BEFORE HE DIGS IN THE CEMETERY.
The Illinois Cemetery Protection Act 765 ILCS 835, sections 9-15 outline the procedure for this. In short, if 50 years have passed on an unused grave, or if income care is charged, 30 years pass without your receiving any income care money, if you want to file notifications, have court hearings and meet a host of other requirements, you might be able to get it back. I don’t think it is worth wading through all of the red tape. If you want to view the cemetery protection act you can google 765 ICLS 835. You can also view it by clicking here.
A Funeral Director can act as an agent-collecting the fees and permits that a cemetery should receive from a family involved in an interment and then pass them along to the cemetery. With this arrangement, the contract still needs to be signed by the family however. You will need to have a plan to follow up with the Funeral Director if you do not receive the contracts and/or money from the Funeral Director.
Vandalism is not covered under our policy. Trees are not covered for cleanup or replacement when damaged by a storm. If a tree falls onto a building then removal will be covered. If a tree is damaged or destroyed by fire, lightning, or falling object, then tree removal and replacement is covered up to $10,000.00. For more information please call Patrick Ketchum in the insurance office of the diocese.
We can allow for as many as we want. Realizing that the marker will only hold two or three names comfortably before the letters become too small and the center of the letters pop out, most families don’t bury more than three. But there is nothing that says we can’t limit it to one grave, or if 2 or more burials in one grave requires additional fees. We will be addressing this and set a standard for the diocese. We also have to consider the difficulty in indexing the burials if the burial count is too high. We will inform you of the policy once set.
Most cemeteries require the use of an approved outer burial container that will withstand the weight of cemetery equipment running over the grave, as well as keeping a safe and level ground.
It can be done as long as it is consistent and works the same for all families that the cemetery services. But you must be careful that you haven’t already charged income care on the grave if you are going to charge it at the time of interment. If no income care has been charged before, you can make this a requirement at the time of interment or you can incorporate it in your charge for interment for all families. For example, you can charge $500.00 for interment, pay the excavator $300 and put the remaining $200.00 in income care.
According to Canon Law the new parish pastor makes all decisions on how the funds are used. The Office for Cemeteries will always make a plea for the funds to be used for the cemetery because the cemetery will always have a financial need of being properly maintained to meet diocesan and state regulations. In cases of when the farmland income is part of a trust wherein the cemetery has been named beneficiary, the cemetery will always keep receiving the income even if the parish becomes suppressed.