New York Not-For-Profit Corporation Law § 1513. Sale of burial rights




(a) Conveyance of lots.  (1) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision the right to use any lot, plot or part thereof may be sold or conveyed only by the cemetery corporation.  (2) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to purchase or for a cemetery corporation to sell a lot, plot or part thereof for the purpose of resale.  This provision, however, shall not prohibit the sale to its members of lots, plots or parts thereof, or the right to use any lot, plot or part thereof, by a membership or religious corporation or unincorporated association or society which provides burial benefits for its members.  (3) It shall be unlawful for a cemetery corporation to pay or offer to pay, or for any person, firm or corporation to receive, directly or indirectly, a commission, bonus, rebate or other things of value for, or in connection with, the sale of any lot, plot or part thereof, or the sale of space in a public mausoleum, or the furnishing by or through the cemetery corporation of any service, merchandise, wares, goods or articles.  The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to a person regularly employed and supervised by the cemetery corporation.  (4) A violation of this subdivision shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or not more than six months imprisonment or both.  Each violation shall constitute a separate offense.

(b) Prices for burial rights and instruments of conveyance.  (1) The directors must fix and determine the prices of the burial lots, plots or parts thereof, and keep a plainly printed copy of the schedules of such prices conspicuously posted in each of the offices of the corporation, open at all reasonable times to inspection, and shall file a schedule of such prices in the office of the cemetery board.  (2) Unless its certificate of incorporation or by-laws otherwise provide, and subject to its rules and regulations, the corporation shall sell and convey to any person the use of the lots, plots or parts thereof designated on the map filed in the office of the corporation, on payment of the prices so fixed and determined, but need not sell and convey more than one lot, plot or part thereof to any one person.  Conveyances of lots, plots and parts thereof shall be signed by the president or vice-president and treasurer or assistant treasurer of the corporation.  A written contract for the sale or use of a lot, plot or part thereof shall have attached thereto and made a part thereof a copy of the rules and regulations of the cemetery corporation or such parts of such rules and regulations as relate to the size and placement of monuments, restrictions on plot usage, warranties, obligations of the cemetery corporation and financial obligations and duties of the lot owner.  If a lot, plot or part thereof is sold without a written contract, the corporation shall, before any part of the purchase price is paid by the purchaser, deliver to the purchaser a copy of the rules and regulations or such parts thereof as would be required to be attached to a written contract.  Nothing in this subdivision shall prevent the subsequent amendment of such rules and regulations to increase the charges for services rendered by the corporation or in other particulars by or with the consent of the cemetery board under section fifteen hundred nine of this article.  (3) A cemetery corporation that shall sell a lot, plot or part thereof, in excess of the price shown on the schedule filed in the office of the cemetery board, and any person acting for or on behalf of the cemetery corporation in connection with such sale, shall each forfeit to the people of the state of New York a sum equivalent to three times the excess amount so paid.  Such penalty may be recovered in a civil action by the cemetery board.  (4) The instrument of conveyance of any burial lot, plot or part thereof shall include the actual amount paid therefor and a description showing the dimensions of the property conveyed, and the plot number, section and block number as they appear on the cemetery map.

(c) Resale by lot owner.  Before any burial shall have been made in any such lot, plot or part thereof, or, if all the bodies therein have been lawfully removed, the lot owner may sell or convey such lot, plot or part thereof subject to the prior approval of the cemetery board.  Such approval shall not be granted unless the owner of such lot, plot or part thereof shall have offered it to the cemetery corporation within two years prior to the application for such approval, in writing by registered or certified mail, at the price paid therefor by said lot owner, together with simple interest at the rate of four per centum per annum, and the cemetery corporation shall have failed to accept such offer within thirty days after the making thereof.  In the event the lot owner shall have acquired the lot, plot or part thereof other than by purchase, and provided the cemetery corporation and the lot owner cannot agree upon a price, the cemetery board shall fix a price therefor.  In arriving at the price the cemetery board shall take into consideration the original price for which the cemetery corporation sold the lot, plot or part thereof, and any other circumstances or factor which equitably relates to the price.  The secretary of the cemetery corporation shall file and record in its books all instruments of transfer.  An owner may convey or devise to the corporation his right and title in and to any such lot, plot or part thereof.

(d) Lots held in inalienable form.  (1) No portion of the cemetery of a cemetery corporation which any person other than the corporation is entitled to use for burial purposes, or in which bodies have been buried and not removed, shall be sold, mortgaged or leased by the corporation.  A cemetery corporation may convey any lot so that upon such conveyance, or after an interment therein, such lot shall be forever inalienable, and upon the death of the lot owner shall pass to such person or persons as may be designated in the conveyance or if no such designation be made, shall descend as provided in section fifteen hundred twelve of this article.  Any one or more of the owners of such a lot may release or devise to any other owner of the lot his interest therein on such conditions as shall be specified in the release or will.  (2) Any person who is the sole owner of the burial rights in a cemetery lot, plot or any part thereof, in which a burial has been made, may give his entire interest, or, if not prohibited by the rules and regulations of the cemetery corporation, any portion thereof to any person within the third degree of consanguinity to the owner, or, in the event that no such person exists, within the fourth degree of consanguinity to such owner.  Such conveyance shall be made subject to the right of interment of the spouse of any deceased owner, which right said spouse may release at any time, but no conveyance or devise by any other person shall deprive the surviving spouse of such right.  Burial rights shall not be conveyed pursuant to the provisions of this subparagraph more frequently than once in any ten-year period.  (3) A cemetery corporation may take and hold any lot conveyed or devised to it by the lot owner so that thereafter it will be inalienable, and the interments therein shall be restricted to such person or class of persons as may be designated in the conveyance or devise.  (4) The title of a lot owner shall not be affected by the dissolution of the corporation, by non-user of its corporate rights and franchises by any act of forfeiture on its part, by any alienation of its property or by incumbrance thereon made or suffered by it.


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