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I Would Like to Own My Own Cemetery


I would like to own my own cemetery in the future, could you please suggest any schooling I would need?

You didn't indicate whether you planned to start a new cemetery or buy an existing cemetery. If you buy an existing one, you will most likely have some staff in place who could educate you on the operation. Starting from scratch presents a variety of challenges.

There are two sources of information that I would suggest you look into.

The first is the International Cemetery and Funeral Association. They are a trade association that has sponsored cemetery related meetings and conventions for many years. You can reach them on the web at, or on the phone at 1-800-645-7700. They will be able to provide you with both information and educational resources that should be of great assistance to you. Attending a few of their meetings, workshops and or conventions will provide you both education and contacts with others in the cemetery business, who may be able to help you reach your goal.

Second, you might want to get some information of the laws and regulations regarding cemeteries in your particular state. Your best source as to the agency you will need to contact in your state is the State Health Department. You may find that your city and state has several agencies with jurisdiction over cemeteries. One department may regulate the creation of cemeteries and rules for burials, another may regulate the record keeping of perpetual care funds (required in many states to insure the continued operation of a cemetery) and another (perhaps your city government) may regulate zoning or the registration of grave locations.

You may find it to your advantage to find employment with a cemetery to build your experience and learn exactly how others run their business. Before you actually make an investment in acquiring a cemetery, you should talk with an attorney to help you make sure that you have covered all of the necessary bases.

-- Stephen Moeller

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