It may feel or sound like something out of a nightmare or a horror movie, but it’s unfortunately true – there are cemetery owners and funeral homes that are taking advantage of people when they are grieving and at their most vulnerable. Whether as a matter of outright fraud or simply poor and negligent management, these businesses are selling grave plots that are already full. They’re charging thousands of dollars for the promise of treating your loved ones with the dignity and respect that they deserve, and then mistreating them by either burying them in overcrowded plots, digging up bodies and relocating them after funeral services are over, or in some cases completely failing to bury them at all. These actions are truly a betrayal of common decency, and unfortunately they are becoming more and more common. If you are considering purchasing a grave plot, whether because of an immediate need or because you are planning ahead, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself and your loved one. If you have already been a victim and need help, call the Philadelphia attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz today.
Though the majority of cemetery operators are not operating in this fraudulent or unethical way, it is important that you are aware of the problem and take appropriate action. Whether a company is actively engaging in what is known as grave recycling or they simply are not keeping their records well enough to ensure that they don’t sell a plot that is already full, there are several steps that you can take to protect yourself and your loved one from purchasing a grave plot that is already full. Start by visiting the cemetery after you’ve made the purchase and asking to see their records to make sure that what they show on their paperwork is the same as what you show, and that it matches to the spot in the cemetery. You should also visit on occasion to make sure nobody else has been buried there. It’s also a good idea to take measurements, as some cemeteries are trying to crowd multiple graves into too small a spot. The smallest that a cemetery plot should be is 42 inches wide, and if you find that the cemetery that you are working with uses a smaller space, it may be because they are overselling their plots.
If you have prepurchased a plot and then find that it has been used, or if the worst happens and you find that your loved one’s remains have been desecrated in some way as a result of the cemetery or funeral home selling full grave plots, the attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz can help. Contact us today to learn about the steps we can take to make sure that your loved one is restored to the respect and dignity that they deserve, and that you get the compensation you need to make things right.