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How to transfer cemetery plots

Updated February 21, 2017

Transfer of cemetery plots occurs for various reasons. A plot owner moves from a region and no longer desires internment in that region’s cemetery, inherits a plot, purchases a plot from a different part of the cemetery or has too many spaces and purchases a smaller plot. In some instances transfer doesn’t include a sale—a co-owner decides to transfer primary plot ownership or a plot owner decides to transfer a plot to another party for the “right of burial” excluding ownership. No matter the reason, you can easily transfer cemetery plots through the office of your local cemetery director, association or township.

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  1. Contact the cemetery director or association managing the cemetery where your burial plot is located to determine if the cemetery director/association or local township handles transfers and the requirements for plot deed/title transfer for your region based on your status (owner, co-owner or heir) and the type of transfer (full transfer or "right to burial" only). In addition, ask about associated transfer fees and whether you need a copy of the deed/title.

  2. Fill out any necessary transfer or “change of ownership” paperwork. Cemetery rules and state laws typically require your contact information (name, address and phone number), the name and address of the cemetery, the name and contact information of the plot purchaser or addition (new co-owner(s) or person receiving the "right to burial" without ownership), the reason for the transfer and your relationship to the purchaser/addition. And if you or the purchaser/addition has an affiliation with a funeral directing business, note the type of affiliation on the form.

  3. Sign and date the form and submit it to the cemetery director, association or township representative. If a signature is required in the presence of a witness, sign and date the form in front of an approved witness—typically a notary or township clerk.

  4. Pay any applicable fees and request a receipt for your records.

  5. Tip

    If you don't have a copy of the burial plot deed/title, don't worry—state laws typically require that cemeteries maintain a record of all plot sales and subsequent plot ownership, not only for burial purposes but also for transfers. Advise the cemetery director/association or township that you need a copy of the deed/title. If you're transferring a plot that already contains human remains, write a note on the transfer paperwork outlining this fact when you explain the reason for the transfer.


    Always contact the cemetery director, association and/or township before agreeing with another party to transfer/sell your cemetery plot, as some cemeteries only allow residents of the region to purchase plots.

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Things You'll Need

  • Owner and purchaser information
  • Cemetery deed/title (if available)
  • Transfer paperwork (optional)
  • Identification
  • Notary

About the Author

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.

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