Nicole T. Livingston, Esq.
How to Title a Burial Plot
You worked hard to create a Revocable Trust and now you are working on transferring your assets to the Trust. The first step is complete. You met with your attorney and your estate planning documents have been signed, witnessed, and properly notarized. Now, comes the next step. It is important to properly title your assets in the name of your revocable trust. This is called funding your trust or aligning your assets to your trust. If an asset is held in your name alone at your death, then it will need to go through the probate process. So, now, you need to change the title of your assets to the name of the revocable trust to avoid probate.
How do you retitle burial plots?
This question is one we hear frequently at Council Baradel. To answer the question, we need to review Maryland law. There are statutes and regulations that govern cemetery ownership. The cemetery sells plots that are divided into lots. You can have one plot with 2 or more lots. In Maryland, the law provides that an owner of a burial plot may be sold during the lifetime of the owner of the burial plot with the consent of the cemetery owner. The cemetery plot may be disposed of by a specific distribution in the will or trust of the owner. Or, without any estate planning, it may pass to the heirs of the owner as described in the intestacy provisions of the Estates and Trusts Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The best news is that the interest of an owner of a burial plot hat is held for the burial of the owner or others and not held as an investment is not considered property, not subject to attachment or execution for debt, not subject to the insolvency laws of the State, not to be inventoried in the estate of the owner, and not subject to the inheritance taxes.
With that being said, we usually recommend that our clients keep the name of the burial plots in their own names. If you are not planning on using the plot, then we suggest you ask a family member if they would like to have the burial plot. You can specifically designate who should receive the plot. The burial plot will not typically be a part of the probate process.