In the State of Michigan, there is a law known as the “anti-combo” law. This law prevents funeral homes and cemeteries from being owned by the same company in the same market. The purpose of this law is to prevent any entity from gaining a monopoly in the death care industry in any given market.
In many other states, funeral homes are often located on the grounds of cemeteries which are usually owned by the same entity. As you might suspect these are often “for-profit” cemeteries, and are usually owned by large, publicly traded corporations.
These corporations own some cemeteries and some funeral homes in our state.
Besides the cemeteries owned by the larger corporations, there are municipal cemeteries. These cemeteries are owned by a municipality like the City of Kalamazoo, or City of Portage, or perhaps a township.
If you are a resident in a city or township, in most instances there will be a resident rate available to you for purchasing lots and paying for the opening and closing of the grave.
At one time it was very popular for churches, especially rural churches to have their own cemetery. The management of some of these cemeteries has been relinquished to the township the church is in.
Cemeteries will vary in their policy regarding pre-payment of the opening and closing of a grave, but all cemeteries would be willing to sell lots to you prior to a death occurring.
Many people don’t realize that even if cremation has been chosen, the burial of cremated remains is still recommended. In this instance smaller lots, expressly for the burial of cremated remains may be chosen. Also, the opening and closing fee of many cemeteries is less for the interment of cremated remains.
Some cemeteries in our area also have niches available for the interment of cremated remains. These niches are above the ground and are often referred to as a columbarium.
Some churches also have a columbarium available, in which the cremated remains of church members may be interred. Some churches also allow individuals other than their own members to be interred in their columbaria.
If you are a veteran, Ft. Custer National Cemetery is the best option for burial, whether you have selected traditional earth burial or burial of cremated remains. An honorable discharge or DD-214 is required to verify eligibility for burial in a national cemetery.
Many people select a cemetery based on the location of their home, such as in the case of a township cemetery. Others will select a cemetery based on where loved ones from previous generations are buried.
As you contemplate where your final resting place will be, remember this is a good thing to have planned and taken care of in advance.
Let us know how we can best help you.