Perpetual care. What does that include? What does it not cover?
On Tuesday, I posted Tombstone Tuesday Adventures, which pertains to my finding family gravestones which are buried underneath large bushes. No one should have to get on their hands and knees to try to find a grave under a bush.
What if I was an older person and not able to get down there? What if I got hurt while crawling under the bush or getting back up? Who is really responsible to take care of these bushes.
After I got the pictures on needed of these few graves under the bushes, I was advised by the gentleman who had helped me to go into the office and request a work order to have the bushes pruned back. I did this, muddy knees and all. Unfortunately, I was greeted by a new person when I went back into the office (not the nice lady who had helped me when I first went in).
This representative of the cemetery asked me, “who do the bushes belong to?”
My reply, short and simple, “I have no clue.”
He wrote the information down and that was it. I thanked him and was on my merry way to the next cemetery. When I arrived at the next cemetery, I spoke with a lady in the office about perpetual care and the bushes. She advised me that if the family planted the bushes, they are responsible for pruning them and that if the cemetery prunes them, they can send a bill to the family for doing so.
Let me just say that I should have taken a picture of these bushes that grew into 1 large bush. They are nicely pruned. There is nothing about this bush that states that they are not being taken care of. Who, pray tell, is taking care of the said bush? Obviously, it is not the family. Otherwise, one would assume they would make sure that their family members stones would be viewable. Am I wrong in this thinking?
“Under provisions of the Cemetery Care Act, the owner is liable for the care of lots, graves, niches, mausoleums, memorials, and markers.1
I have spent time reading through many web sites and I have not come across anything that states it will not cover bushes. They all state that the stones will be cared for. It is obvious that these stones have not been taken care of. If they had, I would not have had to crawl under said bush. Unless the cemetery takes pictures of the grave site before burial, how can they prove that a family planted the bushes.
My words of advice are this, when we bury our loved ones, please do not plant any type of shrubbery. Your descendants will be thankful.
I ask all of you, have you come across this type of situation? Is there another avenue I should try to rectify this situation?