Estate planning involves careful consideration of your assets and how they'll be managed upon your passing. One common question that arises is whether a burial plot should be included in a living trust. Our Chapel Hill will and trust lawyers will explain why burial plots don't necessarily need to be included in your trust and discuss the unique nature of their ownership and transfer.
Understanding Burial Plot Ownership
Unlike traditional real estate, burial plots are not owned outright by the purchaser. Instead, the cemetery maintains ownership of the land, while the plot holder acquires the right to use the space for burial purposes. This distinction means that burial plots are not considered part of your estate and therefore do not need to be included in your living trust.
The Role of the Cemetery in Burial Plot Disposition
Since the cemetery retains ownership of the land, it's essential to consult with them regarding the disposition of your burial plot upon your passing. Cemeteries typically have forms and procedures in place that allow you to designate what will happen to your burial plot after your death. This could involve transferring the rights to a family member, donating the plot back to the cemetery, or specifying other arrangements as per your wishes.
Advantages of Excluding Burial Plots from Living Trusts
There are several benefits to keeping your burial plot separate from your living trust:
Simplicity: By not including the burial plot in your trust, you avoid adding an unnecessary layer of complexity to your estate plan. This streamlines the administration process for your loved ones.
Flexibility: Since the cemetery handles the disposition of your burial plot, it's easier to make changes or updates directly with them, rather than amending your trust.
Reduced legal complications: Excluding the burial plot from your trust helps to minimize potential legal disputes, as the cemetery's policies and procedures will govern the transfer of the burial rights.
Contact our Chapel Hill Will and Trust Lawyers
While burial plots don't need to be included in your living trust, it's still crucial to have a comprehensive estate plan in place. Our will and trust lawyers can help you create a plan that addresses your unique needs and circumstances, ensuring that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes. To schedule a consultation at our Chapel Hill law firm, simply contact us at 919-376-2361 to schedule a consultation.