The Georgia Cemetery and Funeral Services Act of 2000, O.C.G.A. § 10-14-4 provides that it is unlawful for any person to offer for sale or to sell any cemetery burial rights, mausoleum interment rights, columbarium inurnment rights, grave spaces or other physical locations for final disposition of human remains to any purchaser in Georgia unless: (1) the related cemetery is registered; or (2) such related cemetery is exempt from registration.
Any cemetery in operation on August 1, 1986, which offers perpetual care for some designated sections of its property but does not offer perpetual care to other designated sections is a perpetual care cemetery for the purposes of this chapter. No cemetery formed or created on or after July 1, 2000, may fail to offer perpetual care for any part of such cemetery. Any nonperpetual care cemetery, which was registered with the Secretary of State prior to August 1, 1986, may continue to operate as such. Any nonperpetual care cemetery which is of historical significance and is operated solely for historical nonprofit purposes is exempt from registration.
The owner of each perpetual care cemetery must apply for and obtain a certificate of registration from the State Board of Cemeterians. It is unlawful to sell any burial lots, rights, burial services or burial merchandise without obtaining and maintaining a valid certificate. Every cemetery initially registered on or after July 1, 2000, must consist of at least (10) ten acres of land. See O.C.G.A. § 10-14-4.
To register as a perpetual care cemetery under the Georgia Cemetery and Funeral Services Act of 2000, the following must be completed:
Corporate Consent to Service of Process (Form C-5): This form only needs to be completed and attached to the application (Form C-1) if the applicant is a corporation.
Individual or Partnership Consent to Service of Process (Form C-7): This form only needs to be completed and attached to the application (Form C-1) if the applicant is an individual or a partnership.
Perpetual Care Trust Fund [O.C.G.A. § 10-14-6]
Each perpetual care cemetery must establish and maintain an irrevocable trust fund. An initial deposit of $10,000.00 must be made before selling or contracting to sell any burial right. See O.C.G.A. § 10-14-6. The trust fund applies to sales or contracts for sale of lots, grave spaces, niches, mausoleums, columbaria, urns, or crypts in which perpetual care has been promised or contracted for or guaranteed. See O.C.G.A. § 10-14-6(b). The cemetery must make deposits to the trust fund that equal 15 percent of the sale price of the burial right or 7.5 percent of the total sales price of any mausoleums, niches, columbaria, urns, or crypts, provided that the minimum deposit for each burial right must be $55.75 effective July 1, 2006. The minimum deposit rate is adjusted every three years according to the consumer Price Index. See O.C.G.A. § 10-14-6(b). Deposits to the trust fund must be made no later than 30 days following the last day of the month in which payment is received, or, in the case of a free space, the month in which the space is given. See O.C.G.A. § 10-14-6(b).
Renewal of Registration [O.C.G.A. § 10-14-4]
Every cemetery registration expires on August 1st of each year and must be renewed with the State Board of Cemeterians each year by that date. The filing fee for renewal of registration is $50.00 for each perpetual care cemetery, and an additional $100.00 if the cemetery is also a preneed dealer. See O.C.G.A. § 10-14-4(d).
Annual Reports [O.C.G.A. § 10-14-4]
Each perpetual care cemetery must file an annual report with the Secretary of State concerning the perpetual care trust no later than March 31 of each calendar year.
Definitions [O.C.G.A. § 10-14-3]
Transfer of Ownership [O.C.G.A. § 10-14-9]
Prior to the sale or transfer of ownership of any cemetery, the vendor or transferor must notify the State Board of Cemeterians of the proposed transfer. The proposed buyer of the cemetery must file a change of ownership application with the Securities and Business Regulation Division along with the appropriate application fees (Form C-1).
* These forms are not part of the initial registration. They are only provided as a sample of required records.
The above listing includes
forms available online, but is not an all-inclusive listing of forms required
for registration or renewal. Please refer to O.C.G.A.
10-14-4(b)(1) and Georgia Regulations 590-3-1-.09 through
Family cemeteries are excluded from the definition of a cemetery under the Georgia Cemetery and Funeral Services Act of 2000. Therefore, the State Board of Cemeterians does not register or regulate family cemeteries. One should contact your local city or county government to determine if there are any local ordinances or requirements.
No, if the disinterment and reinterment are within the same cemetery a permit is not required. However, one would need to coordinate this with the cemetery owner and follow the cemetery rules regarding disinterment. If reinterment will occur at another cemetery, then a licensed funeral director must obtain a permit from the local registrar in the county where the disinterment will take place.
Please note: The Securities Division posts this material for the convenience of its users. This material does not necessarily include all of the information and forms relevant for the filing, registration or renewal of entities or products regulated by the Securities Division. A user of the information and forms provided on this Web page should review applicable Georgia law in order to determine whether the user is in compliance with the various filing, registration or renewal requirements. The information contained in this website does not constitute legal advice. The Secretary of State encourages all interested individuals to consult their own attorneys should they have questions regarding legal interpretations of Georgia statutes or regulations.