Developed in 1998 by the Government and Legal Affairs Task Force of the
International Cemetery and Funeral Association
Each cemetery authority is confronted with the legal obligation of maintaining and protecting interment spaces and the cemetery from damage by third parties in a manner that does not unreasonably restrain the exercise of free trade. As a result, it is generally recognized that a cemetery authority has the right to publish and enforce rules and regulations governing activities within the cemetery. The cemetery authority may prescribe requirements and procedures for the design, materials, delivery, installation, and care of memorials. These requirements should apply whether performed by the cemetery authority or by an independent memorial retailer.
Efforts to better serve the consumer, enhance retail competition, and to promote a good working relationship between the interment and memorialization industries have been fostered by industry trade associations, most notably through the "Recommended Installation Guidelines" developed by the International Cemetery and Funeral Association ("ICFA") and the Monument Builders of North America ("MBNA"). In addition, the ICFA and the MBNA have established a joint committee to informally mediate disputes between their respective members.
Legislation regarding memorial sales and installation should protect the respective interests of interment right owners, cemetery authorities, memorial retailers, and the general public.
- The cemetery authority should be allowed to adopt rules and regulations for the cemetery that may include memorial specifications and guidelines for installations, which should apply to all installations whether performed by the cemetery authority or by another source.
- The cemetery authority should not discriminate against an authorizing agent or interment right owner who buys a memorial and its installation from another source, provided that the memorial and installation conform with the published rules and regulations of the cemetery.
- The cemetery authority should be given reasonable advance notice when the independent memorial retailer intends to install the memorial. Statutes should specifically authorize the cemetery authority to require current proof of workers compensation and liability insurance, and additional requirements that are similarly imposed on other entities providing merchandise or services within the cemetery.
- The cemetery authority may assist in marking the location for the memorial and may inspect the installation when the work is completed. Statutes should specifically authorize the cemetery authority to charge the independent memorial retailer a reasonable fee for the inspection of the installation, which should be based on the cemetery authority=s actual labor costs, in accordance with general accounting practices.
- The cemetery authority may be allowed to require contributions from memorial buyers to the endowment care trust fund, the income from which should be used for memorial care. These contributions should be assessed in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner regardless of which entity sells or installs the memorial.