Creating A Family Cemetery on Your Own land
Burial of relatives on home property is an option in New Hampshire. Here are some things to consider before making this choice:
- Will the property be staying in the family and for how long?
- Who do other family members feel about it?
- Might having a burial on your land impact property values?
- What will the burial cost in terms of rewriting and filing the deed?
- Will the burial promote environmental goals?
- What are your prime reasons for choosing home burial?
State Requirements (RSA 289) include:
- must be recorded with the Municipal Cemetery Trustees
- must be recorded on the property deed upon transfer (real estate disclosure)
- must provide a public right of way (a handwritten map with a parking spot, walking trail, and the gravesite marked on it is sufficient)
- must be located 100' from any dwelling, store, school or business
- must be located 50' from known water sources and state highways
- must comply with local zoning ordinances
- must be a relative — you are creating a family, not a public, cemetery
Other Things to Prepare
- dig a test pit to ascertain the soil make up and identify drainage issues
- research covenant deeds separate from local zoning issues
- research local health ordinances
- draw a plat (record of the location with latitude and longitude coordinates)
- plan to bury around the 3.5 foot level, with 18 inches of soil above the chest or casket top
- consider building a shrouding board with straps for carrying and lowering into the grave
Process for Filing Paperwork to Bury a Body on Home Land
- A completed and signed death certificate must be acquired from the medical authority in charge
- With the medical portion complete, the next-of-kin may complete the demographic portion and sign as the director in charge
- The death certificate is then taken to the Town Clerk in the town where the death occurred within 36 hours the death
- There is no cost to filing directly with a Town Clerk
- The data from the death certificate is then entered into the State's Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS)at the Department of Vital Statistics; copies may be obtained at any time thereafter at any Town Clerk's office
- Once filed, a burial/transport permit will be issued; this paper gives next-of-kin authority to transport the body and must run with the body if it is transported to locations other than where the person died
- Once the burial has occurred, the permit is signed by next-of-kin acting as a funeral director and filed with the Town Clerk within 6 days of burial
- A funeral director may also be hired to handle and file the paperwork. A funeral director can also file it with the Town Clerk after burial for a fee.