2009 Update

Not-for-Profit Law is amended by adding section 1506-c

§ 1506-c. Abandoned cemetery maintenance by cemetery corporations.
(a) Upon application and approval by the cemetery board, a cemetery corporation may assume management and maintenance of an abandoned cemetery. For the purposes of this section, abandoned cemetery means a cemetery which was previously owned by a cemetery corporation organized pursuant to this chapter or existing by virtue of the membership corporation law, for which there no longer exists any corporate board or body to maintain it, and for which there is no sufficient trust fund or endowment to provide ordinary and necessary care and maintenance. Provided, however, that in no event shall the cemetery board approve the assumption of the management and maintenance of an abandoned cemetery under this section if the abandoned cemetery was affiliated with any religious denomination or tradition or if the majority of the persons whose bodies were interred in such cemetery were affiliated with any religious denomination or tradition unless the cemetery assuming the management and maintenance of such abandoned cemetery follows the customs and practices of the same religious denomination or tradition. (*NB Effective October 25, 2009)

Section 1507(h)(4) of the Not-for-Profit Law is amended:
(4) Authorization for payments by the fund for maintenance of an abandoned cemetery shall be made by the secretary of state only upon approval by the cemetery board of an application by a municipality or other solvent not-for-profit cemetery corporation for fair and reasonable expenses required to be made by the municipality or other solvent not-for-profit cemetery corporation for maintenance of an abandoned cemetery; provided, however, that the cemetery board shall not approve any such application unless the municipality or other solvent not-for-profit cemetery corporation acknowledges that the responsibility for restoration and future care, preservation, and maintenance of such cemetery has been assumed by the municipality or other solvent not-for-profit cemetery corporation. For the purposes of this paragraph, such cemetery shall always be deemed an abandoned cemetery.
* NB Effective October 25, 2009


Updated in 2007

GBL 453 10-11

General Business Law

Section 1. Section 453 of the general business law is amended by adding two new suvdivisions 10 and 11 to read as follows:

10. For the purposes of subdivision eleven of this section, "preneed administrator" means any person, partnership, firm, limited liability company or corporation, which is either domiciled in or doing business in the state of New York, and which has received money under or inconnection with an agreement executed pursuant to this section; and "county" shall refer only to a county located within the state of New York. For the purposes of subdivision five of this section, "preneed administrator" shall also include any successor, assignee or transferee of funds held pursuant to this section.

11. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the following provisions shall be applicable to each preneed administrator of written preneed accounts, both revocable and irrevocable:
(a) The assets of such an account shall be deemed abandoned as of the later of
(i) three years after the date of death of the person for whose funeral or burial such assets were to be used; or

(ii) one year after the preneed administrator has determined that the person for whose funeral or burial such assets were to be used has died if such death occurred less than two years prior to such determination. The preneed administrator shall make reasonable attempts to determine if the person for whose funeral or burial such assets were to be used has died, using available information from federal and state sources. Upon the death of a person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished, the preneed administrator shall determine the name and address of the funeral director who performed the funeral services. If the preneed administrator determines that the funeral director has been paid in full for the funeral services, and if the account is irrevocable, the preneed administrator shall, on or before the tenth dayof March in each year, transfer the assets of such account to the indigent care burial fund for the county in which the person for whose funeral or burial such assets were to be used resided at the date of his or her death. If the preneed administrator determines that the funeral director has been paid in full for the funeral services, and if the account is revocable, the preneed administrator shall, on or before the tenth day of March in each year, pay or deliver to the state comptroller pursuant to section one thousand three hundred fifteen of the abandoned property law, the assets of such account which was deemed to have been abandoned as of the thirty-first day of December of such calendar year.

(1) Upon the death of a person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished, if the preneed administrator determines that the funeral director has not been paid in full for the funeral services, the preneed administrator shall pay the funeral director for the funeral services upon receipt of the required documentation for paying claims for funeral services. If the balance due is more than the cost of the funeral services, the preneed administrator shall transfer the remaining balance, if an irrevocable account, to the indigent care burial fund as provided in this paragraph, or, if a revocable account, to the state comptroller as provided in this paragraph.

(2) Upon the death of a person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished, and with reasonable efforts, the preneed administrator cannot determine the name and address of the funeral director who provided the funeral services, the preneed administrator, if the account was irrevocable, shall transfer the assets of such account to the indigent care burial fund for the county in which the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished resided at the time the irrevocable account was established, such transfer to be made as described in this paragraph. The preneed administrator, if the account was revocable, shall pay or deliver the assets of such account to the state comptroller, such transfer to be made as described in this paragraph.

(b) If the preneed administrator is not able to determine a current proper address of an account for the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished such that the annual statements mailed regarding the account are returned to the preneed administrator as undeliverable, and such administrator cannot, afte making reasonable efforts, determine a current and proper address for the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished, the account shall be deemed dormant if

(i) the preneed administrator has not been able to determine a correct address for the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished for a period of fifteen consecutive years, and
(ii) based upon the information contained in the written agreement the preneed administrator can determine that, if the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished were then living, the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished would have reached the age of one hundred fifteen years.


(1) If the account is deemed dormant as defined in this paragraph, the preneed administrator shall transfer the assets of such account, if it is an irrevocable account, to the indigent care burial fund for the county in which the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished resided at the time the irrevocable account was established. The administrator shall transfer the assets of such account, if it is a revocable account, to the state comptroller as provided in paragraph (a) of this subdivision.


(2) Nothing contained in this subdivision shall prevent a person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished, if an irrevocable account, or a funeral home which provided funeral services to the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished, or a person who has paid for funeral services for which an irrevocable account was established, from requesting and receiving the lesser of (i) the actual cost or amount paid for the funeral, or

(ii) the amount transferred to the indigent burial fund, in the event that the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished is living, or that the funeral services for the person for whose funeral or burial such merchandise or services are to be furnished were not paid in full, or that a person has paid for funeral services for which an irrevocable account was established. Nothing contained in this subdivision shall prevent a person otherwise authorized by law to seek reimbursement of the funds from a revocable account pursuant to the applicable provisions of the abandoned property law.

Effective January 1, 2008


Penal Law 145.22/23/26/27

 

Penal Laws - Sections 145.22 and 145.23 are amended as follows:

§ 145.22 Cemetery desecration in the second degree. A person is guilty of cemetery desecration in the second degree when: (a) with intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he damages any real or personal property maintained as a cemetery plot, grave, burial place or other place of interment of human remains; or (b) with intent to steal personal property, he steals personal property which is located at a cemetery plot, grave, burial place or other place of interment of human remains and which property is owned by the person or organization which maintains or owns such place or the estate, next-of-kin or representatives of the deceased person interred there. Cemetery desecration in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

§ 145.23 Cemetery desecration in the first degree. A person is guilty of cemetery desecration in the first degree when with intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he: (a) damages any real or personal property maintained as a cemetery plot, grave, burial place or other place of interment of human remains in an amount exceeding two hundred fifty dollars; or (b) with intent to steal personal property, he steals personal property, the value of which exceeds two hundred fifty dollars, which is located at a cemetery plot, grave, burial place or other place of interment of human remains and which property is owned by the person or organization which maintains or owns such place or the estate, next-of-kin or representatives of the deceased person interred there; or (c) commits the crime of cemetery desecration in the second degree as defined in section 145.22 of this article and has been previously convicted of the crime of cemetery desecration in the second degree within the preceding five years. Cemetery desecration in the first degree is a class E felony.

Sections 145.26 and 145.27 are new:

§ 145.26 Aggravated cemetery desecration in the second degree. A person is guilty of aggravated cemetery desecration in the second degree when, having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he or she has such right, he or she opens a casket, crypt, or similar vessel containing a human body or human remains which has been buried or otherwise interred in a cemetery and unlawfully removes therefrom a body, bodily part, any human remains or any object contained in such casket, crypt or similar vessel for the purpose of obtaining unlawful possession of such body, bodily part, human remains or object for such person or a third person. Aggravated cemetery desecration in the second degree is a class E felony.

§ 145.27 Aggravated cemetery desecration in the first degree. A person is guilty of aggravated cemetery desecration in the first degree when such person commits the crime of aggravated cemetery desecration in the second degree and has been previously convicted within the past five years of the crime of cemetery desecration in the second degree as defined in section 145.22 of this article, cemetery desecration in the first degree as defined in section 145.23 of this article or aggravated cemetery desecration in the second degree as defined in section 145.26 of this article. Aggravated cemetery desecration in the first degree is a class D felony.

Effective November 11, 2007



PHL P (a) of 2

Public Health Law

Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 42101 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 76 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:

2. (a) The following persons in descending priority shall have the right to control the disposition of the remains of such decedent:
(i) the person designated in a written instrument executed pursuant to the provisions of this section;
(ii) the decedent's surviving spouse;
(ii-a) the decedent's surviving domestic partner;
(iii) any of the decedent's surviving children eighteen years of age or older; (iv) either of the decedent's surviving parents;
(v) any of the decedent's surviving siblings eighteen years of age or older;
(vi) a guardian appointed pursuant to article seventeen or seventeen-A of the surrogate's court procedure act or article eighty-one of the mental hygiene law;
(vii) any person eighteen years of age or older who would be entitled to share in the estate of the decedent as specified in section 4-1.1 of the estates, powers and trusts law, with the person closest in relationship having the highest priority;
(viii) a duly appointed fiduciary of the estate of the decedent;
(ix) a close friend or relative who is reasonably familiar with the decedent's wishes, including the decedent's religious or moral beliefs, when no one higher on this list is reasonably available, willing, or competent to act, provided that such person has executed a written statement pursuant to subdivision seven of this section; or
(x) a chief fiscal officer of a county or a public administrator appointed pursuant to article twelve or thirteen of the surrogate's court procedure act, or any other person acting on behalf of the decedent, provided that such person has executed a written statement pursuant to subdivision seven of this section.

 


 

Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 454 of the general business law, as added by Chapter 318 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows:
2. Each sale of a memorial shall only be evidenced by a written contract which shall be signed by all the parties to the contract, which shall be dated, and which shall be completely separate and may not be included in any other contract, agreement, purchase order, price list, itemization of funeral services and merchandise selected or like document reflecting the purchase by a consumer of any other real or personal property or service related to the burial, cremation, or other disposition of the remains of a deceased person. For purposes of this section, the pourer of a foundation shall not be considered the seller of a foundation. Such separate contract shall be prepared, completed and maintained in accordance with this section for every memorial sale, including a foundation therefor, and shall be the only contractual document prepared in connection with such sale. Provided however in the case of the sale of a monument or memorial made at the same time as a preneed sale of funeral goods or services, a one page document summarizing the transaction shall be given to the consumer in addition to, but not in lieu of, the separate contract required by this section. A full and complete copy of such contract shall be given to the consumer by the seller at the time of purchase of such memorial, and shall be retained by the seller for a period of at least three years from the date of sale. Said contract shall contain at least the following..