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I visited the cemetery recently to review future burial plans for my mother with covid restrictions, etc. The office manager said that there was opening/closing along with inscription costs remaining. I said that it was my understanding that my father paid for everything. I asked for the contract and he was unable to provide it. I paid $1500. So I just came across the forty plus-year-old contract and it shows the purchase including opening/closing and inscription paid in full. The contract appears simple and does not state future values to be paid. I have never planned a funeral or burial.

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They need to honor the contract, so just present it and you should be fine.

My dad died in 2018 and is currently residing in my closet because the cemetery wants $595 every time the niche is opened for ashes. As my father's daughter, I said there's no way in the world I'm paying nearly $1200 to open it once for Dad and then again for Mom, so he's waiting until Mom is ready, and they'll go together.

It's just a dumb charge IMO. Who buys a niche without intending to open it some day? It should be included in the price of the niche IMO.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Go back with your contract and ask for a refund. I fear you were taken advantage of, hopefully inadvertently.
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JoAnn29 Feb 25, 2021
Approach it more as someone had the wrong info. If this contract was done years ago I doubt if the same people are around. As inflation skyrocketed they found they were losing money so later contracts don't allow for opening the grave. Just an oversight.
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If the policy reads opening the grave in included than ur entitled to a refund. It probably isn't something they did later but it was done at the time the policy was paid for. I would contact them first and if they argue, then have your lawyer notify them.

I had this with Moms headstone. Dad died first 11 years before her so she had the headstone done for both of them leaving the date of her death blank. When I went to the place who made the stone to tell them I needed the date put on. Which was only a plaque they screwed on with 2017 on it. The cost, $188. Was not in Moms paperwork it was part of the original cost so I paid it. My DH kept saying $188 for a brass plaque 3x1 inches.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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They have to stand behind the policy. They probably still sell preneed policies. You probably don’t need an attorney. Just present a copy of the policy and let them know you’ve canceled the payment if you were able to.
Each state has a regulatory commission for funeral homes you can contact if any problem. They will not want the grievance filed against them.
This is a tough industry. They have a huge turnover. It could be the person you dealt with truly didn’t know. If this is a branch of one of the huge conglomerates you can suggest that you and he call the headquarters while you are there to get it straight.
I helped my cousin get his mothers 70+ year old contract accepted. All was covered except the preacher and the flowers. Aunts older brother died in his mid 20s. She saw the need for a policy and purchased it at that time. She died in her 90s. A good investment. it’s interesting the manager somehow knew the funeral was paid for without a copy of tte policy and yet didn’t know what was covered. He may have a perfectly logical explanation. Regardless, I’m glad you found the policy.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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ZippyZee Feb 22, 2021
Wow, that is some respectable foresight. Do you remember how much she paid for a funeral over 70 years ago?
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I hope you dispute this. My dad preplanned and paid for everything concerning his funeral and burial. When I had to go plan it, over 20 years later, the weasels at the cemetery tried to get seemingly endless extra money. I disputed a lot of it, but still ended up paying over $1200 for some ridiculous “admin fee” and for the vault to “be inspected” It was a complete sham, but no way around those two dumb fees or they wouldn’t bury him. My dad would have been stunned and dismayed at the whole mess, he was proud of having it all handled. A few months ago I got a refund check from the cemetery for part of it. I called and asked and even they couldn’t tell me why I got a refund. It’s often a slimy business. I’m glad you have the contract and hope it helps. Sorry you’re going through this
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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It doesn't sound like you needed to pay, no. Since you have a copy of the contract your dad had with this company, go back and present it to them and demand your money back, and/or put a stop payment on the check if that's how you paid. If you paid by credit card, I'd call the cc company and tell them you're disputing the charge. They have some nerve not producing the contract to begin with, then telling you there was an outstanding balance!!!!!!!!!!! I'd also contact the BBB and Yelp to see if there are any complaints filed against the company, if it were me. I hate this kind of rip off on a family in GRIEF! I'd be livid.
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Pasa18 Feb 22, 2021
I just now read a consumer guide: 'opening and closing' is usually considered as an 'at the time of need' cost, but clearly the receipt I have listed this as paid in full. The contract I found is a copy and the back page with the fine writing isn't included (which is unlike my mother to keep incomplete records). I am wondering if the back was not copied on purpose. I think I would not be taken seriously so I will ask my mother's old attorney to make a call. Let's see if this was an oversight.
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No real advice... but stand your ground and dont get taken advantage of. Funeral Homes and cemetaries are notorious for screwing people financially when they're in deep grief. Good to see your looking into it before death. That very smart.

Stay strong
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97yroldmom Feb 23, 2021
Zippy
$150. I looked it up just now. She bought it in 1942. She died in 2014.
. It did not include the cemetery.
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