Benefits of Perpetual Care Cemeteries
Tennessee is made up of 42,169 square miles. This gorgeous state is broken up into 95 different counties, and within those counties there are 189 registered cemeteries. However, there are actually thousands more that are not registered. The beautiful thing about Tennessee is that we have plenty of space, which allows the opportunity to cultivate more cemeteries. It’s always difficult for anyone to envision a cemetery after all vacancies are full. Who takes care of them, and then what do we do? I can assure you, even those of us who run cemeteries, like our own Cedar Hills Memorial Gardens, have trouble picturing a time when our allotment is full. However, it is a reality that we have to face.
We at Higgins know that there are two lifetimes of a cemetery: the Active Interment Lifetime and the Dormancy Period. It is during the Dormancy Period that the Perpetual Care Fund of a cemetery becomes an integral part of cemetery maintenance. Right now, we are in the Active Interment Lifetime of our cemetery, meaning graves are still being sold. This essentially means that our cemetery is still young. We take great pride in its upkeep. At all times we ensure that it looks beautiful for our families whether that involves cleanup, replanting, trimming trees or the grass and so on. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the level of care we take now is matched when we eventually move into the Dormancy Period.
The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, National Trade Association of Cemeteries (ICCFA) defines perpetual care as, “the providing of funds, to be held in perpetual trust, the income of which is to be expended in keeping up forever the necessary care of the individual lots and graves, and the maintenance, repair and future renewal of the borders, drives, water and sewer systems, enclosures and necessary buildings.” During the Active Interment Lifetime the funds to maintain the cemetery exist because revenue is still coming in. So often, no perpetual care trust is set up. When that happens, we can picture a cemetery that looks dilapidated, forgotten.
It is in a state of perpetual disrepair. Nobody wants their loved ones’ final resting places to end up this way. We don’t want our cemetery to end up that way hundreds of years down the road. We wouldn’t want that for our own family and we certainly don’t want that for yours. Our vision at Higgins is that we can maintain our cemetery to look this pristine even 100 or 500 years from now.
Luckily, as a registered cemetery, Cedar Hills Memorial Gardens maintains perpetual care funds. What does this mean for you and your family? It means that we have already planned to take care of your final resting places for as long as our cemetery has a place in our community. A portion of every niche and grave purchased is invested to ensure that the niches and graves will continue to be properly maintained. It’s an unfortunate event to behold when a cemetery falls into the hands of the state due to lack of funds. The government lacks the creativity of an independent cemetery operator. We have already planned to prevent that from happening. You can place your trust in our perpetual care cemetery for the long term and know that your loved ones’ final resting places won’t fall into a state of disrepair.