West Liberty, KY asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Kentucky

Q: If I bought a farm with a private cemetery on it in Kentucky, do I have to allow more people to be buried in it?

A wife buried her grandchild and husband on her land and then sold it to me. Now she wants to bury more family there. Now that I own it, do I have to keep letting her bury people there?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Kentucky, the ownership of land generally includes the right to decide how that land is used, including whether to allow additional burials in a private cemetery on the property. However, there are a few considerations to take into account.

First, review the property sale agreement and title documents to see if there are any easements or agreements related to the cemetery. Sometimes, previous owners might retain certain rights, like burial rights, in the sale contract.

If no such rights were explicitly retained or mentioned in the sale agreement, as the current landowner, you typically have the discretion to decide whether to permit additional burials.

It's also worth considering the emotional and historical significance of the cemetery to the previous owner's family. While you have legal rights as the property owner, a compromise or agreement that respects both parties' interests might be a more harmonious solution.

If you're uncertain or if the situation is contentious, consulting a local attorney for legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances is recommended. They can provide guidance based on the specifics of your property and any relevant local laws or ordinances.

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