1121 N Main St, Belvidere IL 61008

Frequently Asked Questions

Cemetery selection is important but difficult, and these FAQs can help you and your family make the best decision in a difficult time.
Just as you would want to be sure that the issuer of a life insurance policy will be there to make a payment, or that the manufacturer of your car can stand behind its warranty, you want to be sure that the cemetery you select will be there for the long term, and will take proper care of its grounds.

As you consider this important decision, we recommend asking the following questions.

WHO OWNS & OPERATES THE CEMETERY?

Cemeteries may be family-owned, part of a for-profit chain, church-owned, or a nonprofit. It is important to be comfortable with the owner, the mission, and the way the property is operated and cared for.

Belvidere Cemetery Assocation is a nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and protect the cemetery, its history, and its landscape.

DOES THE CEMETERY HAVE AN ENDOWMENT?

Cemeteries incur significant expenses over time for continuous upkeep and repairs. When the cemetery reaches capacity, the endowment becomes its sole source of funds. Similar to a large park with many roads and monuments, basic upkeep for a cemetery can run into hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars annually.

If a cemetery does not have a sizable endowment, be sure to ask how it plans to care for the cemetery in perpetuity.

WHAT KIND OF RECORD KEEPING SYSTEM DOES THE CEMETERY MAINTAIN?

With many thousands of interments, the ability to keep meticulous records over many decades is very important. Select cemeteries have sophisticated software systems that may allow for digital storage of photos and family records.

WHAT AM I BUYING?

It’s important to note that you do not actually own the lot, crypt, or niche. Instead, think of it as a perpetual lease with rights of use — the common term is “right of interment.” This should be spelled out in the purchase contract. You do, however, own any marker or monument that you purchase and place on a lot.

WHAT ARE THE CEMETERY'S, AND MY OWN, OBLIGATIONS FOR MAINTENANCE?

Unless a cemetery has elected to become an “endowed” or “perpetual care” cemetery, or makes commitments within its sales contracts, it has no obligation to take care of the grounds. In general, “endowed” or “perpetual care” refers to basic care, such as keeping the grass mowed and roads cleared. It does not cover monument cleaning or repair, or grave landscaping. The pristine maintenance of the cemetery grounds, gardens, and buildings, in perpetuity, depends on the cemetery’s mission and its endowment.

You do not have any obligations, per se. However, because you own the marker or monument, if you wish to have it periodically cleaned or repaired, it will be at your expense. Some cemeteries offer “special” or “enhanced” care contracts, which may provide for regular cleaning or special landscaping. Bellefontaine offers these services and encourages families to plan for future care.

Cemetery Association of Belvidere

1121 N Main St, Belvidere IL 61008

Monday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am-4:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am-4:00pm
Friday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
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