Gifting of Woodland Burial Lots and Spaces

Background

Over the years, many Woodland families have wanted to purchase lots next to or near the burial place of their loved ones. In many instances, none were available, especially in the Historic Section.

At the same time, many families have found that they have excess burial space and Woodland is asked to re-purchase previously sold graves. Because Woodland has thousands of lots and graves available to sell, Woodland historically respectfully declined to re-purchase these graves.

Woodland now has developed what it thinks can be a “win-win” for sellers, buyers and the Woodland Arboretum Foundation, our 501(c)3 Tax Exempt Foundation.

We hope you agree!

Tax Deductible Contributions

We suggest that lot owners wishing to “sell” their interment rights at Woodland consider “donating” the interment rights to the Woodland Arboretum Foundation. The Foundation would then issue an acknowledgement of the gift, and the donor would be free to claim it as a donation and receive a tax deduction when they file their taxes annually.

The Foundation will transfer each burial right to the cemetery to hold in inventory pending re-sale. At the time of sale a portion of the proceeds is deposited to our “Perpetual Care” Fund. This provides permanent care for the lots. A small portion of the proceeds is used to cover sales costs with the majority of the proceeds going to the Arboretum Foundation. This provides the Arboretum Foundation with a source of funds with which to do “good works” involving beautification or restoration of Historic Buildings, Monuments, works of art, etc. on the property.

The Process

Donors would contact our Family Service Department and discuss a possible donation to the Foundation. Woodland would research the lot books and records, print a plot drawing and visit the site to determine its eligibility for transfer. Assuming the graves are unused, we would draft a “Transfer of Burial Rights” document that would have to be signed and notarized by all co-owners of the burial spaces. The Transfer form is very specific that all potential owners agree to the transfer.

Claiming the Donation

The Woodland Arboretum Foundation will acknowledge the gift jointly to all donors (transferors) and they can decide how much of a tax deduction each should claim. Donors are encouraged to consult and rely upon the advice and counsel of their own experts regarding the valuation and tax deduction they wish to claim. In the event that the gifted property is sold within 3 years of the donation, the Arboretum Foundation is required to file Form 8282 with the IRS.

Conclusion

We believe that as a result of this program, many of our lot holders will be able to benefit from a donation and that many families wishing to purchase spaces close to the burial space of their loved ones will benefit. In addition, many “good works” and restorations will be accomplished, the beauty of Woodland will be enhanced and its history will be preserved.

Thank you for considering this creative solution to the disposition and use of unused space.