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This entry was published on 2018-10-05
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SECTION 7
Acquisition of property by religious corporations for cemetery purposes; management thereof
Religious Corporations (RCO) CHAPTER 51, ARTICLE 2
§ 7. Acquisition of property by religious corporations for cemetery
purposes; management thereof. A religious corporation may take and hold,
by purchase, grant, gift or devise, real property for the purposes of a
cemetery; or such lot or lots in any cemetery connected with it, as may
be conveyed or devised to it, with or without provisions limiting
interments therein to particular persons or classes of persons; and may
take and hold any property granted, given, devised or bequeathed to it
in trust to apply the same or the income or proceeds thereof, under the
direction of the trustees of the corporation, for the improvement or
embellishment of such cemetery or any lot therein, including the
erection, repair, preservation or removal of tombs, monuments,
gravestones, fences, railings or other erections, or the planting or
cultivation of trees, shrubs, plants, or flowers in or around any such
cemetery or cemetery lots.

A religious corporation may erect upon any property held by it for
cemetery purposes, a suitable building for religious services for the
burial of the dead, or for the use of the keepers or other persons
employed in connection therewith, and may sell and convey lots in such
cemetery for burial purposes, subject to such conditions and
restrictions as may be imposed by the instrument by which the same was
acquired, or by the rules and regulations adopted by such corporation.
Every such conveyance of a lot or plat for burial purposes, signed,
sealed and acknowledged in the same manner as a deed to be recorded, may
be recorded in like manner and with like effect as a deed of real
property.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section four hundred fifty-one of
the real property law or any other provision of law to the contrary, a
religious corporation that prior to January first, nineteen hundred
eighty-four received a special permit from the zoning board of appeals
for the use of certain real property as a cemetery and which actually
used such real property for cemetery purposes, may use such real
property for cemetery purposes without the consent of the county
legislative body for the county in which such real property is situated.

No religious corporation owning, managing or controlling a cemetery
shall, directly or indirectly:

(a) sell, or have, enter into or perform a lease of any of its real
property dedicated to cemetery purposes or adjacent thereto to a funeral
entity, or use any of its property for locating a funeral entity;

(b) commingle its funds with a funeral entity;

(c) direct or carry on its cemetery related business or affairs with a
funeral entity;

(d) authorize control of its cemetery related business or affairs by a
funeral entity;

(e) engage in any sale or cross-marketing of goods or services with a
funeral entity;

(f) have, enter into or perform a management or service contract for
cemetery operations with a funeral entity; or

(g) have, enter into or perform a management contract with any entity
other than a not-for-profit cemetery or religious corporation.

Only the provisions of subparagraphs (a) and (b) of the previous
paragraph shall apply to religious corporations with thirty acres or
less of real property dedicated to cemetery purposes, and only to the
extent the sale or lease is of real property dedicated to cemetery
purposes, and such cemeteries shall not engage in the sale of funeral
home goods or services, except if such goods and services are otherwise
permitted to be sold by cemeteries. No religious corporation shall
approve or authorize the construction of a mausoleum or columbarium on
property owned by the religious corporation where such mausoleum or
columbarium shall be the only form of interment offered for cemetery
purposes unless a management contract has been entered into with an
existing cemetery corporation regulated under article fifteen of the
not-for-profit corporation law, that will provide operational management
of the mausoleum or columbarium, and the owner of the mausoleum or
columbarium has reserved interment space and secured interment services
in a cemetery regulated under this article, in order to assure continued
perpetual care of the remains contained in the mausoleum or columbarium
should such mausoleum or columbarium become abandoned or choose to cease
operations.