N.Y. Religious Corporations Law Section 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 Real Property Law § 451 (Acquisition of lands for cemetery purposes in certain counties)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:


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;


commingle its funds with a funeral entity;


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


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


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


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


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.

Source: Section 7 — Acquisition of property by religious corporations for cemetery purposes; management thereof, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/RCO/7 (updated Oct. 5, 2018; accessed Jul. 13, 2024).

Filing and recording certificates of incorporation of religious corporations
Property of unincorporated society transferred by its incorporation
Age qualifications of voters
General powers and duties of trustees of religious corporations
Investment of funds
Any investment of the funds of any religious corporation heretofore made by the trustees thereof shall not be deemed to have been restric...
Acquisition of property by religious corporations for branch institutions
Acquisition of property by religious corporations for cemetery purposes
Deeds for cemetery purposes
Lot owners’ rights
Reacquisition of a lot, plot or part thereof by a cemetery
Removal of human remains from one cemetery of a religious corporation to another cemetery owned by it
Acquisition of property by two or more religious corporations for a common parsonage
Correction and confirmation of conveyances to religious corporations
Sale, mortgage and lease of real property of religious corporations
Consolidation or merger of incorporated churches
Judicial investigation of amount of property of religious corporations
Corporations with governing authority over, or advisory relations with, churches or synods, or both
Consolidation of incorporated presbyteries
Consolidation or merger of incorporated Presbyterian and Lutheran synods
Property of extinct churches
Property of extinct Free Baptist churches
Property of extinct Seventh Day Baptist churches and Seventh Day Baptist religious societies
Property of extinct Presbyterian churches in connection with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U
Property of Lutheran congregations
Dissolution of religious corporations
Corporations for organizing and maintaining mission churches and Sunday schools
Corporations for acquiring parsonages for district superintendents and camp-meeting grounds
Corporations for acquiring camp-meeting grounds for the Reformed Methodist denomination
Corporations for acquiring lands for parsonage or camp-meeting purposes for the Free Methodist denomination
Establishing and maintaining a home for aged poor
Powers of churches created by special laws
Government of churches incorporated prior to January first, eighteen hundred and twenty-eight
Pastoral relation
Reservation as to Baptist churches, churches of the United Church of Christ and Congregational Christian churches
Electronic meetings

Jul. 13, 2024

Last modified:
Oct. 5, 2018

§ 7’s source at nysenate​.gov

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