Rights and Duties Relating to Cemeteries, Human Bodies and Anatomical Gifts

ORS 97.630
Family plots

  • order of occupation


Whenever an interment of the remains of a member or of a relative of a member of the family of the record owner, or of the remains of the record owner, is made in a plot transferred by deed or certificate of ownership to an individual owner, and the owner dies without making disposition of the plot, either by direction in the owner’s will, or by a written declaration filed and recorded in the office of the cemetery authority, the plot thereby becomes inalienable and shall be held as the family plot of the owner, and occupied in the following order:


One grave, niche or crypt may be used for the owner’s interment; one for the owner’s surviving spouse, if there is one, who by ORS 97.010 (Definitions) to 97.040 (Private family burial grounds), 97.110 (Human remains not to be attached) to 97.450 (Discontinuance of cemetery and removal of remains and markers), 97.510 (Sale and conveyance of plots by cemetery authority) to 97.730 (Gifts and bequests in trust for cemeteries), 97.810 (Endowment care and nonendowed care cemeteries) to 97.920 (Judgment declaring nuisance, authorizing abatement and creating and foreclosing lien) and 97.990 (Penalties) has a vested right of interment in it; and in those remaining, if any, the children of the deceased owner in order of death may be interred without the consent of any person claiming any interest in the plot.


If no child survives, the right of interment goes in order of death to the spouse of any child of the record owner.


Any surviving spouse, child or child’s spouse who has a right of interment in a family plot may waive such right in favor of any other relative or spouse of a relative of either the deceased owner or of the deceased owner’s spouse, and upon such waiver the remains of the person in whose favor the waiver is made may be interred in the plot.


Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the personal representative of the deceased owner of a family plot may sell unoccupied interment spaces in the plot as property of the estate of the deceased owner when there are no existing rights of interment in those spaces or all existing rights of interment in those spaces have been waived and thereby terminated.


Whenever a plot is transferred by deed or certificate of ownership to an individual owner and the transfer is recorded on the books of the cemetery authority, the cemetery authority shall provide to the individual owner a written statement, in a form approved by the State Mortuary and Cemetery Board, containing a clear explanation of the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section and of the rights of interment established thereby. [Amended by 1985 c.652 §1]
Chapter 97

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Embalming dead human body without prior authorization from surviving spouse or next of kin, (1981) Vol 41, p 457


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021