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

ORS 97.665

  • restrictions on uses of revenue


A nonprofit corporation organized or existing solely for the purposes of either owning and operating a cemetery or cremating dead bodies and burying and caring for incinerate remains may, by its bylaws, provide that a stated percentage of the money received from the sale of lots and burial space, cremation of bodies, donations, gifts or other sources of revenue shall constitute an irreducible fund. Any bylaw enacted for the creation of the irreducible fund cannot be amended to reduce the fund.


The board of directors may direct the investment of the money in the irreducible fund, but all investments of money deposited in the fund on or after January 1, 1972, shall be in securities in classes and amounts approved by the State Treasurer and published in a list pursuant to ORS 97.820 (Placing cemetery under endowed care). If a bank or trust company qualified to engage in the trust business is directed by the board of directors to invest the money in the irreducible fund, the bank or trust company shall be governed by ORS 130.750 (Trustee’s duty to comply with prudent investor rule) to 130.775 (Trust language authorizing investments permitted under prudent investor rule) and shall not be required to invest the money according to the list approved by the State Treasurer. An officer of the corporation shall file with the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services on or before April 15 of each year a verified statement in duplicate containing the same information pertaining to the irreducible fund as provided in ORS 97.810 (Endowment care and nonendowed care cemeteries) (4) regarding endowment care funds. The director may require the corporation to file, as often as the director considers it to be necessary, a detailed report of the conditions and assets of the irreducible fund.


The interest or income arising from the irreducible fund provided for in this section or by any bylaws, or so much thereof as is necessary, shall be devoted exclusively to the preservation and embellishment of the grounds, buildings and property of the corporation and the lots and space in buildings or grounds sold to the members of the corporation, or to the payment of the interest or principal of the debts authorized by subsection (5) of this section for the purchase of land, erecting buildings, and improvements. Any surplus thereof not needed or used for such purposes shall be invested as provided in this section and shall become part of the irreducible fund.


After paying for the land and the erection of the original buildings and improvements thereon, all the future receipts and income of the corporation subject to the provisions in this section relating to the creation of an irreducible fund, whether from the sale of lots and burial space, cremation of bodies, donations, gifts and other sources, shall be applied exclusively to laying out, preserving, protecting, embellishing and beautifying the cemetery or the crematory and grounds thereof, and the avenues leading thereto, and to the erection of such buildings and improvements as may be necessary or convenient for cemetery or crematory purposes, and to pay the necessary expenses of the corporation.


No debts shall be contracted by such corporation in anticipation of any future receipts, except for originally purchasing the lands authorized to be purchased by it, laying out and embellishing the grounds and avenues, erecting buildings and vaults on such land, and improving them for the purposes of the corporation. The corporation may issue bonds or notes for debts so contracted and may secure them by way of mortgage upon any of its lands, buildings, property and improvements excepting lots or space conveyed to the members. [Formerly 65.860]
Note: See note under 97.660 (Lands of cemetery or crematory corporation).
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