Big Business of Cemeteries

Cemeteries and the Funeral Rule

Cemetery Marketing Tricks

Resolving Disputes with Cemeteries

Famous Memorial Buildings

The “Big Two” Grave Marker Manufacturing Companies

Grave Marker Installation Games

Assuring Good Care for Grave Markers

Burial Options

Watching Out for the Consumer

Purchasing Grave Markers in Maryland

Shopping Tips for Memorials

The Cemetery & Funeral Industry

Does the Funeral Rule Cover Cemeteries

Headstone Manufacturing Process


Purchasing Grave Markers in Maryland

What are the Rules in Maryland if are looking for a Grave Marker?

A number of consumers whose loved-ones are buried in Maryland have heard from their cemetery that headstones purchased from dealers not licensed in Maryland may not be installed in that state.

This is simply not true.

The State of Maryland’s Office of Cemetery Oversight says this, specifically, on its website at http://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/cem/cemfaqs.htm.  

“A consumer may purchase a monument or marker from an independent monument or marker dealer.”

Maryland, like all states, allows cemeteries to set standards for their markers, but, so long as a marker meets those standards, the cemetery may not refuse it. A refuse is especially serious if it is based solely on the grounds of who sold it or where it was produced. Any attempt to do this is an overtly anti-competitive tactic (aimed at keeping prices artificially high) and would likely be in violation of federal anti-trust rules enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.

Maryland law does require that memorial businesses be licensed if they operate directly in the state. But, of course, there is no such requirement for businesses who are located elsewhere but simply serve customers in Maryland. (Any such law would likely face strong constitutional challenges.)

If an employee of a cemetery in Maryland attempts to discourage families from purchasing a headstone via the internet, by stating – falsely – that all monuments must be purchased from licensed dealers this could very well be considered a violation of Federal Trade Commission rules. Consumers would do well to let the cemetery management know of the very serious error and then to call the matter to the attention of the FTC and other consumer protection groups. The people who run Funerals.org are another great source.

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