Rep. Heaton's bill aiding Riverside Cemetery goes to governor

Posted by: Emily Gaylord  | Tuesday, March 8, 2016

STATEHOUSE (March 8, 2016) – State Rep. Bob Heaton’s (R-Terre Haute) bill aiding in funding the Riverside Cemetery in Spencer, Ind., passed through the General Assembly and now moves to the governor where it could be signed into law.

House Bill (HB) 1220 assists small, aging cemeteries, which are not able to function only on the interest of their perpetual care funds. The term "perpetual care" for cemeteries means the providing of funds, which are held in eternal trust, the income of which is to be used for long-term care of the cemetery.

“In August, Bill Williams, who is the president of the Riverside Cemetery Association, approached me with the idea for this bill,” Heaton said. “The bill will provide Riverside Cemetery additional access to the trust containing more than $145,000, which they could use to maintain their day-to-day operations, including maintenance and grounds keeping.”

HB 1220 provides that if the perpetual-care fund of a cemetery is established as a trust, the trustee may withdraw as much appreciation of the principal of the fund and income earned by the fund as the cemetery law allows.

The bill provides that cemetery boards may make an annual withdrawal equal to 50 percent of the fund’s appreciation value from their perpetual-care fund regardless of the limitations placed by the initial agreement of the trust. They are also permitted to make quarterly withdrawals from the fund equal to any income earned on the fund. These withdrawals from the fund may only be used for general care and maintenance of the cemetery facility.

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Rep. Heaton represents portions of Clay, Monroe, Owen and Vigo counties.