Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What is memorial care?
The cemetery maintains a Trust Fund for the continuous care of memorials. The fund was established on March 1, 1990. The fee is required to be paid before each memorial is installed within our cemetery. The memorial care contribution fee does not cover the replacement of any foundation, memorial or any item attached to it, only ongoing maintenance and repairs on the memorial when accidental damage occurred as a result of cemetery staff.
If a tree has grown and may possibly prevent a burial will we remove it?
Our policy is not to remove any tree unless it has died. Trees contribute to the landscape of the entire cemetery. If your lots have a tree which infringes on the ability to perform burial, we will allow an even exchange of the property. It is important to understand that many families desire to be close to trees, but that these will grow and sometimes do interfere with spaces in the future.
Do I have to be embalmed?
For some people, religious or personal reasons dictate whether or not they will be embalmed. Our cemetery does not require a body to be embalmed if the choice is to be buried in the ground. All mausoleum burials require the body to be embalmed.
Is there a state law that requires I be buried in a vault?
The is no state law requiring the use of a burial vault but many cemeteries including Fort Howard require an outer burial container for the burial of caskets in the ground. Outer burial containers are designed to help assure the grounds will remain safe and to help the cemetery maintain its landscape.
Why does the endowment care fee have to be paid again if I sell or transfer my spaces?
Payment to the endowment care fund is waived if spaces are sold or transferred to an immediate family member. In many cases cemetery property sold years ago did not fund endowment care needs to care for the cemetery in the future. The sale of new spaces, transferred, or resold spaces will contribute to this fund. This is our prudent approach to assure you that the cemetery will maintain its same high level of care and appearance for many generations.
I want to be buried in the same space as my spouse, why do I have to pay a second right of interment?
Each space is sold with one right of interment. When an additional burial takes place on this one space, the appropriate right needs to be purchased.
What happens if someone vandalizes our memorial or property?
The cemetery is a public space and we welcome visitors; this means that we cannot monitor everything that takes place within the cemetery at all times. We cannot be responsible for vandalism or natural disasters. Memorials are considered to be the purchaser’s personal property, so damage may be covered under a home owner’s insurance policy, but any repair is the owner’s responsibility.
Do we buy back spaces that were previously purchased?
We take pride in the fact that our cemetery has enough inventory to assure that we will be around for many generations. Therefore, we only offer to sell property in our current inventory. You are allowed to sell your cemetery property on your own, in the same manner that you would for anything else that you own. You can determine the price you want to sell it for. Once sold, we require that the transaction is documented at the cemetery through our cemetery forms. There is a small fee to complete these forms and the endowment care on the property is required to be paid, but you can negotiate who pays that fee when you sell the property.
What is covered by perpetual care/endowment care?
This fund is established in order to withhold reasonable standards of maintenance. The definition of reasonable standards is different for each person., but our way to describe it is that our cemetery’s “reasonable standards” are described as maintaining beautiful and peaceful surroundings for the deceased and all of their families as well as for all visitors who walk or visit the Park.
I have been given cemetery property in the form of a will. What else will I need to provide in order to be given rights to be buried?
Wills are not an acceptable form in order to give the cemetery permission to allow burials in other lot owner’s names. All burial rights need to be either transferred or assigned through legal documents which can only be drafted and completed by our cemetery’s manager. There are fees and different circumstances for the different forms that we have, which can be explained further by the Office Manager. Once these forms are properly completed and documented, permission can be granted appropriately.
Who owns the cemetery?
The Tribute Companies is a small company in Wisconsin which has been in the cemetery and funeral profession for over 43 years. The company is owned by Christine Toson, whose family has been in the cemetery industry for four generations.
What happens when the cemetery runs out of space?
We are proud of the fact that our cemetery has plenty of space available in current developed sections as well as additional acreage which will allow us to be active in the community for several generations. But, when that day does come that there is no longer inventory, our endowment care funds have been well managed and funded over many years so that the interest earned on this fund will be enough to properly maintain the cemetery as you see it today.
Can I plant bushes and flowers around my marker or monument?
Each section of the cemetery has been designated whether planting privileges are allowed or not allowed according to the cemetery rules and regulations to maintain uniformity within the cemetery. Flowers cannot be planted around flush markers. Those lots that have an upright monument allow planting within 10” of an above ground monument. Bushes may be planted only by the cemetery provided that they are allowed in the section that they wish to be placed and that a planting trust has been set up to address the planting and care.
What is included with the professional (opening and closing) fees?
The fee includes office procedures, the actual excavation of the grave, directing the interment service, returning the equipment, providing the equipment and necessary tools, appropriate documentation and cemetery overhead expenses. Over 45 different procedures are involved in the preparation and completion of a burial service.
Can I bury the cremated remains myself?
The interment of cremated remains is more than just the excavation of the ground. The same procedures and some of the same equipment as a full sized grave are needed. Our chart of over 45 different procedures is also involved in the grave opening for cremated remains. Wisconsin State Statues allow that only cemeteries are permitted to open and close graves in their cemetery.
How long does it take to restore the grave?
Our goal is to restore every grave as soon as possible. Once the grave has been refilled we add water to help settle the grave in dry and non freezing months of the year. Once the grave has settled and dried we compact the ground. After this is done we add a layer of new soil and then perform the process of hydro seeding. This process applies fertilizer, paper mulch and grass seed to the grave. The grave must then be watered on a frequent basis so that new grass will grow. Weather conditions play a very important role in the timing of when the grave can be compacted and the hydro seeding completion. A hot and dry summer and a wet spring or fall make it harder if not difficult to get the grave restored timely.
Why is there an extra fee for Saturday services?
Our grounds staff works 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday. When a burial is scheduled for Saturday our staff is required by Wisconsin State Law to be paid one and a half times their hourly wages. Benefits the employee receives are also included in these costs. In order to assure fair and legal wages are paid, overtime fees apply when these types of situations occur.
Do I need a burial vault for my cremated remains?
Outer burial containers are required for all ground burial inurnments. We want to assure the future recovery of the cremated remains if ever desired as well as safe and stable ground conditions.
Am I allowed to co-mingle cremated remains?
Cremated remains of more than one person must be separately packaged. We will not mix them. If a package of cremated remains is too large to fit into a cremorial or cremation urn it will be our responsibility to contact the family of the deceased so that arrangements can be made for the remainder of remains.