How to make a killing selling burial plots

Have a gravesite you no longer need? Follow these selling tips

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From the January 2015 issue of the magazine.

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Getty Images

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Burial plots have skyrocketed in value in recent years. So if you bought one years ago, but no longer have a use for it—either because you want to be cremated, your marital circumstances have changed, or you simply need the money—you’ll want to cash in and maximize your returns. Here’s how.


Call up the cemetery you bought the plot from and tell them you don’t want it anymore. Sometimes they’re legally required to buy it back at fair market value—and the windfall could be huge! For example, we know of a burial plot at Toronto’s Pine Hills Cemetery that sold for $340 in 1985. Today, the same grave site sells for $4,445.


Off-loading burial plots online is trending hotter than Kim Kardashian these days. Just recently, two side-by-side plots in British Columbia’s Ocean View Burial Park were listed on Kijiji for a cool $25,000.


If you and your spouse aren’t fussy about burial options, some cemeteries will accommodate one casket and one crematory urn in a single plot. You’ll never be parted from your sweetie, and you’ll save thousands of dollars to boot.


If you’ve changed your burial plans, why not will that valuable but unwanted plot to someone you love. Maybe it’s your favourite niece or an old army buddy. Just remember that if it’s someone other than your spouse, there may be a capital gains to pay on your final return. Even in death, no one escapes the tax man.

5 comments on “How to make a killing selling burial plots

  1. I own plots in a Ontario City Cemetery. They tell me I can’t sell them, I must return them to the City and receive the original amount paid. Is this something that the City can do?


  2. I live in Ontario as well and the cemmetery will not let you sell them. They will repurchase them at the orininal cost.


    • My grandfather had 2 double plots in Ontario, when he moved to NB he transferred the plots to my parents and now that they have moved to NB transferred the plots to me. Obviously you can transfer them and i see a lot of people selling them online. I hope we can sell as right now may need too.


  3. I’m in Ontario, and my cemetery informed me that I must sell my plots independently. Based on what the other commenters have said, it seems like Ontario has some murky regulations regarding this matter.


  4. Hi Julie! Thanks for the “affirmative” article. My mum has recently passed away very difficult for all the “kids”. She left explicit instructions that her “family plot”, purchased at “Pine Hills” in Scarborough, ON, was to be sold on as she had NO desire to be there, if you will? Mum was an extremely savvy business woman. She knew that this “over-sized lot”, purchased in 1993, (sadly with the passing of our 4 year old son to cancer), would one day be worth many times its purchase price, as this area of Scarborough was in rapid expansion. Purchasing, under the statute of the day, allowed four full size caskets, as it was a “deep burial” site. Since 93, we have lost my dad who is also buried there. The lot is 21 sq. meters, and Pine hills does not even offer something this large in today’s age, unless purchased with a hefty premium! The book value of the next smallest? By the list, is $22,000.00. Our consultant speculates that this “lot” is more likely “off the Official price charts, and is closer to 30,000. As the cemetery is rapidly selling out? I am inclined to agree! We have our Lawyer involved, and are using a Licensed Funeral Director, familiar with Pine Hills, but represents another “park” ( and it really is beautiful) in North Ajax. Okay, there’s the jist. I am familiar with the current “laws” and Governance of the GTA, and we are free to have my father and son “disinterred” as we chose, and sell on the property. However, since Pine Hills MAY NOT profit on our sale, it seems they have decided to use a dodgy method “hide and seek” in the charges for said disinterment!!! We, have been notified that by the “standards board” of fees, there is a base fee of 5,000., plus a replacement wooden casket for which the remains are to be placed. We have opted to cremate both son and dad. Counsel and Consultant agree that 2 parties moved at the same time would be a fee plus situation, as the work will be performed for both at the same time. Fair enough. However, when we had a sit down with Pine Hills, (them clearly knowing how much profit would be in the sale of a lot purchased for 3,500 20 years ago, produced a figure WITH NO SUPPORTING PAPERWORK, of $14,000.00 to perform this action! Both our Counsel and Consultant immediately cried foul and have stated they will take any action they can to ensure that this “sham” be rapidly disposed of, adding that the cemetery was clearly “jacking” their numbers, in various ways to piece themselves in on what may be a lucrative sell for our family!. Disgraceful! To the point. It is true that there certainly are opportunities to “make a killing”, but if you have this kind of deception thrown your way? You will lose far more than you stood to gain! Thanks for your attention here, Do you have any thoughts or suggestions from the “business side” of a situation such as this? Anything you comment on( to my private email address) will stay with our family and consultants only. It will not be published, ANYWHERE!
    Jeffery James Lane.
    for the Lane family, and the interests of our mum Mrs. Gladys Maude Lane. 1934-2015


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