Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2023-08-30T12:49:24-04:00

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about our cemeteries.
For more information about our services, feel free to contact us at (716) 885-1600 or email us at

What are the benefits of pre-planning?2023-07-27T13:11:50-04:00

If you pre-planned your arrangements for funeral and cemetery services, there are at least 49 decisions your loved ones will have to make within hours on the worst day of their lives. But if you plan ahead, your family has only two decisions – day and time of the service. With pre-arrangements, you can choose exactly what you want, pay in today’s prices, finance your purchase over multiple years at 0% interest, and receive an additional, significant discount. So don’t wait. Contact one of our Family Service Representatives to make your pre-arrangements today. Call (716) 885-1600

Read more about 49 vs. 2 and download a checklist here.

What do I do if a family member or a loved one is ill or has died?2023-07-21T16:01:42-04:00

We understand that this is a very difficult time for you. The first thing to do is to call a licensed funeral director. According to New York State law, he or she is the only person who can legally handle the funeral arrangements for the deceased in New York State. Even if you are choosing cremation for your loved one, you must – by law – contact a funeral director. He or she can then make arrangements to have the cremation process performed at a crematory.

If you have not already chosen a funeral director, this link can help you find one from the local Erie Niagara Funeral Directors Association.

Once you’ve identified a funeral director, you can certainly contact us at the Forest Lawn Cemetery Group to select a space for place for cremation or casketed burial. Call (716) 885-1600 use the “Contact Us” form on this website to speak with a Family Service Representative.

What do I need for burial?2023-07-27T13:11:17-04:00

For traditional, full-body, in-ground burial you’ll need:

  • Space (the land)
  • Outer Burial Container (burial vault, available through a Funeral Director)
  • Cemetery Interment Service Fee
  • A Memorial Grave Marker (typical but not required)

For cremation and burial in-ground you’ll need:

  • Space (land)
  • Outer Burial Container (this may be an urn vault or a Marbelon urn) from your cemetery or Funeral Director
  • Cemetery Interment Service Fee
  • A Memorial Grave Marker (typical but not required)
How do I begin to buy cemetery property?2023-07-21T15:59:12-04:00

Simply call our offices at (716) 885-1600 or use the “Contact Us” form on this website to make an appointment with one of our non-commissioned Family Service Representatives. Our office is open, and a Family Service Representative is available 6 days a week to fit your schedule, so please call anytime for an appointment. If you are unable to come into our office, a representative can come to you.

Why do I need cemetery space if I’m being cremated?2023-07-21T15:57:44-04:00

Some people think it’s OK to put the cremated body on a shelf in their closet, or on the mantle above the fireplace. But a deceased human being is a deceased human being, whether in a casket or an urn. In the United States, we bury our dead in a permanent resting place so our loved one’s cremated body is protected, in a sacred place, where the body will always be treated with dignity and respect.

At the Forest Lawn Group of Cemeteries cremated bodies may be buried in an urn or scattered in-ground, or placed above ground in a columbarium or mausoleum niche. To learn more about cremation, please click here, call us at (716) 885-1600 or use the “Contact Us” form on this website.

I’m moving out of the area – how do I sell my cemetery space?2023-07-21T15:55:29-04:00

The State of New York requires that you offer it first to the cemetery. Write a letter to the cemetery at which you own burial space with your signature notarized, requesting that we make you an offer for your space, mailing it return-receipt requested. In our offer letter, we will tell you your options, based on New York State laws and our cemetery’s policy. You do not have to accept our offer. If you do not accept our offer, you will be free to sell it on your own to whomever you wish.

If you have further questions, please email us at (716) 885-1600 or use the “Contact Us” form on this website.

Who can be buried in my family lot?2023-07-21T15:54:35-04:00

The original lot owner may give permission to anyone to be buried in his/her lot. The lot owner, spouse, and direct descendants have a “natural right” of burial, as long as there is still actual space available, according to the number of burial rights (spaces) purchased and appropriate authorization. Direct descendants are children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. Spouses of direct descendants may be buried, if there is room and with appropriate authorization. Other family members may have right of burial if no direct descendants are surviving.

Once the lot owner is deceased, the right of burial passes to the children, then grandchildren, and so on. If a direct descendant is willing to wait and hope that other direct descendants will not use up all remaining space on the lot, then no reservations are required. However, if a direct heir wishes to reserve a burial space on the lot prior to the time of need, specific authorizations are required. An Affidavit of Title must be completed by a direct descendant that lists every living direct descendant of the lot owner who has a right to be buried on the lot.
Contact us if you have any questions by calling (716) 885-1600 or use the “Contact Us” form on this website.

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