Cemetery Rules

& Regulations

Before designing a monument that is right for you or your loved one, it is always important to understand what regulations exist for the section of the cemetery in which the monument will be located. For example, many cemeteries have flat or bronze only sections where upright monuments cannot be erected. Still others require upright monuments to be of a certain height or thickness.

Understanding cemetery regulations will help in determining the best style for you and simplify the entire design process. There are several ways to acquire this information. In most cases, your cemetery will have the regulations posted in the cemetery, at the office, or on signs throughout the cemetery. If you are unable to find the regulations this way our staff can assist you in collecting and understanding the requirements for your cemetery.

Many cemeteries charge a variety of fees for installation of the monument, perpetual care, maintenance, and other add-on services which must be performed by law by the cemetery regardless of where the memorial was purchased.  The cemetery will not cover the workmanship of a monument you purchase from another company, but if you purchase from Smith County Monument Company our full and unconditional lifetime warranty will cover the workmanship of the monument in addition to the maintenance the cemetery must provide.

In most cases, individual cemeteries are responsible for pouring the foundation for their monuments and markers to be installed there.  A separate fee is collected to cover this work.  We then deliver the memorial to the cemetery and set it on the foundation they provide.  If there are issues with the foundation work, we will be happy to work with you and the cemetery to resolve them.

Some cemeteries will tell a customer that they are the only ones who can install a monument, that installation costs are part of the lot price or that since your family member is buried in our cemetery that you have to purchase your monument from them. This is ILLEGAL.  There is a specific rule in the Federal Trade Commission which states that they have to accept the marker even if you purchase it from someone other than the cemetery. Likewise, If the cemetery has services offered to families who purchase a marker from them, they have to also allow you those same services per the Federal Trade Commission.

While a cemetery may sell memorials as a sideline, it does not specialize in that product.  We can provide the expertise to design an appropriate memorial for you, and we offer the most complete selection of designs and colors.

Ask questions before you buy a cemetery plot and be sure you receive satisfactory answers.  Our staff is happy to work with you to determine and verify what is allowable at your cemetery and what will look best on your gravesite.

TN Burial and Cemetery Laws

The state laws of TN are located here:


There is a wealth of information on everything from family cemeteries to pre planning and the maximum amounts that you can be charged for fees. If you have further questions, please contact us.