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How to Remove a Headstone

The final resting place of a loved one can be an emotional place to visit. No matter how much time passes, it can be both comforting and difficult to recall all the memories. By beautifying a gravesite and keeping it clean, you can preserve the place for all other family members and future generations to visit and embrace. Whether made of bronze, granite, or marble, stones and monuments are susceptible to weathering and aging. It is not at all uncommon for families to hire headstone preservation specialists, so that they can maintain a loved one's memorial for many years to come. Depending on the degree of damage or exposure to the elements, there is a possibility that the headstone might need to be removed for additional repair. In this article, we explain how to remove a headstone in an extreme circumstance.

Guide to Headstone Removal

Many states have laws against removing headstones from graveyards. For example, this type of unauthorized action is considered a Class B felony in New Hampshire. A headstone should only be removed from the graveyard by a community-based group or local official acting within the limits of local and state law or operating with the knowledge of the descendants of the deceased. In most circumstances, it is preferable to repair a headstone rather than remove it. Removal can result in additional damage. Headstones should only be removed under extreme circumstances, such as flooding, rapid deterioration caused by pollution, or increasing vandalism in the area.

If a headstone is successfully removed, you must find a well-established institution that is willing to accept the responsibility of caring for and providing access to the monument. The gravestone's original location and condition must be well documented, and a plaque or temporary memorial should be placed at the original gravesite. After all, headstones are used to denote sacred ground and identify the deceased. Your local authorities or funeral providers may require a plot deed to authorize any kind of removal or modification to the original burial site.

If your loved one is buried in a churchyard, changing or removing the headstone altogether may prove more difficult. Even if you or the deceased own the burial plot of land, the cemetery belongs to someone else. You will have to seek permission through the proper channels before taking any action. If the church grants permission or you get approval from local authorities, you should set aside time to choose a new headstone or make the necessary arrangements to repair your loved one's monument. Delivery and installation will have to be scheduled in accordance with the cemetery's availability. While you shop, it is important to pay attention to size. A headstone is usually placed on top of a concrete base so that it remains upright and level. If you transition to a larger headstone, you will need to replace the concrete base as well. Some cemeteries provide removal for a fee, but you can hire a professional team to ensure that everything goes smoothly. If you have any questions about how to remove a headstone or the hoops you might have to jump through, please contact Legacy Headstones today for additional information or further assistance.


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