2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 10 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 14 - CEMETERY AND FUNERAL SERVICES
§ 10-14-29 - Construction regulations; preconstruction trust funds
. Construction regulations; preconstruction trust funds
(a) A cemetery company shall start construction of that section of a mausoleum or columbarium in which sales, contracts for sales, reservations for sales, or agreements for sales are being made within four years after the date of the first such sale or 50 percent of the mausoleum or columbarium has been sold and the purchase price has been received, whichever occurs first. The construction shall be completed within five years after the date of the first sale made. If the units have not been completely constructed at the earlier of time of need or the time specified in this subsection, all moneys paid shall be refunded upon request, plus interest earned thereon for that portion of the moneys deposited in the preneed escrow account and an amount equal to the interest that would have been earned on that portion of the moneys that were not so deposited.
(b) A cemetery company that plans to offer for sale space in a section of a mausoleum or columbarium prior to construction shall establish a preconstruction trust fund by written instrument. The preconstruction trust fund shall be administered by a corporate trustee approved by the Secretary of State and not affiliated with the cemetery company and operated in conformity with applicable provisions of Code Section 10-14-7
. The preconstruction trust fund shall be separate from any other trust funds that may be required by this chapter.
(c) Before a sale, contract for sale, reservation for sale, or agreement for sale in a mausoleum section or columbarium may be made, the cemetery company shall compute the amount to be deposited to the preconstruction trust fund. The total amount to be deposited in the fund for each unit of the project shall be computed by dividing the cost of the project plus 10 percent of the cost, as computed by a licensed contractor, engineer, or architect, by the number of crypts or niches in the mausoleum or columbarium. When payments are received in installments, the percentage of the installment payment placed in trust must be identical to the percentage which the payment received bears to the total cost of the contract, including other burial or funeral merchandise and services purchased. Preconstruction trust fund payments shall be made within 30 days after the end of the month in which payment is received.
(d) When the cemetery company delivers a completed crypt, mausoleum, columbarium, or niche acceptable to the purchaser in lieu of the crypt or niche purchased prior to construction, all sums deposited to the preconstruction trust fund for that purchaser shall be paid to the cemetery company.
(e) Upon completion of the mausoleum section or columbarium, the cemetery company shall certify completion to the trustee and shall be entitled to withdraw all funds deposited to the account of such mausoleum section or columbarium.
(f) If the mausoleum section or columbarium is not completed within the time limits set out in this Code section, the trustee shall contract for and cause the project to be completed and pay therefor from the trust funds deposited to the project's account, paying any balance, less cost and expenses, to the cemetery company. The cemetery company shall be liable for any difference between the amount necessary to complete construction and the amount of trust funds.
(g) On or before January 31 of each year, the trustee shall file with the Secretary of State in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State, a full and true statement as to the activities of any trust established pursuant to this Code section for the preceding calendar year.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer