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AGO 1956 No. 325 - October 04, 1956
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington


An endowment care cemetery is one in which the authority must pay a minimum of $10.00 for each adult grave, $30.00 for each crypt, and $5.00 for each niche, or 10% of the gross sales price which ever is greater.

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                                                                 October 4, 1956

C. S. Harley
Chairman, Cemetery Board
11111 Aurora Avenue
Seattle 33, Washington                                                                               Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 325

Dear Mr. Harley:

            By letter previously acknowledged, you have requested an opinion clarifying a former opinion issued May 18, 1954 [[AGO 53-55 No. 259 to C. S. Harley, Cemetery Board]], by this office.

            The opinion referred to concerned an interpretation of RCW 68.40.010 (Section 4, chapter 290, Laws of 1953), which reads in pertinent part as follows:

            "An endowment care cemetery is one which deposits in its endowment care fund not less than the following amounts for plots sold; Ten percent of the gross sales price, with a minimum of ten dollars for each adult grave; five dollars for each niche; and thirty dollars for each crypt."

            After reviewing the opinion of May 18 [[AGO 53-55 No. 259 to C. S. Harley, Cemetery Board]], it is our conclusion that the interpretation of the above quoted law was meant to apply only to the minimum requirements of the Endowment Care Fund.  However, since the opinion is somewhat ambiguous, we will attempt to clarify it.


            It is noted that the section of the statute involved requires a maximum deposit in the Endowment Care Fund of ten percent of the gross sales price  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] of each of the following:  1. Each adult grave, 2. Each niche, 3. Each crypt.

            It is our opinion that the statute itself is plain and unambiguous and means that the minimum allowance required must be paid into the Endowment Care Fund regardless of the sales price for each of the various types of interment prescribed.  For instance, if a grave in an Endowment Care was sold for $90.00, the law still requires that a minimum of $10.00 would have to be paid into the Endowment Care Fund.  On the other hand, if a grave sold for $150.00, ten percent of the sales price, to wit $15.00, would have to be deposited in the fund.  The same construction would apply to the niches and crypts.

            We trust that this opinion will clarify the matter for you.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

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