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Cemeteries, Ghosts and Zombies

It is a scary time to be a title agent.  Some of the most complicated land title disputes and issues arise from death of an owner.  But do you have a duty to disclose if that death occurred on the property?  What is stigmatized property?  Cemeteries are a complicated legal status for real estate.  While the “dead” cannot hold title to real estate, the right to inter a body in that legal parcel is perpetual.  And no October could be complete without a discussion of Zombies (Zombie Houses that is) and how they can foil the foreclosure process.

This class will discuss such issues and identify issues that deal with each including claims stories.

Course Outline


Topics overview

Will outline the principles of the class

-Section One: Cemeteries

5 minutes




An overview of title to cemetery lands

5 minutes

Case Study: who owns the fee

Review of the way cemeteries are titled and who retains the rights to them

5 minutes

Case Study: the old burial ground

Review of the case to determine the rights of those who hold easement rights to cemetery lands

5 Minutes

Review and discussion

Q&A and review of topics discussed.

-Section Two: Ghosts

5 Minutes



5 minutes

Stigmatized property

What is stigmatized property and do you have a duty to disclose

5 minutes

Case Study: the Texas State House

Review of the complicated status of title to the Texas State House Building

5 minutes

Review and Discussion

Q&A and review of section two topics.

-Section Three: Zombie Houses

5 minutes


Review of definitions – what are Zombie Houses?


An overview of the term Zombie Houses and what that means – includes discussion of the ramifications to foreclosure proceedings

5 minutes

Case Study: The Heidelberg Project

How do zombie homes effect homeowners, squatters and lenders

5 minutes

Case Study: the house that never foreclosed

Review of the case of the house that never was foreclosed and stayed in limbo for a long time.

5 minutes

Review and Discussion

Q&A and review of section three topics.

Total Time: 60 minutes

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