28A-19-9. Gravestone and burial place authorized.

(a) If the decedent has duly appointed a health care agent pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 32A of the General Statutes to provide for these expenses, the health care agent may make arrangements to provide a suitable gravestone to mark the grave of the testator or intestate, and the personal representative shall reimburse the health care agent subject to the monetary limitations and procedures contained in this section. If the decedent did not have a health care agent, or if the health care agent does not act, it is lawful for a personal representative or the decedent's duly appointed health care agent to provide a suitable gravestone to mark the graves of the testator or intestate and to pay for the cost of erecting the same. The cost thereof shall be treated as a third class claim under G.S. 28A-19-6 and credited as such in final accounts. The costs thereof shall be in the sound discretion of the personal representative or health care agent, having due regard to the value of the estate and to the interests of creditors and needs of the surviving spouse and the heirs and devisees of the estate. Where the personal representative or health care agent desires to spend more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for the purpose of a gravestone, and the will does not grant specific authority to the personal representative for such expenditures in excess of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500), the personal representative shall file a petition before the clerk of the court, and such order as will be made by the court shall specify the amount to be expended for such purpose. In specifying the amount, the clerk may consider the value of the estate. To the extent that the personal representative or health care agent advances the costs for providing a suitable gravestone to mark the graves of the testator or intestate and for erecting the same, the advancement shall be considered as an obligation of the decedent's estate, and the decedent's estate shall be primarily liable for the costs for providing a suitable gravestone to mark the graves of the testator or intestate and for erecting the same.

(b) It is lawful for the decedent's duly appointed health care agent to provide a suitable burial place for the testator or intestate. If the decedent did not have a health care agent, or if the health care agent does not act, then the personal representative may provide a suitable burial place for the testator or intestate. The cost of a suitable burial place shall be in the sound discretion of the personal representative or the decedent's health care agent, having due regard to the value of the estate and to the interests of creditors and needs of the surviving spouse and the heirs and devisees of the estate, and shall be treated as a third class claim under G.S. 28A-19-6. (1905, c. 444; Rev., s. 102; C.S., s. 108; 1925, c. 4; 1941, c. 102; 1951, c. 373; 1973, c. 1329, s. 3; 2009-288, s. 2; 2011-344, s. 4.)