In the interest of public health and the common good, the government provides some basic guidelines and regulations for the upkeep of cemeteries. Many of these regulations center on the notion of perpetual care. There are many misconceptions about what perpetual care is and what it isn’t, but basically, it just refers to the funds that are used to repair and maintain cemeteries. For example, lawn mowing and landscaping are encompassed by the perpetual care fund. Perpetual care may also entail the upkeep of paths used by visitors to the cemetery. Depending on the state you’re in, perpetual care may or may not be mandated. And if you pay perpetual care fees, that money may go toward the upkeep of a specific plot (e.g., the one where your loved one is buried or where you one day plan to be buried), or to the more general upkeep of the cemetery. Perpetual care covers a lot of the expenses associated with cemetery upkeep - but there are still a few responsibilities that fall to families, outside the scope of perpetual care. For example, in most cemeteries, families are required to maintain the cleanliness of the headstone, niche, and/or crypt. And, the family must supply floral decorations. Some cemeteries may assist with the removal of dead flowers. If you have questions about perpetual care, or about what your duties are beyond that perpetual care fund, you can always ask your funeral director. Indeed, it’s wise to know where your responsibilities lie, and also to be aware of what the cemetery staff will do to help you honor your loved one’s final resting place.