A Jefferson County Circuit Court judge approved the transfer of Resthaven Cemetery and Funeral Home from the Alabama Department of Insurance to Tuscaloosa-based DeArbor, LLC, Commissioner Jim Ridling announced today.
Judge Houston Brown approved the transaction in an order issued late Tuesday. Under the agreement, DeArbor will assume all assets of Resthaven. It will be required to re-establish an endowment care fund to maintain the facility. DeArbor will be required to honor all paid-in-full Resthaven cemetery contracts for plots, vaults, and opening and closing services.
The transaction should be finalized within 30 days, Commissioner Ridling said.
“This is a wonderful end to a tragic situation,” Commissioner Ridling said. “We appreciate the hard work of those who helped bridge the cap after Resthaven went into receivership. We also appreciate the support and interest of the local legislative delegation – Representatives Duwayne Bridges and Richard Laird and Sen. Kim Benefield – in this matter. We also appreciate help from County Commissioners Debbie Wood, Henry Osborne and Jack Bunn, as well as Sheriff Sid Lockhart and county attorney Skip McCoy.”
Resthaven was one of 21 operations owned by Mike Graham and Associates, a Texas company that was taken into receivership by the Department of Insurance in October 2005 due to financial irregularities under the Alabama Pre-Need Funeral and Cemetery Act. Graham subsequently was investigated by regulators from several states. Graham died before criminal cases could be pursued. Only three locations – Albertville, Arab and Oneonta – remain in receivership.
DeArbor also acquired a cemetery in Cullman in the same transaction. It also operates locations in Centreville and Tuscaloosa.