Ivana Trump's Final Resting Place Is Not Where You'd Expect

Ivana Trump, the first wife of former U.S. President Donald Trump and the mother of three of his five children (Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka), died on July 14, 2022, following an accident at her New York City home, as ABC News reports. She was 73. "Ivana Trump was a survivor. She fled from communism and embraced this country. She taught her children about grit and toughness, compassion, and determination. She will be dearly missed by her mother, her three children and ten grandchildren," her family said in a statement.

The former Mrs. Trump's final resting place, however, is not in her native Czechia, nor is it in a location that would, in Western society at least, be considered within the norm, such as a cemetery or mausoleum. Rather, it appears that she was buried on private property belonging to her ex-husband and/or his family, according to the New York Post, she was buried on the grounds of Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. And, while such a burial is unusual, it's perfectly legal. Furthermore, it appears as if burying human remains on commercial property is a way to dodge taxes.

She Was Almost Certainly Buried At A Golf Club

Although as of August 3, 2022, there has been no official confirmation from the Trump family about Ivana's final resting place, a New York Post report leaves out any ambiguity about where the former Mrs. Trump was buried. Photos taken from the site show a simple and nondescript grave marker indicating the dates of her birth and death. Further still, the photos appear to show disturbed earth, consistent with a grave having been dug there. A bouquet of white flowers adorned the site.

It bears noting that Mrs. Trump's grave, though she's buried at a golf course, is not in a high-traffic area that guests would trod in the course of their games. In fact, she's buried in a part of the property "not too far from the main clubhouse," according to a source. "They have a private grassy area," according to the source, slightly away from the first tee in an area where a golfer wouldn't notice it unless they were specifically looking for it. And, by the way, according to Snopes, photos showing the supposed grave site, with golf carts traversing a few feet away, are fake.

It's not uncommon for people who can afford it and who can swing it to be buried in places that were near and dear to them, and Donald Trump himself has expressed his desire for his own final resting place to be at the course as well.

Wait: It's Legal To Bury Someone At A Golf Course?

As it turns out, it is quite legal to bury human remains on a golf course, at least, in New Jersey, according to the The Washington Post (pending the completion of the right paperwork, of course). Back in 2017, the newspaper reported that the Trump Organization had filed paperwork to request permission to build a cemetery on land adjacent to the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster. Specifically, one plan was to allow a small plot to be put aside for ten graves, likely those of Mr. Trump and his family. "Mr. Trump ... specifically chose this property for his final resting place as it is his favorite property," said his company in a 2014 filing.

At the time, the Post reported that officials had approved the plans, although it was unclear if the Trump Organization, at the time being helmed by Trump's two oldest sons — Eric and Donald Jr. — planned to move forward with them.

Meanwhile, the matter of burying human remains on golf courses does not appear to be limited to New Jersey. In 2014, according to the Columbus Dispatch, an 18-hole golf course was converted to a "green" cemetery — which is to say, it would require sustainable burial practices, such as wooden coffins that can biodegrade. Half of the property would become a cemetery, the other half would remain a nine-hole golf course.

There Are Tax Implications

Before delving too deeply into the next part of the narrative, it bears noting that we are not suggesting that Mr. Trump buried Ivana on his property for tax purposes, nor are we suggesting that his existing plans for burial plots at Bedminster were drawn up with tax breaks in mind. But, as Snopes claims, "a separate rumor speculates that Trump used the burial site for tax break purposes." 

Whether or not Trump or his family buried Ivana on the property — or if the Trump Organization's plans for burial plots at or adjacent to Bedminster — for tax purposes is known only to the people who signed on the dotted line. But, New Jersey law does provide tax breaks for cemeteries, and exempt cemetery companies from a variety of taxes, including property taxes and sales and use taxes.

For whatever it's worth, a Trump Organization spokesperson, via Fortune, that any implication that the decision to bury Ivana on a Trump-owned commercial property for tax purposes was "truly evil."