The New York Post reported that Donald Trump’s first wife Ivana, the mother of Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, is buried on the grounds of Trump’s Bedminster Golf Course in New Jersey, near the first tee. That’s where Trump hosted the LIV golf tournament sponsored by the Saudi Royal family.

Prominent golfers like Phil Mickelson were paid huge sums—in his case, $100 million—to play in the LIV tournament. Tiger Woods reportedly turned down an offer of nearly $1 billion. Golfers who play for LIV won’t be allowed to play in PGA tournaments.

The burial of Ivana is somewhat mysterious because her remains were removed from the church in a gold casket but later cremated. Why did her ex-husband choose her final resting place? Or did her children choose to place her ashes on their father’s favorite golf course?

David Farenthold of the Washington Post wrote an investigative report in 2017 about Trump’s efforts to turn his golf course into a cemetery. Trump submitted different plans to local and state authorities. One sought permission to turn a portion of the site into a cemetery for 1,000 plots. Another for 284 plots. Another sought permission for ten plots, making it a private burial site for Trump’s immediate family.

Farenthold wrote:

The two latest cemetery plans have now both been approved by local officials. But construction has not begun on either one. The question of how to proceed — or whether to proceed — is now left to Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr., who have taken day-to-day control of the Trump Organization.
Both Eric Trump and a Trump Organization spokeswoman declined to comment about what they planned to do.

President Trump already has a family burial plot: His parents and his brother Fred are buried together at All Faiths Cemetery in Queens.
So it was a surprise, back in 2007, when Trump announced he wanted a mausoleum for himself in New Jersey.

“It’s never something you like to think about, but it makes sense,” Trump told the New York Post. He was 60 years old at the time. “This is such beautiful land, and Bedminster is one of the richest places in the country.”

The plan was big: 19 feet high. Stone. Obelisks. Set smack in the middle of the golf course. In Bedminster — a wealthy horse-country town 43 miles west of New York City — officials had some concerns about hosting a reality TV star’s tomb. The huge structure would seem garish, out of place. And there were ongoing worries that the spot might become an “attractive nuisance,” tempting curiosity-seekers to trespass on club grounds…

It could also be a festive wedding . . . tomb.
“We’re planning a mausoleum/chapel,” Trump said, according to a news report from the time.
That didn’t do it.

“Give me a break. Give me a break,” Holtaway, the town official, remembered thinking. “Why would anyone ever get married in a building with no windows?”

Trump withdrew the plan to be buried in New Jersey. But five years later, he was back with another one. Now, the mausoleum was out — but, instead, he had a plan to build a large cemetery with more than 1,000 graves, including one for him.

The idea, apparently, was that Trump’s golf-club members would buy the other plots, seizing the chance at eternal membership.

“It’s one thing to be buried in a typical cemetery,” said Ed Russo, a consultant who represented Trump here. “But it’s another if you’re buried alongside the fifth fairway of Trump National.”

The town was, again, skeptical. So Trump whittled it down to just 10 graves, enough for himself and his family members.

Which family members, exactly?

“Only the good Trumps,” Russo said, according to a video of the town land-use board. He did not elaborate.

The town approved.

The state approved, granting a cemetery license in late 2014.

Then Trump changed his mind.

Russo told the town that Trump might want to be buried somewhere in Florida, after all. Trump lived part time at his Mar-a-Lago Club before his election. (And, now, after the election as well.)
Then, with approval for the small cemetery in hand, Trump came back with a new plan, for a bigger cemetery. This time, the plan was for 284 graves. The cemetery would be run by a nonprofit organization, and Trump’s golf course would handle maintenance, grass-cutting and grave-digging.

This plan, on the surface, made little sense.
For one thing, it would be a very poor way to make money.

The cemetery business is bad in New Jersey, because the land is expensive, plots sell for cheap and cremation is stealing their customers.
You need volume to succeed. And the volume at Trump’s cemetery would be very low.

Trump’s cemetery — with people selected by a kind of membership committee — would handle just one to two burials per year, officials said. Cemetery plots in New Jersey cost, at most, a few thousand dollars each. The money, such as it was, would go to the nonprofit company.

But maybe the point wasn’t to make money. Could this whole thing have been a scheme to reduce the Trump Organization’s real estate taxes? After all, nonprofit cemeteries pay no taxes on their land.
That’s possible, experts said.

But, in this case, the savings would hardly be worth the trouble. That’s because Trump had already found a way to lower his taxes on that wooded, largely unused parcel. He had persuaded the township to declare it a farm, because some trees on the site are turned into mulch. Because of pro-farmer tax policies, Trump’s company pays just $16.31 per year in taxes on the parcel, which he bought for $461,000.

“It’s always been my suspicion that there’s something we don’t know” about the explanation behind the seemingly inexplicable cemetery plan, said Bedminster land-use board member Nick Strakhov. So why were they doing it?…

The land use board approved unanimously, after some inconclusive quizzing (Strakhov had to be absent and didn’t vote).

Now, the Trump Organization still needs to apply for state approval for this larger, public cemetery.
And it still needs to settle the larger question: Does President Trump still want to be buried in New Jersey? Other presidents have chosen to be buried at their presidential libraries. Trump, like any president, also has the option of Arlington National Cemetery.

That was five years ago.

Now Ivana’s remains are buried near the first tee.


Dana Milbank thinks he has found the reason. Trump doesn’t do anything without a financial motive.

In his forced (and, he hopes, temporary) retirement, defeated former president Donald Trump has come up with a new undertaking. He’s undertaking.

Technically, his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., is now acting as a “cemetery company.” (Suggested slogan: “People are dying to get into Bedminster!”) And he has already landed his first occupant: He just buried his late ex-wife, Ivana Trump, right near the first tee.

The former president has shown little interest in conventional post-presidency pursuits, such as building a presidential library; he’s not much for reading, and he’s trying to hide his presidential papers, not display them. But why would he bury himself in, of all things, the interment trade?

Simple: He has seemingly turned his late ex-wife (and his oldest kids have turned their late mother) into a tax dodge. Dartmouth professor Brooke Harrington, a specialist in tax optimization, checked the New Jersey tax code and reported that operating a cemetery at the Trump National offers “a trifecta of tax avoidance. Property, income & sales tax, all eliminated.” She tweeted that it “looks like one corpse will suffice to make at least 3 forms of tax vanish.”