Helpful Tips for Choosing a Cemetery Property

By: VGFS
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

If you have been tasked with choosing a cemetery property, you may be unsure about where to begin.

That’s understandable, because a broad range of options exists and no two properties are exactly alike. Therefore, it is a good idea to go into the process as informed as possible. Below are some tips to help you to narrow down your choices and select the best cemetery property for your needs.

Location

The location of the gravesite is an important factor for a number of reasons. Trees, open space, landscaping, hills, or flat ground all contribute to the ambiance and accessibility of the final burial spot. Think about which family members are likely to visit and if the location is geographically convenient for them. You may wish to buy a series of burial plots for other family members, too. When selecting one or more cemetery plots, be sure to review the cemetery property’s policies. In some cases, the burial plot will be in the precise location that you have selected, while in other cases the exact brutal plot location will be determined by availability.

Price

Each cemetery has its own guidelines and pricing structures. While the FTC requires funeral homes to provide a transparent pricing list, the same transparency is not mandated for cemeteries. Therefore, you may need to request a price list. And, while funeral homes and cemeteries work together, it is important to note that the costs of a funeral are separate from those of the burial. Some factors impacting price include gravesite maintenance (also called perpetual care), the number of burial plots being purchased, and the specifics of the decedent’s burial plan. If you are opting for a traditional in-ground burial, you will also need a grave liner, which is an in-ground solid structure for a casket to rest in, as well as a grave marker. A fee for the opening and closing of the grave is required for all earth burials and is regulated by the government. However, the pricing can range from inexpensive to quite costly depending upon which options you choose. Typically, the more intricate the burial ceremony, the higher the cost will be.

Types and Rules

There are many types of cemeteries and each as its own set of rules. If you know that a specific type is an important consideration, this will help you to narrow down your choices, such as:

●      Traditional cemeteries

●      Veterans’ cemeteries

●      Religious cemeteries

●      Green cemeteries

●      Memorial parks

Once you know the type of cemetery you are seeking, you can then determine if their rules align with your vision for the burial site. State laws exist and additional rules determined by each cemetery also apply.  For example, if having a headstone is important to you, you might skip a cemetery that only allows grave markers. Some cemeteries allow artificial flowers, while others do not. If you have opted for cremation, there will also be rules about how the cremains can be distributed and stored. The type of cemetery you select will be determined by personal preference and the local laws. Be sure to get a clear picture of how you want the burial to unfold and what the future of the gravesite should look like.

Planning a funeral and a burial requires many decisions to be made.  We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your search and sort through your options. If you need additional assistance with the selection of a cemetery property, please feel free to reach out to us anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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