Choosing a Cemetery Property? Here are Five Things Everyone Should
Burial planning requires careful thought and sound decision-making.
As you embark on selecting a cemetery, it’s wise to arm yourself with as much information as possible.
Below are some helpful tips for choosing a cemetery property, including considerations regarding cemetery type, costs, and location.
#1. The traditional cemetery is not your only option.
Many types of graveyards exist and each has its own character, rules, and regulations. They include:
- Green cemeteries
- Memorial parks
- Religious cemeteries
- Veterans’ cemeteries
The type of cemetery you choose will depend on several factors, including the availability of burial plots, religious considerations, the plot cost, expenses for maintenance, and whether or not the departed served in the military, among others. Some cemeteries only allow grave markers or have restrictions on the type of headstone that can be used. If a traditional cemetery isn’t for you, you might prefer a memorial park, which provides a more natural atmosphere that’s reminiscent of an outdoor preserve. If you’re an avid environmentalist, a green cemetery may be a good choice. Consider your personal preferences or those of your loved one as you make this decision.
#2. Will you need to purchase space for an urn?
Many people assume they will keep their loved one’s ashes in their homes, but eventually, they often decide to place them elsewhere. Solutions may include a niche in a columbarium, a small grave for one urn, or a full-size grave for multiple urns. Some cemeteries even have an urn garden. Although an urn plot is often much less than the price of a full burial plot, you will still incur costs for opening and closing it.
#3. How accessible is the cemetery?
The location of the cemetery might be determined by the individual’s current residence, where they grew up, a place they loved to visit, or one that is closer to other deceased family members. Another consideration is how easy it is to get to the gravesite. Hills and remote locations can make it challenging for the grieving to pay their respects, especially for older family members and friends. If a specific location for burial plots is important to you, check the availability and the cemetery’s policy on specific burial sites. The exact location may be based on what is available at the time of the burial.
#4. There are a number of extra expenses beyond the plot itself.
If you are opting for earth burial, you will need to consider the cost of a grave liner. This structure sits in the ground and protects the coffin. Additionally, you will need to pay for opening and closing the gravesite. The ultimate cost depends largely on how intricate the ceremony will be, such as whether you want to be present as the casket is lowered into the ground. If cost is a consideration, purchasing burial plots in advance can help you to save money as it avoids potential future price increases.
#5. Pricing can vary widely.
While funeral homes and cemeteries work together, each adheres to separate rules and regulations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires funeral homes but not cemeteries to provide you with a price list upfront. That means there could be some hidden costs associated with a cemetery burial. Be prepared to ask questions and keep in mind that a quality cemetery company will gladly work to address your concerns.
If you are in the process of choosing a cemetery property or if you have questions, we would be honored to offer our guidance. Please feel free to reach out to our caring professionals as you weigh these important decisions.
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/.