Choosing a Cemetery? Here are Six Important Considerations

By: VGFS
Friday, June 17, 2022

Selecting a cemetery property for yourself or a loved one requires careful thought.

It’s wise to enter the process armed with as much information as possible so you can make the best decision for your specific situation.

In this article, we have compiled some helpful tips for choosing a cemetery property, including considerations regarding the type, cost, and location.

A traditional public cemetery is not your only option.

Many types of cemeteries exist, each with its own unique atmosphere, rules, and regulations. Common alternatives include memorial parks, green cemeteries, religious burial sites, and Veteran’s cemeteries. Memorial parks offer a natural atmosphere that’s evocative of an outdoor sanctuary. A green cemetery might be a good fit if environmental concerns are a factor. Religious cemeteries are designed for believers of a certain faith, while veteran cemeteries are operated by the government and are reserved for military veterans and their families.

The type of burial place you choose can depend on many factors.

Common considerations include the price and availability of burial plots, ground maintenance, and other applicable fees, the overall appeal of the cemetery and its location, religious considerations, and the departed’s military background.

The restrictions can vary widely.

Just as every cemetery has its own price sheet, they all have their own rules and requirements as well. For example, some cemeteries have rules about what types of headstones are allowed and how large they can be. Some only allow flat markers rather than headstones that protrude from the ground. Many cemeteries do not permit the scattering of ashes; remains must be buried or placed in a columbarium niche. There are many other types of rules that vary by cemetery, such as those regarding the placement of flowers or decorations on the grave. It’s important to get a list of rules from any cemetery you are considering and review them carefully

Funeral homes and cemeteries have separate rules and regulations.

These firms often work together but are subject to different regulations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires funeral homes but not cemeteries to provide consumers with a price list upfront. Therefore, there may be some “hidden costs” of a cemetery burial of which you are not aware going into the planning process. Be prepared to advocate for yourself and ask lots of questions. A quality cemetery company will gladly offer the information you request and will address any concerns.

Supplementary costs can add up quickly.

If you are opting for earth burial, you will need to consider the cost of a grave liner. The liner is a structure that sits in the ground and serves to protect the coffin. Additionally, you will need to pay for opening and closing the gravesite. The ultimate cost will vary depending on how involved the ceremony will be, such as whether you want to be present as the casket is lowered into the ground. Future costs such as perpetual care should also be factored in. Purchasing burial plots in advance offers the benefit of avoiding potential price increases down the road.

Location and convenience are paramount.

Where cemetery plots are located and their accessibility are important considerations. They may be determined by your loved one’s last residence, where they grew up, a place they loved to visit, one that houses other departed family members, or one that is convenient for surviving family and friends to visit. Another consideration is the accessibility of the gravesite itself within the cemetery property. Hills and remote locations can make it challenging for the grieving to pay their respects, especially if they are elderly or infirmed. If having a specific location for burial plots is important to you, be sure to check the availability and the cemetery’s policy. In some cases, the exact location is based on availability at the time of the burial.

We hope you find this guide helpful in sorting through your options. If you need additional assistance with the selection of a cemetery property or if you wish to make funeral arrangements, please reach out to us anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 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 about our funeral, cremation, memorial, and repast services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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