Cemeteries provide a final resting place for those who wish to be buried or otherwise interred. These grounds are carefully maintained in order to provide a quiet and beautiful place where surviving friends and family can come to reflect and remember those who have passed on.
Costs for burial or other forms of interment as well as related items like caskets, headstones and urns are out-of-pocket expenses paid for by the decedent or their surviving family. Some financial assistance may be available for eligible veterans, those who qualify for social security benefits and low-income individuals. The list below provides a few different ways of funding funeral arrangements as well as programs that can help families defray costs.
Costs vary according to the type of interment and the products associated with each type. The geographic location of the cemetery and its capacity also influences prices. For example, cemetery services in an urban area are typically much more costly than comparable services in a rural location. The placement of a plot, crypt or niche within the cemetery itself will also affect price. For example, mausoleum and columbarium spaces at “eye level” and gravesites near decorative touches like fountains or monuments tend to be more expensive.
Opening and closing charges are common in cemeteries as well. This fee covers the digging of a grave and the fill and landscaping repairs required after placement of a casket or urn inside the earth. Keep in mind that this fee even applies to remains that are not buried, such as those interred in a mausoleum crypt since securing proper permits and keeping records of opening/closing are also a part of this process.
While there are no laws that require the purchase of outer burial containers or grave liners, most cemeteries require them in order to keep the earth above caskets and urns level and well-supported. Be sure to ask if the retail price for a liner includes the installment as well, since it is sometimes tacked on as a separate charge.
There are many different factors to consider when selecting a cemetery. If a loved one passes away, it is important to know what their wishes for interment were and whether they made any preneed preparations while they were alive, such as purchasing a plot or a space in a mausoleum.
If they did not, there are a number of questions to ask regarding their wishes:
In addition to these personal preferences, one must consider the rules and regulations, initial and ongoing costs, and layout and aesthetics of potential cemeteries. Only certain types of headstones, markers or decorations are permitted in many cemeteries in order to ensure uniformity and ease of landscaping and maintenance. Many grounds have specific visiting hours that you will want to take into account as well.
Learn more about making final arrangements in these articles written by elder care experts and experienced caregivers.