What to Consider When Choosing a Cemetery

How to Make Sure Your Final Resting Place is the Right Fit

Whether you choose full-body burial or cremation, choosing cemetery property is an important decision. For those who have pre-planned their funerals, it is likely that the discussion of cemetery property has come up and been documented. However, in cases of at-need arrangements, choosing a cemetery could be necessary. Here, we will discuss a few things to think about when looking into cemetery property.


Where is the cemetery located?

For many, location is one of the most important aspects when choosing their final resting place. Some prefer to be buried in their hometown, despite having moved away, while others choose to be buried where they have made their life. Others still might want their interment to take place in a city that was special to them, or for veterans a specific National Cemetery. When looking at location, it may also be valuable to take into consideration the proximity to family members who might be visiting.

What interment options does this cemetery offer?

There are a few different options for interment to keep in mind, including in-ground burial, mausoleum, or columbarium wall. In most cemeteries, in-ground interment can be for casket, which will most likely require a vault, or cremains. A mausoleum can contain crypt and niche spaces, for caskets and urns, respectively. This alternative is often more costly than an in-ground burial, and not offered at all cemeteries. The last option is a columbarium wall, which has niches for urns only. Though in-ground burial is offered at most any cemetery, keep in mind that these additional options may not be offered everywhere.


What are the costs associated with this cemetery?

One particularly important aspect of choosing a cemetery is the costs associated with that cemetery. Each cemetery will have a fee associated with the purchase of a grave, mausoleum crypt or wall niche. These can vary depending on the location of the cemetery or the location of the grave within the cemetery. There is also a cost to open and close the grave at the time of need. It is important to get this information up front if possible, so these charges do not sneak up on you during arrangements.


Are there any specific rules and regulations to be aware of?

All cemeteries have their own set of rules and regulations that they follow. These will pertain to anything from how many interments can take place on one grave, what type of marker is allowed, or what decoration can be placed on or around the grave. Always ask for a list of rules and regulations from the cemetery you are considering to ensure it is a good fit for you.


What are the future plans for this cemetery?

Most cemeteries will not make any drastic changes in their time, but further development is always possible. It is important to keep this in mind as it may change the layout of the cemetery or the size. You may also need to keep in mind the perpetual care of the cemetery. Some cemeteries will require that a “Perpetual Care” fee be paid at the times graves are purchased and will have a grounds crew to maintain the cemetery. In smaller or older cemeteries, it may be the responsibility of the grave owners to maintain the area.


As you will see, there are many things to consider when choosing a cemetery. Location, costs, and cemetery regulations are simply the beginning. We recommend that if possible and planning permits, you begin your process by visiting any cemetery you are considering. This first step will help you to being the decision process and help to guide your choices. You can always reach out to your local funeral home to help get you started.


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