Selecting Cemetery Property
When you are purchasing a cemetery plot, consider the location of the cemetery and whether it meets the requirements of your family's religion. Other considerations include what, if any, restrictions the cemetery places on burial vaults, the type of monuments or memorials it allows, and whether flowers or other remembrances may be placed on graves.
When comparing the different types of cemetery property it is important to note the different price ranges associated with each type of property. Usually mausoleum space is more expensive than in-ground graves. Even when you figure that the outer burial container is not needed, mausoleum burial is still generally more expensive. Generally when a space is sold, 10 percent of the price goes into a perpetual care fund to ensure the cemetery is taken care of forever. Some smaller cemeteries have a separate charge for perpetual care.
We are happy to share the information we have, or research for you any preliminary questions concerning cemetery offerings, regulations and costs. We make no commission on cemetery properties and able offer our unbiased advice. Ultimately however, it may be most beneficial to tour the cemetery and choose which space option is right for you.
The different types of cemetery property are as follows:
1. Side by Side Burial Spaces
2. Double Depth Burial Spaces
3. Lawn Crypts (Also double depth but with a drainage system)
4. Mausoleum Spaces (above ground)
5. Cremation Niches (above ground)
6. Cremation Gardens
7. Scattering Gardens
1.Side by Side Ground Burial– These are what most people think of when they think of a grave. They are also the most commonly chosen type of grave space. Individual, single depth graves are arranged next to each other in rows. In the past it was common practice to buy a whole family plot with space for every member of the family. In today’s more mobile society, such planning is rare but side by side double graves or double-depth graves are still often purchased for both spouses.
2. Double-Depth Interment– (Not always available). The space is generally less expensive but it can be complicated to dig graves that deep and then re-dig to place an additional casket and vault on top. Many cemeteries in our area do not have double-depth capability because of underground rock formations, water table, etc.
3. Lawn Crypts– (Not always available). Lawn crypts are like concrete bunkers built under the ground. Regular ground property usually requires the purchase of a vault, but lawn crypts are pre-dug and have the vault already installed. Some lawn crypts are dug two graves deep to make better use of the available land.
4. Mausoleums– Mausoleums are above ground graves in walls or special buildings dedicated to that purpose. They often provide indoor or covered areas as well. Mausoleums are usually the most expensive type of grave space, but vaults and memorial markers (tombstones) are not required with mausoleum space. So consider the cost of these items when pricing the mausoleum.
5. Cremation with Mausoleum Niche– The urn is placed in a small grave space in a building called a columbarium. The niche (mausoleum space) is maintained above ground, and often covered or indoors, but like mausoleums for full caskets, this is usually the most expensive option.
6. Cremation with Ground Interment– The urn is place in the ground just like a casket. An urn vault is usually allowed and sometimes provided by the cemetery at no additional charge. In some cemeteries there are sections dedicated to cremation burials called “urn gardens” with smaller space spaces that are less expensive than regular graves. Often multiple cremations can be buried in the same standard grave space. Also, some cemeteries in our area allow one (or more) urns to be buried in an existing grave either by themselves or even on top of a full burial—requiring permission but no additional grave purchase.
7. Cremation with Scattering– Often the family wishes to return the ashes of a loved one in a place that was special to them in life. There are services we can put you in contact with to scatter ashes from a plane or at sea. Most families choose to scatter the ashes on their own. If you choose to do so, please ask permission from the owner of the property first.