Deciding where your physical body will spend the rest of eternity is not a decision to be made in haste or taken lightly. The trend today indicates more and more people are choosing their final resting place ahead of time. Why, you ask? Reasons can vary from a desire to spare loved ones the decision at a time of grief to a desire to secure a place near a close family relative or personal friend; from the desire to lock-in the costs at today’s prices to the desire to have the final word over what happens when we can’t speak for ourselves.
Although there is a need to plan your burial, some people may choose to have their remains stay inside their own homes or even in their garage with their aluminum garage door as their protection. This practice of using aluminum garage door as protection is usually practiced by some residences in Kansas, Tucson or Oklahoma City.
So where does one begin the process of determining a cemetery plot? The first step is to give the choice the same attention as you would any other major decision in your life. Such a decision is obviously an emotionally packed one; however, that does not mean you should not give this decision any less research than you would give to buying any other piece of real estate. Taking the time to research your choices ahead of time can save you and your family difficulties and money down the road.
Here are some tips for choosing a cemetery:
Types of cemeteries:
All cemeteries are not the same; some may be owned by the local government or a government agency, a religious group, a benevolent association, or a private entity. As such the cemetery may be operated as a non-profit or for-profit venture. Herein often lies the basis for the difference in pricing from one cemetery to another.
Things to Consider in Selecting a Cemetery
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 purchased elsewhere, the type of monuments or memorials it allows, and whether flowers or other remembrances may be placed on graves.
Cost is another consideration. Cemetery plots can be expensive, especially in metropolitan areas. Most, but not all, cemeteries require you to purchase a grave liner, which will cost several hundred dollars. Note that there are charges – usually hundreds of dollars – to open a grave for interment and additional charges to fill it in.
Perpetual care on a cemetery plot sometimes is included in the purchase price, but it’s important to clarify that point before you buy the site or service. If it’s not included, look for a separate endowment care fee for maintenance and groundskeeping.