Choose a cemetery
If the deceased did not have an existing prepaid contract or relationship with a cemetery, or leave instructions for how to choose one, surviving family members must make this decision.
There are a number of factors to consider in determining what cemetery to select, including but not limited to:
- Proximity to an area where the deceased lived
- Proximity to an area that is easy for people to get to
- Specific visitation hours
- The kinds of care available by cemetery staff, such as lawn maintenance or stone cleaning
- Religious restrictions or affiliations
- Kinds of memorialization allowed
Good to Know Even if the deceased will be cremated, many cemeteries have an area where funeral urns can be stored and visited, called a columbarium.
Types of cemeteries to choose from
In general, there are four types of cemetery to choose from:
- Public cemeteries: open to residents of the community
- Religious cemeteries: open to members of a specific faith
- Commercial cemeteries: open to anyone
- National cemeteries: open to military veterans and their dependents; learn more from the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration
Common cemetery fees and expenses
- Endowment Care - fee for upkeep of a gravesite and cemetery grounds
- Opening / Closing Fee - cost to dig a grave and cover it once the casket is placed inside
- Marker - a headstone for the grave that contains personal information of the deceased such as name, dates of birth and death, and sometimes a personal message (note: these do not need to be purchased from a funeral home or cemetery)
- Vault - a structure that prevents the grave from sinking once the casket decomposes
Important Cemetery plots vary in cost depending on their location and service amenities. Be aware that additional services offered by a cemetery may need to be paid for on top of the cost of the plot and burial.
Providers to Contact
Cemeteries Near You
Cemeteries help families of the deceased by providing a place to bury their loved ones. They can also help families plan funerals and memorial services.