Purchase a headstone

Also known as a marker, monument, or gravestone, a headstone is a piece of stone placed atop or near a grave to identify the deceased buried there by name.

Additional information such as dates of birth and death and a personal message is also usually listed.

If the deceased will be cremated but the remains kept at a cemetery, you may need to purchase a marker for the niche where the urn will be kept. The cemetery's administration will explain these requirements.

Most headstones are made out of marble, slate, or granite because of their long-lasting qualities. The cost of the headstone will be impacted by the size you select, the material it is made of, and how much engraving is added.

Lightbulb_Icon.svgGood to Know Although the headstone will ultimately be placed in a cemetery, you can purchase a headstone from funeral homes, the cemetery, or a third party manufacturer, and sent to the cemetery.

Regardless of where it is purchased, the cemetery will most likely have specific rules about the size and shape of a headstone, as well as its materials and what may be displayed or engraved. Therefore, speak with the cemetery before any purchasing decision.

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant Unlike other funeral products, the FTC Funeral Rule does not apply to headstones. Make sure to check prices before making any commitments.

Helpful Tips

There are a few different kinds of markers to consider when shopping for a headstone:

  • Flat markers lay flat on the ground, are made in a rectangular or square shape, and are usually bronze or granite, $200-$2,000
  • Bevel markers lay slanted into the ground, $700-$1,1000
  • Slant markers have a sloping face but are intended to sit upright on a granite or concrete base, $1,000-2,000
  • Upright headstones are supported by a wide base and can come in many designs, $1,000-$3,000
  • Ledger markers are slabs that cover the entire grave and come up to eight inches thick, $1,500-$3000 or more

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant Engraving is an additional cost and is usually $20-$25 per letter for the first 20 characters and around $10 for each additional engraved character

Cemeteries all have their own rules and enforcement for headstones.

Before you purchase one and get it engraved, make sure you take the following steps:

  • Get a written copy of regulations for the cemetery. The cemetery must provide you with a copy if you ask. Pay special attention to any required types of stone or colors.
  • Verify the plot you’ve purchased. If it’s a baby, cremation, companion, or single plot, all these choices will influence the appropriate size of the headstone.
  • Confirm with the cemetery how the headstone will be “set” into the ground and whether you need to purchase any other products or services to comply with that.
  • Confirm the minimum and maximum sizes allowed of the stone and any required borders; share this information with anyone helping you to purchase.
  • Confirm if there are any required engravings for the headstone based on cemetery rules (for example, religious plots might require a cross).
  • Confirm if photos or etchings of your loved one on the stone are allowed.
  • Ask the cemetery if they require “setting fees.” In order to achieve uniform looks, many cemeteries require the settings across graves to be affixed in a similar fashion. You will pay the cemetery directly for this service.
  • Ask the cemetery if any paperwork must be completed or filed before the headstone is delivered. Examples include concrete border release forms, setting forms, photo release forms, or marker authorization forms.

Actions to Take

If the deceased was active-duty military or a veteran, they are eligible for a headstone from the Department of Veterans Affairs

Providers to Contact

Headstone Makers Near You

Headstone companies make and sell headstones. They can help families create a custom headstone and assist with the process of selecting and installing a headstone.

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