Burial Planning: When is the right time?

When it comes to burial planning, there’s no such thing as being prepared too soon. The sooner you start to consider what your wishes are, the sooner you can gain the peace of mind that comes with being prepared. Even if you are relatively young and healthy, consider now how you might want to be buried after you’re gone. Do you want a traditional burial? Would you like to be cremated and then buried in the family plot?  Are you interested in the possibility of an eco-burial with no embalming? These are all important considerations as you plan for the future, and prepare for the inevitable.  And even if you make choices and decide to prepay for them in advance, you can always make changes to your plans later on if you need to.

Traditional Burial Plots and Cemeteries.

For a traditional burial, you can purchase a cemetery plot at any time. Many cemeteries even offer very manageable payment plans and discounts for purchasing ahead of time…just as funeral homes do. With the payments spread out over several years, preplanning becomes a nominal expense.

Choosing a plot for yourself has a lot of advantages:

  1. You can choose exactly where you want to buried, whether it’s in your hometown or near other family.
  2. You can choose who want to be buried next to or with. Many spouses will purchase burial plots adjacent to each other.
  3. You can choose to pay for the expenses ahead of time…or not.

Is cremation right for you?

Cremation can be economical, flexible, and gives you and your family a lot of options. If you choose cremation, think about what you want done with the remains after the cremation process is complete.  Some people choose to be interred in the family plot or in a church columbarium after cremation, to give their loved ones a designated place to visit and pay their respects. Others have more creative ideas, like having their remains scattered at sea, or turned into a beautiful piece of artwork or jewelry.  Your funeral director can give you examples of many different options and one of the most positive aspects of pre-planning is that you have the luxury of time to think about what makes sense for you and your family.

Cremation Answers Gide


Eco or “green” burials have risen in popularity in recent years.  An eco-burial involves choosing a biodegradable coffin or urn, and not doing anything to the body to inhibit the decomposition process, such as embalming.  If you want an eco-burial, ask your funeral director what options are available in your area. If there are no eco-burial sites nearby, consider if a family member has property they would be willing to use as a family cemetery.  An eco-burial is not only kind to the earth, but can also be less expensive than a traditional burial.

Discuss your ideas with family and pre-plan.

After you have given some thought to all of your options, talk about them with your family and loved ones. The clearer your wishes are shared in advance, the fewer burdens are placed on your loved ones after you’re gone.

And if you choose to take advantage of paying for your arrangements in advance, you are providing a tremendous benefit to those you leave behind. Considering these decisions now is just as reasonable as planning for retirement or saving for a college education. It’s all about forethought and making the future easier for yourself and for those you love.

So, if you’re asking yourself if now is the right time to consider burial planning, the answer is yes. It’s always a good time to make choices that will make your life and the lives of those you love easier.

For any questions on burial planning, contact Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory.