Where to be buried: how to choose a final resting place

When it comes time to choose a final resting place, most people don’t know where to start. There are so many options available, it can be difficult to make a decision. From geographic factors to cemeteries and green burial options, let’s take a look at the considerations, so you can make the best decision for you and your loved ones.

Consider the geographic location of the cemetery

In some cases, there is already a family cemetery being maintained by the descendants, or even a pre-purchased family plot that will accommodate multiple family members down the line. But if these don’t already exist, then the very first thing to consider is your geographic location.

Do you want to be buried where you currently live or have you moved around a lot and want to be buried in your hometown? What about family members who have passed away, where are they buried? Do your loved ones want to be near the gravesite for visitations or for peace of mind? These are all important questions to answer when making your decision.

Some people take climate into consideration. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of snowfall, you may want to consider a location that is easier for loved ones to visit during the winter months.

Can I get buried in my backyard?

This is a question that is often asked but the answer isn’t always clear. The legality of backyard burial really varies from state to state, so it’s important to do your research before making any decisions.

In some cases, you may need a permit in order to bury a body on your own property. Other times, there may be restrictions on the depth of the grave or how close it can be to the house. It’s also worth considering if you plan on selling the property in the future, as this could pose problems for the new owners.

If you are interested in pursuing backyard burial, your best bet is to first contact a local funeral planner, and you may also need to contact your local authorities to find out what regulations apply in your area.

Choose between a private cemetery or a public one

The next step is to decide between a private cemetery and a public one. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options.

Private cemeteries are usually better maintained than public ones and often have more features and amenities. They also tend to be more expensive.

Private cemeteries include:

  • Church cemeteries
  • Cemeteries that are managed by a corporation
  • Family cemeteries

Public cemeteries are generally less expensive than private ones and are open to everyone. They are usually maintained by the city or municipality.

Public cemeteries include:

  • City/municipal cemeteries
  • State cemeteries
  • National cemeteries

Weigh the pros and cons of each option to decide which is best for you.

Consider interment options: in-ground, mausoleum, or cremation

Once you’ve decided on a cemetery, it’s time to think about the actual interment options. The three most common options are in-ground burial, mausoleum entombment, or cremation.

In-ground burial is the traditional method of interring a body. The casket is placed in a grave that is then covered with dirt or grass. This option can be less expensive than other methods and doesn’t require any special equipment.

Mausoleum entombment involves placing the casket or urn inside a structure known as a mausoleum. Mausoleums can be above ground or below ground level. This option tends to be more expensive than in-ground burial but doesn’t require as much space.

Cremation is when the body is reduced to ashes through the process of cremation. The ashes can then be scattered, buried, or placed in an urn. Cremation is often seen as a more economical option and doesn’t require a burial plot, and burial options are more flexible.

Creative cremation “burial plots” include:

  • Burial at sea
  • Cemetery scattering gardens
  • Space burial

Green burial plots

Green burials are an option for those who want to be environmentally conscious. With green burial, the body is buried without a casket in a biodegradable shroud. This option allows the body to decompose naturally and doesn’t require the use of chemicals or embalming fluids. Learn more about green burials here.

How much do burial plots cost?

The cost of a burial plot can vary depending on the location, type of cemetery, and type of interment.

An average Virginia plot is $2,615. This number is based on an analysis of 422 cemeteries in the state — with prices ranging from as low as $237 to a high of $22,000.

The type of interment can also affect the price. For example, cremation tends to be less expensive than in-ground burial because it doesn’t require a casket or grave liner.

Narrowing it down and choosing your option

Once you’ve considered all the factors, it’s time to choose the option that is right for you.

If you don’t have ties to a specific cemetery or burial plot, it can be a difficult decision to make. It is important to discuss this with your loved ones and even more important to make a decision now so you aren’t leaving it to a family member later down the road.

StoneMor Inc. has an online cemetery database that you can search by state or name. Checkout their database of cemeteries an funeral homes here.

Let a funeral director help

If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with a funeral director. They will be able to help you navigate the process and make sure everything is done according to your wishes. Contact a funeral director now.