Choosing A Cemetery For Your Funeral Needs

When creating a funeral pre-plan, one of the key decisions is which cemetery to use for your final resting place. Your choice should be a facility that you are comfortable with, and one that you feel will meet your family's needs. Here are a few items to consider when researching the cemeteries available in your area.

Cemetery Ownership

Cemeteries can be owned by a variety of entities, which will affect how they are operated. They can be owned by:

  • private businesses
  • funeral homes
  • religious organizations
  • non-profit groups
  • cities or townships

Visit each cemetery you are considering and meet with the management. You'll want to decide if the facility will take care of your family when the time comes for them to put you to rest.

Cemetery Rules and Restrictions

Every facility will have a set of regulations that specify how the cemetery is controlled. Ask for a written copy of these rules and become familiar with them. Beyond such items as the visiting hours, they will include such topics as:

  • the materials allowed for grave markers
  • the shape and size of grave markers allowed
  • who maintains the markers and other grave accessories
  • how damage to the grave markers from an accident or vandalism is handled

Make sure the rules are not too restrictive for your pre-planning needs and don't put a burden on your family when they must work with the cemetery management.

Services Available

Most cemeteries offer similar services, such as:

  • preparing the grave site and filling it in after the placement of the vault and casket
  • landscaping of the area around the grave site

Look for other services and what financial impact they may have on your family, such as:

  • use of chairs, tables and awnings for the service at the grave
  • use of rooms for dinner or other food services after a grave-side service
  • preparing the grave and installing the marker
  • removal of grave decorations, such as plants and flowers

When You've Chosen Cremation

If you've specified that you wish to be cremated, there are some additional cemetery services to consider. Some cemeteries maintain their own cremation facility at their location. This can reduce the amount of effort your family must do to transport you from the funeral home to a crematorium and finally to the cemetery. Other services to look for at the cemetery include:

  • the accessibility of the columbarium at the cemetery
  • the access times to the building and your specific columbarium niche
  • the types of decorations allowed at or near your niche

Contact a local funeral home, like W J Smith & Son Funeral Home, to begin planning.