Should I Invest in a Family Cemetery Plot?

Should I Invest in a Family Cemetery Plot?When people purchase cemetery plots, they usually do so in pairs. Because so many spouses wish to be buried together, it makes sense to buy adjoining plots. It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying burial plots in advance, or if one spouse recently passed on and it makes sense to buy both burial spaces now—this is the way the vast majority of Americans approach the burial process.

There is another option, however. Family cemetery plots provide a way for multiple members of a family to be buried in the same place—and usually for a discounted price overall. Because you’re investing in a larger piece of cemetery real estate, you may get a percentage reduction or be able to bury multiple relatives on top of one another. You can also get away with purchasing one large headstone with the family name engraved on it and rely on smaller plaques to identify each individual buried there.

The History of Family Plots

Family cemetery plots are actually much more common in history than individual graves. Because many families used to have cemeteries on their own land—or because they lived in an area where mausoleums and crypts were more common—it was standard practice for relatives to stay near one another even in death. Take a walk through any of the best historic cemeteries, and you’ll see for yourself how often loved ones are buried near each other.

It’s only recently that the practice of restricting burial to one or two people has become common. If you feel strongly about the funeral traditions of old, a family plot might be the perfect solution.

Who Gets Buried in Family Plots?

Should I Invest in a Family Cemetery Plot?

Who gets a spot in the family plot is entirely up to the individual family. Some prefer to keep it to immediate relatives (no in-laws or direct descendants only), while others provide the burial space to family members who might not be able to afford a burial on their own. Still others restrict it to a certain number of generations, or pass the plots down in a will to be used at the beneficiary’s discretion.

From a legal perspective, a burial plot is a piece of real estate, and is treated accordingly by the law. It belongs to the individual whose name is on the deed, and can be passed on in a will or sold to another person, provided the proper paperwork is in place.

For some families, this can cause friction. If space is limited, you may have to cut certain relatives out of the will. If you are the beneficiary, it may be up to you to determine who is and who isn’t welcome. This can be difficult for anyone—but if you’re facing a recent loss, the situation becomes ten times worse.

Purchasing a Family Plot

If you’re interested in a family cemetery plot, it’s a good idea to talk to a funeral home or cemetery in your area. (You might also want to ask your financial advisor to sit in on this conversation.) With the right planning and plenty of communication ahead of time, a family plot can provide a quiet and contemplative place for all your loved ones to rest.

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