How Many Cemetery Plots Should I Buy?
One of the most common ways to begin your funeral pre-planning is to purchase a cemetery plot well in advance of death. Because these parcels of land are fairly expensive (expect them to range between $2,000 and $4,000), getting the payments done and out of the way is a great way to reduce future funeral costs.
Of course, doing anything this far in advance means you to need to think long and hard about what you want out of your funeral package. Cemetery plots are very stationary things, and while some contracts allow you to buy and sell them after your original purchase is complete, this option isn’t always guaranteed.
How Many Cemetery Plots?
Cemetery plots can be purchased individually or in sets, though most funeral professionals suggest you buy more than one at a time. The reasoning behind this is simple: once a body is buried, it’s a very complicated and expensive process to relocate it. Because cemeteries are dealing with a finite amount of space, they tend to fill the spaces however they can. This means that when you buy a single cemetery plot, the chances are fairly good that they’ll put other people in the plots next to you.
While there is no rule that says families have to be buried together, it tends to make visiting easier when all your relatives are situated near one another. So, too, is there a measure of comfort in knowing that you can be together long after death occurs.
Whether or not you should purchase more than one cemetery plot depends on how much you want your family to remain together. Your options include:
- Companion Plots: Married couples often purchase companion plots, which allow them to rest side-by-side or even one on top of the other (a double depth plot).
- Family Plots: When you visit a historic cemetery, you’ll often find entire families grouped together, sometimes with a monument or statue erected with the family name. Although less common today, it’s still possible to make this kind of purchase. You’ll “own” a small area of the cemetery, and are then free to bury whomever you wish there.
- Mausoleums: More common in the South, mausoleums nonetheless exist all over the country. These small tombs are typically erected of stone and have an access door that allows you to bury several people over the course of hundreds of years. They tend to be costly, but those who have them can provide burials for the entire family for a long time.
- Columbarium Space: In an age when many people are opting for cremation, you can also choose “plots” on a wall dedicated to the storage of urns and cremated remains. Like cemetery plots, these can be purchased individually or several at once.
The more cemetery space you want, the higher your costs will be. However, like all purchases made in bulk, you should see savings for larger plots of land. Always be sure and ask about multiple plot discounts or options in stacking the caskets for maximum land usage.
Remember, as well, that you can always use a plot for someone else, should the need arise. If a marriage breaks up or one spouse opts for cremation, you can pass the plot down to a child, additional family member, or even a close friend.
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