What is Involved in Buying a Burial Plot?

Burial plot
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Select and purchase a burial plot before you die.

When you die, your remains will need to be laid to rest.

Some people choose to be cremated.

Their ashes are then spread or stored.

Those who choose not to be cremated will need a burial plot, unless you choose to have your cremains buried in a traditional plot.

According to a recent Kiplinger article titled “Buying a Burial Plot Is a Grave Decision,” it is wise to purchase your gravesite before you die.

Burial plotWhen you buy a burial plot, you do not actually own the land.

Instead, you purchase the right to choose who will be buried in the specific location.

Cemeteries may have fine print about selling or transferring a plot after it has been sold, so you should inquire about these details before purchasing a burial plot.

Price is another consideration when shopping for a place to be buried.

Often religious cemeteries or corporate-owned plots will have more expensive gravesites for sale.

The least costly land will probably be found in a municipal cemetery.

Cost will also depend on whether the grave is rural or urban.

Rural graves and internments may cost you around $800.

The cost of an urban mausoleum space or grave can be as high as $5,000 to $10,000.

Remember the three rules of real estate still apply.

What are they?

Location, location, location.

Prices may be difficult to find depending on the type of cemetery.

Often prepaid plots include continual care of the grave, but the cost of opening and closing of the grave and a vault or liner are not included.

Liners or vaults are often required by the cemetery in order to prevent collapse of the grave.

Vaults are usually made of fiberglass or concrete and cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

A liner is less expensive and costs around $500.

When purchasing as burial plot make sure you understand exactly what costs have been covered and what is not included in the price.

Consider how many plots you need to purchase.

Couples often purchase plots next to each other.

If you choose to purchase a family plot, you will need to designate in writing the individuals designated for each grave.

Although the costs and considerations of selecting and paying for a grave are daunting, those who are veterans may be eligible for burial benefits.

That is the option Gretchen and I have elected.

A veteran who resides in one of 42 states with a national cemetery is entitled to free burial on the site.

The spouse and any unmarried children of the veteran may also be eligible for this burial.

By the way, the Veterans Administration has an excellent website to help you prearrange this step by step.

In some states burial benefits are also offered in state veteran cemeteries.

Selecting and paying for a burial plot in advance can remove the financial burden from your loved ones when they are settling your estate, mourning your death, and arranging your funeral.

Reference: Kiplinger (Feb. 17, 2021) “Buying a Burial Plot Is a Grave Decision”

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