How Much Does a Cemetery Plot Cost?

Written by Ross Quade

The uncomfortable truth about funerals, and burial plots in particular, is that service pricing is all based on statistics and real estate equivalent market valuing. About 2.6 million people die in the United States alone every year. There is only so much cemetery real estate available at any given time to accommodate every request for burial. Like all matters related to real estate, location is the key. The location of a cemetery, as well as the adjacent standard of living rates of the local area, ultimately determines the pricing of a cemetery plot.

How much you will pay to bury a loved one in a cemetery plot depends upon a multitude of conditions that must be pre-considered. For one thing, the number of potential plots to be occupied. Whether or not the cemetery you are considering occupies public or private property is a major determining factor in the price. How large or small is the cemetery in relative size? The more exclusive a cemetery is in relation to available real estate, then the more expensive the cost.

Let’s examine several options and pre-consideration burial arrangements to assess potential cemetery plot fees. These costs are just basic estimates to consider. Exactly how much you will pay will depend upon your own unique circumstances.

Cemetery Plot Types

There are several kinds of burial plots. The type of burial plot that you choose determines how much you pay. The most common type of burial plot, and the most relatively affordable, is the single burial plot. Then there are companion burial plots that are designed to accommodate couples. Companion burial plots can be either caskets that are stacked upon each other or laid side by side. Stacked caskets are the more affordable option.

Family burial plots are multiple gravesites that can be pre-purchased to accommodate multiple members of the same family. This can be a costly option since it involves purchasing multiple plots. You can also purchase burial plot space for a cremation urn. The pricing for cremation urn internment varies. Also, the cost of the burial plot varies from the size of the deceased. Burial plots for infants and children are less expensive than for adults.

The Actual Cost

Cemetery plots in rural areas are always more affordable than in cities. A burial for a cremation urn can cost a few hundred dollars. The cost of a burial plot in a public cemetery can be anywhere from $200 to $2,000. A burial plot in a private cemetery could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. However, depending on the locations and exclusivity of a private cemetery, the price could be much higher. In high population metropolitan cities, a private cemetery plot could cost tens of thousands of dollars, or more.

Additional Burial Costs

There is a lot of service fee bureaucracy involved in cemetery burial. The installation of a grave marker can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000. The cost of a burial vault, or grave liner, varies from $500 to $5,000. It can easily cost a lot more depending on the materials used. A burial vault is a lining of concrete, or other material, that is inlaid in the grave to protect the casket from collapsing in on itself due to deterioration. A burial vault helps to keep the ground above the casket from sinking in the event of casket collapse.

Internment fees are service fees related to the opening, purchase and maintenance of the gravesite. Some cemeteries require a legal permit to open and close a grave. The earth above a grave requires maintenance or replacement from time to time. In a public cemetery internment fees can range from $300 to $1,500. Private cemeteries can charge internment fees in the range of $700 to $3,500, or more.

Pre-purchasing

When you buy a cemetery plot determines its price just as much as where you buy it. If you pre-pay for a cemetery plot now, then you will be paying contemporary prices. Considering the length of human lifespans are now, you will end up paying vastly inflation-adjusted prices if you buy a cemetery plot in the future shortly after a death.

Plan Ahead

If you can afford it, you may want to pre-plan and pre-pay for a cemetery plot as soon as you can. At the very least, you should start researching cemeteries and comparing prices. There are numerous incidental services and prices associated with buying a burial plot aside from the burial plot purchase itself.

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Ross Quade
Ross Quade has been a licensed insurance agent since 2008. State of Texas license #1702965. He has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from University of Minnesota and minored in Applied Economics. He has been quoted in several online publications including Huffington Post, Young Startups and various financial blogs. Ross frequently writes about issues related to the insurance and finance industry.
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