What is a Burial Vault?

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National Free Planning Kit

January 24, 2017

There is perhaps more to the process of a traditional in-ground burial than most people are aware of. Contrary to popular understanding, the service requires more than just an open grave plot and a casket to be lowered into the ground. How will the re-filled ground react with the ground around the site? How will weather and the elements affect the burial site? A burial vault exists to dispel these concerns and make sure that the casket is safe and secure along with the land surrounding it.

So what is a burial vault?

You can think of a burial vault as a protective case for the grave plot and a foundation for the area surrounding it. It is a concrete lining on the inside of the open grave plot. It keeps the casket and the land around it from shifting at all in the case of bad weather, like flooding. Otherwise, extreme weather may breach the ground and disturb the soil around it.

Furthermore, once the burial plot is closed and the area over it is landscaped, the foundation of the burial vault ensures that there is firm ground for visitors to stand on when they come to pay their respects.

Do I Have to Put a Casket in a Vault?

Although there is no federal or state law requiring that a person must purchase a burial vault when choosing a casket for an in-ground burial, nearly all cemeteries require you have one. That’s because they’re essential to preserving the state of the surrounding landscape, and to preventing the earth above from causing the plot to sink inward. It would be very unusual to find a cemetery that did not practice this rule.

More relevantly, all locations associated with BurialPlanning.com do require a vault to be purchased as part of the standard traditional burial services.

How do I choose a burial vault? Aren’t they all just concrete?

While the standard process of applying a vault to a gravesite includes regular cement lining, there are a handful of other options available if you find yourself concerned with price, style, or additional peace of mind through increased density of the vault. Burial vaults can be artistically customized, or extra dense if you prefer a particular aesthetic or sense of security. As far as difficult decisions are concerned, the burial vault is usually pretty plain compared to the number of options you have for something like a burial monument. That’s because it’s entirely underground after the services, and most people actually forget that it’s even there. Rest assured, however, that it is an extremely important component of the continued elegance of a gravesite.

Why purchase a burial vault now?

As with most components of end-of-life arrangements, getting your services squared away sooner rather than later allows you to secure today’s prices in the case of inflation, and also allows you and your family peace of mind by not having to suffer the stress off additional planning and spending during a time of grief.

In the case of customizable decisions like caskets and burial vaults, it can also be important to make sure that you or your loved one has the chance to add their own input, so that there is no wondering in the future what the deceased would have preferred.

If you’d like to know more about burial vaults or traditional burials in general, you can request our free pre-planning kit to look at services and products in more detail and begin planning your peace of mind today.

How Much Does a Burial Vault Cost?

The cost of a burial vault, as well as other burial products such as a casket or a plot, can differ greatly from state to state and even cemetery to cemetery. To learn more about pricing information near you, we recommend you first download a free burial information guide. This will help you in understanding the basics of planning a funeral, as well as figuring out the cost of a burial vault and other burial items.