Funeral & Burial Frequently Asked Questions

Planning or pre-planning a burial can seem complicated. There are so many questions that need to be answered, and it’s possible that this is the first time you have taken a moment to think about what you want for your burial or the burial of a loved one. There are a variety of questions that need to be answered, and is here to help every step of the way. Scroll through our list of burial and funeral frequently asked questions to learn more about the process.

Funeral & Burial FAQ List

1. Can You Pay for a Burial or Funeral in Advance?

Yes, you can pay for a burial or funeral in advance. This is called a pre-paid burial plan or funeral plan. You can select the casket or urn, memorial or marker, etc., pay for them ahead of time, and have everything taken care of when the time eventually comes. For more information, read about how pre-paid burial plans work.

2. What is a Pre-paid Burial Plan?

A pre-paid burial is exactly what is sounds like: It is the pre-payment of burial costs prior to one’s passing. This allows you to pay today’s prices, instead of years or even decades of inflation. A burial plan can include choices such as where you would like to be buried, the type of burial you want, and if you would like a funeral or ceremony to accompany the burial. In addition to a pre-paid burial plan, you can also organize and pay for a funeral in advance. For more information, visit our page What is a Pre-paid Funeral?

3. Can You Pre-pay for a Cremation?

Yes, you can pre-pay for cremation just as you can with a traditional burial or mausoleum. There are different types of cremation services that you can pre-pay for, as well as an urn, cremation niche, scattering garden, and additional components to the service or funeral. For more information, read about available cremation services.

4. How Much Does a Burial Crypt Cost?

The price of a lawn crypt burial will depend on several factors, but in general you can expect to pay less than you would for entombment in a mausoleum. For a single crypt, expect to pay anywhere from $3,200 up to $6,000 or even $10,000 depending on location and customizations inclusive of everything. For more information, read more about lawn crypts, the cost, and available options.

5. Is it Legal to Have a Natural Burial?

Yes, natural burials are legal in all 50 states. However, some rules and regulations may differ slightly, and not all cemeteries allow for natural burials. It’s best to consult with a funeral director or your desired cemetery for specific information. For more information, read about natural burials, costs, available options, and potential benefits.

6. Can You Be Buried Above Ground?

Yes, you can be buried above ground, via three main options: above ground burial in a public community mausoleum, above ground burial in a lawn crypt, or above ground burial in a private mausoleum. Each will protect the remains and any visiting loved ones from weather conditions. For more information, read about the different above ground burial options, costs, and benefits to each.

7. Can You Buy a Cemetery Plot?

Yes, you can buy an available cemetery plot at any cemetery that still has availability. You can also pre-pay for a cemetery plot now, to lock in both the current cost and to ensure your desired location within your preferred cemetery. This makes pre-purchasing a cemetery plot a smart decision, particularly if you want to ensure close proximity to family, secure adjoining plots, etc. For more information, read about cemetery plots, the cost, the benefit of pre-purchasing, and the different options available.

8. What is the Average Cost of a Cemetery Plot?

The average cost of a cemetery plot varies depending on the state in which you choose to be buried. To learn the average cost of a cemetery plot in your state, visit our Cemetery Burial Plots for Traditional in-Ground Burials.

9. What is a Burial Plan?

A burial plan is a pre-paid, pre-arranged plan that includes your preference of:

For more information, read about burial planning, the cost savings, and the available options.

10. What Are the Advantages of Planning a Burial/Funeral in Advance?

There are multiple advantages to pre-planning your burial, the most common of which are:

For more information about the benefits of pre-planning, read the 5 Reasons for Planning Your Burial.

11. What is the Difference Between a Wake and a Funeral?

A funeral service is a formal event where loved ones and friends say goodbye to someone who has passed away. A funeral, unlike a wake or viewing, typically involves an actual burial.

Traditionally, the wake is a Catholic ceremony based in part on the Celtic traditions of Ireland. Those traditions dictated that family and close friends should stay awake through the night with the deceased in order to offer protection from evil spirits. Once buried, all was safe.

The Catholic notion of a wake may often include a short ceremony involving a priest. The priest may say prayers (usually the rosary) or recite some scriptures. In this stricter Catholic sense, the wake is called a “rosary.”

For more information, read Wake vs. Viewing vs. Funeral.

12. What Are the Different Ways to Be Buried?

There are six different ways you can be buried:

For more information, read about burial options and learn which option is right for you and your family.

13. Do You Have to Put a Casket in a Vault?

Yes, by law a casket is required for a vault burial. For more information about options, read What is a Burial Vault?

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