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Choosing the Right Burial Plot: What Should You Consider?

Few relish thinking far into the future, to the inevitable. Yet, because the topic of death and all that surrounds it is often considered taboo, many families may find themselves in a place where their loved one has no plans or no last instructions. The importance understanding everything that happens during end-of-life, funerals, burials, and more can help us help our families when we pass, and they are deep in mourning for us.

When we actively seek the correct information and have a better understanding, we can then begin to plan for this stage to help save our friends and family, loved ones, and more—they can grieve and heal, knowing they do not need to spend this tender time sorting through a confusing mess of information. 
When choosing a burial plot for you or a loved one, there are some essential factors to consider. 


The first factor to determine is site location. Where will you be buried? In what area? Ask yourself these questions and then follow up with a few more, such as: 

  • How easy will it be for your friends and family to travel to a burial site to visit? 
  • How close or how far away is it from their homes? 
  • If the location is far away, that could make visiting more difficult. If friends and family have to drive several hours or travel far, you may wish to consider a closer plot. 
  • Is the location peaceful and tranquil, beside a busy area or near a highway? You and your loved ones may prefer a tranquil burial plot. 


The plot's size determines whether the burial is for a single person or two and whether there will be room for a headstone, memorial decorations, or other features. For example, single plots are capable of accommodating one body. Couples, best friends, and siblings may choose companion plots—two plots where bodies are generally buried side by side. Occasionally, entire family plots may be available to purchase. 

Additionally, some cemeteries may charge more depending on which area the plot is on—some areas of a cemetery may be more desirable than others, which affects the price. 


It is an unfortunate but genuine factor in what plots you can pick and choose, and that is the cost. Everyone has a different financial background and budget. What may be affordable for one family or person may not be for another. 

In general, you'll see plot prices ranging thus: 

  • Public Cemetery Plots. Plots found within a public cemetery are the most affordable option for many and possibly one of those facing a highly constrained budget. You can expect to be quoted from $200 to $2500 in the United States for a single burial plot. 
  • Private Cemetery Plots. Private cemeteries are quite a bit more expensive compared to public ones. Within a private cemetery, expect to be quoted anywhere from $2000 to $5000 for a single plot, and if it is a private cemetery within a heavily populated, high-cost area, you may expect to see prices of $20,000 and upward. 
  • Burial Plots for Cremated Remains. Some cemeteries may provide burial plots for cremated remains, and these are another very affordable option, especially if you or a loved one is considering cremation. In a public cemetery, you can expect to pay anywhere between $200 to $500 per burial plot. For a private cemetery, you may be quoted anywhere from $1000 to $2,500
  • Pre-owned. You can also purchase a pre-owned plot if it becomes available. Many people may change their minds about where to be buried or how families and friends move. However, purchasing a plot from a private owner means the prices can wildly vary. 


There are several plots to choose from, depending on your or your loved one's wishes. 

  1. Single plot. This is the most traditional and widely available burial plot. Single cemetery plots are designed for a single person. Generally, they measure 3.5 feet wide by 8 feet long, according to the International Cemetery, Cremation, and Funeral Association, and can hold a single casket. 
  2. Side-By-Side Companion plot. The Side-by-Side companion plot is ideal for lifelong best friends, siblings, and married couples. These two adjacent plots share a single, double-wide headstone with a family name engraved. In most instances, the names of both people are engraved on the surface of a headstone, even if one is still alive.
  3. Double-Depth Companion Plot. What distinguishes this plot from the Side-by-Side Companion plot is that this allows two individuals to be buried one atop another without ever disturbing the burial beneath should a married spouse, sibling, or loved one pass before the other. This option saves space—a real issue in larger urban areas and cities—and is another budget-friendly option for those who wish for a companion plot. 
  4. Family Plot. In some cases, if a cemetery has room, you may be able to have the cemetery set aside a specific area of land or a selection of multiple plots for a family or a particular group of individuals. These family plots are typically administered to one person or an estate and can become the resting place for several people. This can often save money for a large family and ensure they remain together, even after passing. 
  5. Mausoleum. Mausoleums are above-ground crypts where caskets are interred. These tombs are external, free-standing stone buildings constructed to hold human remains and can be designed to hold a single set of remains, companions, or an entire family or group. Some may choose a mausoleum because they may not like the idea of being buried underground or because they live in areas where land is scarce and expensive. Mausoleums can be built several stories high, but they are prohibitively expensive for most people to afford to build from scratch. Some cemeteries may have significant, established mausoleums where an individual can be buried more cheaply. 
  6. Lawn Crypts. Lawn crypts are underground structures designed to house anywhere from one to several caskets within a single underground structure. Generally, they are heavy concrete structures that protect caskets within them, keeping them clean and dry. Lawn vaults are much larger and have several elements, such as protection against extreme weather and an included drainage system to keep them intact. Due to the size and features, this is generally a much more expensive option. 
  7. Columbarium. If you or a loved one have selected cremation, you may wish to consider and look at options for purchasing a columbarium niche for a final resting place. These are display vaults, often created as walls, with niches designed explicitly for cremated remains within cremation urns. Niches are single compartments that hold a shelf where an urn can be placed and then locked into position, providing the deceased with a beautiful final resting place. 
  8. Cremation Burial. As cremation is prevalent, many cemeteries offer burial blots for cremated remains within an urn. They can be single plots, companions, or family, take up much smaller spaces, and are generally less expensive than traditional burial plots for caskets. 
  9. Veteran Plots. You may have heard that American Military veterans receive a free burial or funeral. That is partially correct, but there are some stipulations to this rule. All veterans with discharges, so long as they are not dishonorable, are eligible to be buried in a national VA cemetery for free. But, because space is so limited, filling out the official documentation for pre-determination of eligibility well in advance is essential. If the VA cemetery is in a location that is too far away, many states have veteran cemeteries as well. If no other option is available, or the veteran wishes to be buried in a civilian cemetery, the VA will pay a small fee for a plot allowance and provide a free headstone. 
  10. Green Plots. Green plots can come in all sorts of different variations. Some may be within a nature preserve, or some may designate a patch of land for green burials, which are more environmentally friendly than traditional burials. Since green burials are dedicated to simplicity and have the most negligible ecological impact and sustainability, several rules and guidelines will need to be followed, such as using only environmentally friendly burial containers, no use of embalming fluid, no concrete vaults, and biodegradable cremation urns and caskets are a must. 

Putting it all Together

Once you've considered your budget, the location of a burial plot, the size you will need, and the type of burial plot, you will have an excellent foundation for choosing the ideal one for you or your loved ones. 

Finding, selecting, and pre-purchasing a cemetery plot is an immensely wonderful gesture from you to those you love. When we pass, many times, we may leave behind no instructions, leaving our loved ones in deep mourning and stress while having to navigate through costly funeral expenses and complex financial decisions during a time of stress. 

You can alleviate this burden on your loved ones, hold control over what happens to your remains, and choose your final resting place after you pass on—leaving your family and friends free to mourn, grieve, and learn to heal. 

We hope that by sharing with you, we can help make any stage of end-of-life or end-of-life planning more accessible for you so you can return to what matters: your loved ones and live life to the fullest.

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