What's included in the price
Generally, the following items are included in the cost of a cemetery burial:
- “Right of interment,” also known as “interment rights.” This is the purchase of the burial plot or mausoleum space. Owning interment rights to a place means that you have the right to be buried in that place or to designate the burial of someone else in that place.
- Opening and closing. This includes the digging and filling the grave, and may include securing necessary permits, maintaining legal files, keeping records, the use of a casket-lowering device, and other items or services.
- Burial vaults or grave liners. In the case of ground burial, many cemeteries require either an outer burial container—either a burial vault or grave liner—to protect the earth around the casket.
- “Perpetual care” or “endowment care.” This one-time maintenance fee, often 5% to 15% of the plot price, may be legally required by the state for re-investment in a state-mandated cemetery maintenance fund. This fee generally does not pay for the maintenance of headstones or other gravesite memorials.
- Headstone installation fee. Even if you purchase a headstone or grave marker from the cemetery, they may charge you a fee for installing the marker on the grave.
Cemetery price breakdown
The prices for cemetery burial generally break down into the following items and price ranges:
|Burial vault or grave liner||$500-$2500|
|Opening and closing||$1000-$1500|
|Headstone or grave marker||$500-$4000|
|Installation of headstone or grave marker||$450-$850|
|TOTAL (for plot burial)||$4100-$11,600|
Unless the cemetery you’re working with sells both funeral goods and funeral services (in other words, functions as a funeral home in addition to functioning as a cemetery), the FTC’s Funeral Rule does not apply to cemeteries. This means that the cemetery is not required to give you an itemized price list before you make any purchases or you may be charged a fee for bringing in products from another vendor.
To find a cemetery, use our resource Guide: Finding a Cemetery.