The Four Types of Cemetery Plots

If you are planning a burial or are planning to bury cremated remains, you have a number of options in terms of the type of plot you buy, the number of plots you buy, and the way you pay for the plots.

Types of plots available for advance purchase

There are four types of ground plots in a cemetery:

  • Single plots: Single plot are the most common type of plot in a cemetery. Single plots contain the remains of one person in a casket.
  • Companion plots: Companion plots are two plots that are sold together for a couple, usually a married couple. Companion plots can be two plots side-by-side, or a single plot in which the caskets are buried on top of each other (often referred to as “double depth”). Double depth plots can be more affordable than side-by-side companion plots, as only one large outer burial container is usually required, rather than two.
  • Family plots: In some cemeteries, a family may purchase a small area of the cemetery to be dedicated to the family. With family plots, there is usually a single large headstone engraved with the family name marking the area, and then each individual family member who is buried in the family area will have his or her own smaller headstone marking the individual grave. In some cases, a family plot may simply be a row of single plots purchased as a package by a single family.
  • Plots for cremated remains: Cremated remains may be buried in a cemetery plot alongside buried caskets. Because cremated remains take up less space, many cemeteries allow multiple urns to be buried in a single plot.

Urn gardens for burying cremated remains

If you are planning on buying cremated remains in the ground, you may purchase a plot in a cemetery’s urn garden, which is a landscaped area for the burial of cremated remains. While some urn gardens are simply small plots, others are much more elaborate, and cremated remains can be incorporated into the landscape, such as in a large rock, in a bench, in a fountain, or in other landscape elements. Urn garden plots are generally much smaller than full-sized plots, and therefore may cost significantly less than a full-sized plot. Depending on the cemetery's requirements, you may need to purchase a small outer burial container for the urn.

Plot costs

The price of a plot usually depends on:

  • The location of the plot in the cemetery
  • The type of plot
  • The number of plots you buy

For the most part, the more plots you purchase at one time, the less each plot costs individually. When purchasing plots, take into account related costs, such as outer burial containers, headstones, and any maintenance fees that the cemetery might have.

To find a cemetery, use our resource Guide: Finding a Cemetery.

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