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What You Should Know About Burial Costs

Burial costs vary depending on both location and the cemetery that you choose, but it’s good to have a general understanding of what to expect when exploring burial as an option. There are often costs associated with burials that most families aren’t even aware of, so having some foundational knowledge in this area will help you plan responsibly. If you need help with covering these costs, consider setting up a funeral fundraiser.

How much does a burial plot cost?

You should generally expect to pay around $1000-$2000 for a burial plot, depending on your location. Burial plots will vary in price depending on the state and city you live in as well as the company you choose to purchase from. Purchasing a burial plot at a famous cemetery in the heart of NYC will cost a lot more than a smaller cemetery in a rural area in South Dakota, for example. Public cemeteries are generally less expensive than private cemeteries.

How much does a casket cost?

According to the NFDA, the average price of a burial casket is $2500. Casket prices fluctuate depending on the material, design, and type of casket you decide to purchase. Purchasing a casket online is generally much cheaper than purchasing a casket directly from a funeral home. If you’re purchasing directly from a funeral home, remember to ask about their prices for all of their caskets, not just for the ones on display. You can also save money on caskets by going with a wood veneer casket or steel casket.

How do you buy a cemetery plot?

You can buy a cemetery plot by contacting local cemeteries in the area you’d like to be buried in and inquiring about their prices. Some cemeteries offer the ability for you to pre-plan or pre-purchase a burial plot. It’s also important to note that different cemeteries offer single plots, couples plots, and family plots which differ in pricing as well.

How much does it cost to open and close a grave?

The open and closing fee (which is essentially the price to dig the grave) is not included in the burial plot cost. This fee is one that many people don't think about and aren't aware of when purchasing a plot, so be sure to ask about it when purchasing. The cost will vary depending on where you live, but you should generally expect to spend around $1000. The opening and closing fee will also vary depending on the cemetery you’re working with, so you should contact them directly for pricing information.

How to get burial cost assistance

Public burial cost assistance is generally limited, but some states do offer assistance based on need and cause of death. The first place you should check is with Social Security as they provide a one time death benefit of $255 to surviving family, with certain restrictions. Many people also choose to turn to their communities for burial assistance, asking for donations in lieu of flowers. You can get started with an Ever Loved fundraiser in under 10 minutes.

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Funeral planning is stressful for most families and many families are caught off guard by a lot of the prices they encounter in the funeral planning process. Understanding what to expect and knowing different fees and costs associated with burials is a good way to further prepare yourself before dealing with funeral homes and cemeteries directly.

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Last updated June 2, 2021
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