Plan a Funeral or Burial

Key Considerations When Choosing
Your Burial Planning Options

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Some of the most challenging things we can do in life are losing a loved one, burial planning for a loved one or creating your own Pre Need Plan to cover the funeral costs of your own burial.  To assist you in determining such a sensitive and personal matter, we suggest that you consider asking yourself the following questions about your end of life planning and personal preferences:

  1. Which burial option offers you the best way to preserve your memories?
  2. Which option would be considered the best memorial for your loved ones to visit?
  3. Which burial option best fits “your style”?
  4. Which of these burial options has best overall fit for your future plans and preferences?

Most Common Burial Options:

1. In-Ground Burial

The most traditional choice, commonly referred to as an in-ground burial, consists of five important components:

This is also commonly referred to as the “land, plot, space, or cemetery property.”

Burial Vaults
A burial vault is a concrete enclosure placed in a gravesite, and has the main purpose of protecting the casket.  To ensure this important protection, the burial vaults is strategically closed and sealed one the casket is place inside.  This ensures the cemetery space provides a safe and secure place for your loved ones.

Sometimes referred to as caskets or coffins, this is the personal vessel that is chosen to contain the body of the deceased, as well as for display during any memorial service viewings.

Opening and Closing
In preparation of the your gravesite, the burial service consists of ground opening, closing (also known as back-filling), and landscaping (to restore and enhance the gravesite’s appearance).

Typically a memorial is some form of a tribute which is installed at the gravesite. The purpose of a memorial is to honor and celebrate a loved one’s life and memories. Memorials can typically be flat bronze “markers” (installed at memorial parks) or they can be upright granite monuments (installed at cemeteries).

2.  Above-Ground Burial or Community Mausoleum

A community mausoleum is an above-ground building that is used to store and memorializes the body of a loved one.  When choosing this type of burial options, you have the option of selecting the space location (“crypt”), and also whether you want a single or “companion” crypt (which holds two). You can also select your personal crypt location level (eye-level is most desirable for most families).  Some of the advantages of a community mausoleum is they enable frequent visits in any type of weather. and a burial vault and memorial are not required.

3.  Above-ground Burial or Private Mausoleum

Private mausoleums are also referred to as a “Family or Burial Plot”.  Just as the name suggests, this option provide your family with a distinctly separate and private structure to memorialize you and your loved ones. Like community mausoleums, private mausoleums can also enable frequent visits in any type of weather. However, the private mausoleum is actually your own private sanctuary that provides a climate-controlled and comfortable environment where loved ones can honor you and pray with one another. Also similar to community mausoleums, a burial vault and memorial are not required.

4.  Combination of In-Ground and Above-ground Burial or Lawn Crypt

A lawn crypt (which typically has a space for two), is very similar to a traditional in-ground burial.  However, the major difference and key benefit is that the space remains clean and dry.  The reason why is because a water drainage system is installed directly below the vault area, providing added protection from nature’s elements. A casket, memorial, and opening-and-closing service are necessary; but a vault is not required.


It’s important to note that if you choose to be cremated, burial is still an option. For whatever the reasons, the facts are the more people are choosing cremation. A “crematorium” performs cremations, which leaves many options for memorializing the cremated remains. Some choose to scatter cremated remains in a cemetery scattering garden, at sea, or other place with special meaning. Others choose to place the cremains in cremation urns, and others choose to bury the urn in a gravesite space.  Others may choose an urn garden, community mausoleum “niche,” or a “columbarium” (urn mausoleum). Many even choose to keep the urn at the home of a spouse or loved one.

Although you may choose cremation, a viewing and a full funeral service are still excellent options that are still commonly chosen. A casket is optional, depending on when the body has been chosen to be cremated.  A burial vault, memorial services, and opening-and-closing service will be necessary if the urn is buried in a gravesite space. A niche opening-and-closing service will be necessary if the urn is placed in a mausoleum or columbarium niche.

More Helpful Burial Information:

How to Preplan a Cemetery Burial

Funeral and Burial Insurance

Cemetery Planning Versus Funeral Planning

Military Funeral and Benefits

Military Burial

Green Funeral

Green Burials