How to Determine Burial Location

by M-Gillies
Calvary Cemetery New York

Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York has the largest number of burials of any cemetery in the United States.

There’s a trend in the funeral industry and it starts with the roughly 76 million Baby Boomers who are approaching their retirements. It’s a big wave, but the focus isn’t simply on how they’ll retire, but in planning ahead for the inevitable and this means choosing their final resting places ahead of time – a decision that will spare loved ones the need to make difficult decisions during a time when they will need the support of their loved ones more. With this in mind, Baby Boomers are beginning to look at the options available to them and are planning their services ahead of time, which includes choosing a cemetery plot.

While this option is one that can be arranged by a funeral professional at the time of death, many Baby Boomers are taking the initiative to find their ideal resting spot ahead of time, and the benefits are proving to be nothing less than positive decisions. Though, taking the initiative may be wrought with emotion and even difficult at times, it is important to do your research before you make a decision that cannot only save you money, but further reduce any difficult decisions your family will have to handle when the time comes.

When deciding where to be buried it is important to:

1. Pick a Cemetery First. It’s all about location, location, location. Not only will it be your final resting place, but it will be a place where loved ones come to visit to reconcile their memories for years. So it’s important to decide whether you want to be buried near your home, in a distant location, in a cemetery were other loved ones are laid to rest, or in a place that has sentimental meaning to you. The decision has to be based upon region, town or specific cemetery, but to come to this decision, it’s necessary to…

2. Research. This is the final resting location and it’s important to understand everything about the location, which includes walking around the premises to see how the grounds are maintained, including older plots. Check to see how well the gravestones are cleaned, whether the trash is removed and the grass is trimmed. But research isn’t limited to just the observatory inspection. In fact, to find the best location ask for recommendations from friends and family, investigate the cemetery on the Better Business Bureau website and do simple web searches on the cemetery to find out what comes up on the first few result pages. This is a way of finding out about rave reviews or other important information, and further allows you the ability to perform a price comparison first before worrying about aesthetics and location – a means which could be beneficial in your decision for when the time comes. But these kinds of decisions will depend on what type of burial is chosen, such as…

3. Traditional or Alternative Burial. Deciding on the type of burial is an important decision, just as much as location. Once the type is decided upon, it will narrow down the location of where it is you want to be buried. While many cemeteries offer both traditional and green burials, some may only offer one or the other. It’s important to research the cemeteries you’ve selected and educate yourself on which cemetery offers what. In some cases, if it is simply a cremation or a family plot, there are other options such as…

4. Small Mausoleums or Cremation Niches. If the family is very close, you may also want to consider a small mausoleum or cremation niches, which allows room for family members throughout the years. While the notion may seem a tad macabre, in every cemetery there is always a prominent name that stands out and it is one that has multiple plots, or a mausoleum or a number of cremation niches designated to them. These forms of plots are meant for to carry out a family’s legacy years into the future and can further reduce costs required for maintenance and upkeep. When all is figured out, then it is the time to consider where you want to be located within the cemetery. To do this…

5. Ask Cemetery Staff for a Map. This will give you a visual idea of which plots are available. It will further allow you to compare locations which may be favorable with those which may not be favorable. For instance, as part of ancient Chinese customs of aesthetics, Feng Shui has long been used to determine the location of a final resting place for families, dating as far back as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and even further. Based upon their philosophy, consultants would be brought in to determine the auspiciousness of a burial location, ensuring that breezy, consistent, soft, warm wind flows through the location; that the deceased is facing the correct location in order to utilize the harmony in the flow of chi; and that the climatology is favorable concerning the celestial animals. While this may not pertain to you and your decision of location, it is important to find one that satisfies your own needs. However, before settling on the location, it is just as important to…

6. Decide Upon a Budget. If cost is a factor in determining which location is chosen, it is important to research the average costs of a cemetery plot. Decide upon whether there will be an extravagant monument, if the location is situated within a historical cemetery, whether there will be a simple plot and gravestone to mark the burial place, or if there will be a monument. Most plots can range in prices from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, therefore, pre-planning a cemetery purchase can be one way to secure the plot desired for a particular location. Furthermore, it is important to take into consideration maintenance fees – these are charges given for periodic cleaning and tending to the grounds.

When looking at the steps required for pre-planning burial locations, it can often seem daunting with the amount of work required to organize such an endeavour, but it is still an important responsibility required in the process of ensuring our loved ones do not have to worry about such a task. Remember, pre-planning and arranging final wishes isn’t about giving up but rather a responsibility that removes a burden from loved ones, saving them from having to make difficult decisions during a time that can be emotionally tumultuous.

If cost is a factor in choosing a burial location, one cost cutting tip to consider is seeking out pre-owned plots. Though the name implies it has been owned, it is often mistaken for a previously occupied plot, which isn’t the case. In fact, pre-owned plots are plots that have come for sale after the owner has chosen a different resting place, and is seeking to sell their former purchased location, even though they’ve never used it.

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