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Facts about Cemeteries


The word "cemetery," which is the traditional place to bury the dead, comes from the Greek words koimeterion (meaning a sleeping place), and koiman (to put to sleep). There are public and private cemeteries, commercial cemeteries, and national cemeteries for veterans. Some are perfectly manicured and landscaped, some in disrepair, and some abandoned.

When you are purchasing a cemetery plot, consider the location of the cemetery and whether it meets the requirements of your family's religion. Other considerations include what, if any, restrictions the cemetery places on burial vaults purchased elsewhere, the type of monuments or memorials it allows, and whether flowers or other remembrances may be placed on graves.

Cost is another consideration. Cemetery plots can be expensive, especially in metropolitan areas. Most, but not all, cemeteries require you to purchase a grave liner, which will cost several hundred dollars. Note that there are charges - usually hundreds of dollars - to open a grave for interment and additional charges to fill it in.

Perpetual care on a cemetery plot sometimes is included in the purchase price, but it's important to clarify that point before you buy the site or service. If it's not included, look for a separate endowment care fee for maintenance and groundskeeping.

If you plan to bury your loved one's cremated remains in a mausoleum or columbarium, you can expect to purchase a crypt and pay opening and closing fees, as well as charges for endowment care and other services.

The FTC's Funeral Rule does not cover cemeteries and mausoleums unless they sell both funeral goods and funeral services, so be cautious when making your purchase to ensure that you receive all pertinent price and other information, and that you're being dealt with fairly.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, for example, there are at least 227 cemeteries. So for now purchasing a cemetery plot is not a problem for those who desire earth burial. The problem is the expenses that add up. In addition to the plot , there's the vault or grave liner to purchase (it's required by most cemeteries).

At Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetery, with 733 acres (400 of which are developed), burial spaces are available in different price ranges. Depending on the location, says family counselor Rose Hennessy, they sell from as low as $795 for a single space to as high as $4,950.

Beautifully landscaped with more than 450 species of trees, Spring Grove is the final resting place for many Cincinnati VIPs, including such famous names as William Procter, James Gamble, Nicholas Longworth, and the merchants John Shillito, McAlpin, and Bernard Kroger.

Today, there are 208,000 interments at Spring Grove, according to Hennessey. This is the most common and preferred way, but it can be expensive depending on the choice of lot, liner, and marker.


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