If you know how you want to be buried after your death, make your memorial preferences known by completing our Last Wishes Planner, a free estate planning form available exclusively from Pennyborn.com. The surviving next of kin usually have no knowledge of their deceased loved oneís memorial preferences. In addition, it is very difficult for most people to make these types of decisions while grieving.
By using last wishes planners and leaving instructions for your final arrangements in writing, you can ensure your instructions regarding burial or cremation are followed. It may also ease the burden on your family if you make your funeral service arrangements in advance.
If there is not enough property in the estate of the deceased to pay funeral and burial expenses, financial assistance may be available. See burial assistance.
Burial of Cremated Remains
If the deceased was cremated, the cremated remains can still receive a burial. Cremation urns can be buried in a cemetery plot in a traditional in ground burial. Mausoleums also offer the option of having cremated remains entombed in an above ground burial. A headstone, grave marker or plaque can be erected on the burial plot or mausoleum wall. One of the primary reasons for burial of cremated remains is to provide a permanent memorial that family and friends can visit.A columbarium holds cremation urns or cremated remains. A columbarium can be a wall within a mausoleum, an entire building or a freestanding monument of cremation niches in a garden or cemetery.
In Ground or Earth Burial
When in ground or earth burial is chosen, the casket is placed into a burial vault, also called a grave liner, designed to protect the casket from heavy equipment that may be operated on the ground above the grave. The burial vault is then covered with soil and marked with a headstone or grave marker.
Making a Decision About Burial
For an eye-opening look at many different burial options, read Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial by Mark Harris. Whether you are considering cremation, burial at sea, green burial, burial in a memorial reef or a very simple type of burial, this book offers the perspective you need to make an informed decision. It includes information on the process of embalming and the costs of various burial options. Filled with important details about the entire process of disposition of remains, Grave Matters is recommended whether you are planning your own funeral or making final arrangements for a deceased loved one.
How Others Have Chosen to be Buried
Deciding whether to be cremated or buried, and then making a decision about all the other details involved, is difficult for most people. Getting information about what others have done often helps when trying to make a decision. For examples, go to
popular last wishes.
A mausoleum is an above ground building or structure with walls in which caskets or cremation urns can be entombed. When a human body is entombed, it is placed in a casket which is stored in a crypt. A crypt in a mausoleum is sealed, so it stays clean, dry, and does not touch the ground. A mausoleum is often chosen by people whom do not wish to be buried in the ground. The walls of mausoleums are made of marble, granite or other high quality materials. Burial in a mausoleum is often regarded as more prestigious than earth burial. Celebrities and other wealthy individuals often choose mausoleum entombment over traditional burial. See celebrity estates.
There are many different types of mausoleums. A deceased personís body can be entombed in an interior mausoleum or an exterior mausoleum. If two people wish to be buried together, they can be entombed in a companion crypt. If an entire family or group of people wish to be buried together, they can purchase a family mausoleum or community mausoleum. A chapel mausoleum allows the remains of the deceased to be entombed in the walls of a chapel where religious services are held.
When you are buried in a mausoleum, there is no need to purchase an outer burial container or a grave marker, so it can be less expensive than earth burial. Nevertheless, the cost of mausoleum entombment varies and can be very expensive if an exclusive site is chosen. For information, see funeral and burial expenses.
Burial at Sea
For those whose last wishes include burial at sea, there are many companies that offer services for scattering cremated ashes at sea. Although rare, the body of the deceased may also be buried at sea in a casket. However, this form of burial is subject to stringent regulations and there are severe penalties for failure to comply. Active members of the military, veterans, certain civilian personnel, and their dependent family members may be eligible for burial at sea by the
United States Navy.
Green burial is an environmentally friendly method of final disposition of remains. It is designed to return the body of the deceased to the earth to decompose naturally. The goals of a green burial include natural resource conservation, reduction of carbon emissions, and preservation of wildlife habitat.If a green burial is chosen for the deceased, there is no embalming or cremation. The body of the deceased is wrapped in cloth, enclosed in biodegradable material, and then buried directly in the ground. The grave marker used to mark a green burial is environmentally friendly as well. Instead of a large marble headstone or bronze plaque, a green burial site is marked by an engraved rock, a tree or another type of natural marker. A green burial is usually much less expensive than a traditional in ground burial because there is no cost for services such as embalming or funeral products such as a casket, grave liner or headstone.