Funeral Consumers Alliance’s Consumers Guide to Cemetery Purchases
Federal Trade Commission’s Consumers Guide to Buying a Cemetery Site
Funeral Consumers Alliance of Princeton’s out of date and incomplete Cemetery Survey 2012
Buying a Grave Plot
- Visit various cemeteries and compare prices.
- Ask what they charge for grave opening and closing.
- Ask whether you are required to buy a vault (in NJ, you must purchase this from a funeral director).
- In addition, you will likely want to buy a headstone. Ask if you can buy from any vendor and if the cemetery charges for installation, requires a base, etc.
- Keep in mind that cemetery charges are separate from what you will pay the funeral director.
Very limited list of cemeteries in New Jersey (a work in progress)
Buy and Sell Plots Online:
- Cemeteries can regulate the size and type of markers, as specifically as “flat with bronze nameplate set in granite.”
- No cemetery can refuse an outside monument dealer, but can require approval of a marker prior to installation to insure foundation, size, etc.
- Cemeteries may install their own foundations.
- Cemeteries may charge a marker demarcation fee ($50 is typical) if they do not install their own foundations. Some also charge a foundation inspection fee before the foundation is poured to make sure the depth is below the required frost line ($50 is typical). They can also charge an inspection fee after installation to insure that the work was done according to specs and no dirt is left on the grass. Most fees are built into the marker price.
- Vet markers are free. The upright tablet markers weigh 240 lbs., and are usually installed by two people for the cost of $250 (which is break even for the marker company). You can order markers on line, but you must find an installer.
Interview with Doug Sutphen of Sutphen Memorials