Buying Burial Plot in advance

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ionenergy
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Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by ionenergy » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:45 am

Hi,
Has anybody had any experience with buying burial plots? Would it really be cheaper to buy it earlier than later?
I’m 39 years old male with a wife and two children.
I’ve heard about burial plots as an investment.
I don’t have any plans to use it as an investment vehicle, but rather buy the plots in advance for my family and generations to come.
Is that a good idea money wise?
I live in los angeles btw
Thanks

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Nestegg_User
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Nestegg_User » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:57 am

(I know it's been awhile, but there was a thread some time ago about someone trying to sell a long ago purchased couple of plots in Hawaii.... you could search for it)

Short Answer: NO

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Tamarind
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Tamarind » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:22 am

Definitely not an investment.

Remember that an investment should yield you some return in proportion to its productivity. A burial plot produces nothing, particularly as the land can not be used for anything else. Trying to buy one to sell it for more to someone else would be speculation. However plots are also not good targets for speculation.

My grandmother owns something like 3/5 of a burial plot that can hold three more people. There are at least three other owners. It was bought in advance by her parents, who are buried there but did not give any thought to it in their wills. So it was divided among their children, some of whom have since died, been buried elsewhere and split it along their heirs. Not that the ownership matters since, in the intervening 75 years, the plot had lost all resale value it might have had. The operators of the cemetery will not buy it back from the family and there is no resale market, other than people trying to unload similar unwanted plots. My grandmother, the last majority owner, will not be buried there either and her share will be split at least 3 ways depending on her will. Most of the new owners live in other states, and the ones that don't have their own preferences for being buried at their churches, etc.

I wouldn't even advise that someone prepay their own funeral expenses or get a plot for one, unless they were expecting to die within a decade and leave no estate. Like other kinds of "control from beyond the grave", expecting to decide where your descendants will be buried is a fool's errand. You can safely strike this idea from your list. :sharebeer

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:41 am

My guess is that in the future, people will regard burial plots like they regard ice boxes and party lines.

I don't think I know anyone of my generation who wants a burial plot, and for sure nobody of my kids’ generation. Maybe I have an odd circle of acquaintances.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by OnTrack2020 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:50 am

My parents (long deceased) bought burial plots many, many years ago--either 3 or 4 in an area they grew up in. I think they were thinking that I would be buried near them. Fast forward to today where society is very mobile and grown children move to different areas of the country and are not really tied to the area where their parents may have grown up. That is our situation. I don't even know if there is paperwork to the plots they purchased. I suppose I could call the cemetery.

Anyhow, I would advise against it. I do not think, at least in the area they purchased, that burial plots are that expensive. You are only 39, and your children or those future generations may not be living remotely close to you. They may be settled down in another area of the country where they wish to remain.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:03 am

Depending on where you reside when the time comes. In NYC, they are running out of space, so burial now can be on the outskirts of the city, in Staten Island, Upper Westchester or outer reaches of Long Island. If you purchase a spot in the masoleum, it can cost as high as $100k (location of spot has a premium) or as low as $6k for a spot for two in the ground. Prices don’t include gravestone, cost of funeral home or actual burial by cemetery workers. Ever wonder why more choose cremation? It’s expensive to die in NYC/NJ.
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:11 am

In our area, many cemeteries are now full or only sell a plot when needed for a funeral.

When my grandfather died years ago, my grandmother and her children bought multiple plots at a local cemetery. So my parents are prepared. The plots were paid upfront. Upon interment, a one-time fee is due to cover interment and future maintenance costs.

We have no plans to buy a plot or prepay funeral arrangements.

gclancer
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by gclancer » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:15 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:41 am
My guess is that in the future, people will regard burial plots like they regard ice boxes and party lines.

I don't think I know anyone of my generation who wants a burial plot, and for sure nobody of my kids’ generation. Maybe I have an odd circle of acquaintances.
You don’t have odd acquaintances. I completely agree with your assessment of the future. OP, I would pass and instead put the money towards a proper estate plan if you don’t already have one. Include a letter of instruction stating that you’d like to be 1) buried 2) in Los Angeles to take the guess work out of it for your heirs.

retired_tom
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by retired_tom » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:19 am

Back in 1920, when my Grandfather died, my Grandmother decided it was smart to purchase 8 burial plots, so the family would be together. Needless to say, 4 of those plots have been used, and talking to the family, no one else wants to be buried there. So 4 plots will go unused. One of these days, I may talk to the cemetery and see if there is a way of selling those plots. As others have said, family could end up all over the country, and cremation is the way most people are going now.

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fizxman
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by fizxman » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:33 am

My parents bought two plots for themselves in a cemetery where my mom's family is from. They changed their minds and now are going to be buried in a military cemetery but they still have the plots they bought years ago. So unless you are 100% positive you'll want to be buried there when the time comes, don't buy a plot now. Take the money you'd use to buy the plot, put it somewhere to accrue interest and when the time comes, if you still want to be buried in that original cemetery, you'll probably be able to afford at the inflated price.

I personally want to be shot into space and be revived in the distant future, perhaps by advanced aliens, but DW says no.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by renue74 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:44 am

My dad and step mother (step mother #3), bought plots a few years ago. They lived on the SC coast at that time. He ended up moving again inland and the plots they bought were part of a national system where you can "move your plot to a different location easily."

Well....the "easily" part was mis represented. When they attempted to move to their new town, the cemetery baulked and I think they charged an additional fee. The death business is a huge scam. Remember the 60 minutes story maybe about 10 or more years ago where they uncovered an almost oligopoly of price fixing on caskets and other death services.

Personally, I don't really care what they do with my body.

We live in the south....and I've been to plenty of funerals. Even in my lifetime (45 years old), I've seen a change. Used too, there would be huge visitations a few days before burial and then an actual huge funeral....with then driving the body to the cemetery with a grave side service.

Recently, I've been to funerals where you roll up to the grave side for a short service and that's it. I'm sure the funeral companies are still not hurting for business.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Townline Lake » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:39 am

My wife and I grew up in the same small town in the upper Midwest and bought two burial plots in the church cemetery where we grew up next to my parents. We bought these 15 years ago while living down south. It gave my wife some peace of mind to do this. We have a title and cost was around $800 or so. We did not buy the plots for an investment. We are 54 now.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:53 am

ionenergy wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:45 am
Hi,
Has anybody had any experience with buying burial plots? Would it really be cheaper to buy it earlier than later?
I’m 39 years old male with a wife and two children.
I’ve heard about burial plots as an investment.
I don’t have any plans to use it as an investment vehicle, but rather buy the plots in advance for my family and generations to come.
Is that a good idea money wise?
I live in los angeles btw
Thanks
Here is a past thread on trying to sell burial plots.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=211339&p=3243601&hi ... l#p3243601
These were considered "prime", "in demand due to very limited availability (slopes of Diamond Head in Hawaii), and very "prestigious".
Points:
1 The mortuary industry profits are tremendous.
2 Sales commisions are tremendous.
3 Contracts of ownership and resale are . . . . . tricky. Sometimes you can only resell back to the cemetary or only using their salespeople, and so forth.
4 Purchasing "plots" ahead of time is sometimes not a good idea. (though well intentioned)

Here are just some things to think about that I've experienced with family and relatives that have done this:

Family dynamics change, folks move away, folks do not want to be buried and rather their ashes be dispersed into the sea or over a dramatic landscape or kept somewhere, folks do not want to be buried next to another for all eternity, generations to come don't care, descendents would rather cremate their loved one and sell the plots for cash (because that's what grandma wanted), and much more.

So: "Money Wise" = large No. The mortuary industry is like the finance industry. Ignore the sales hype. Commisions are huge. Profits are huge.

But, if you have the spare cash to do something like this without caring what happens down the line and you feel good about it, then why not? Just be prepared that it may not work out in many ways, including as an investment. Or, things may work out perfect and as you wished and it will be greatly rewarding and appreciated.
Only you can judge this.

Kudos to your unselfish good intention. :happy
I hope this is helpful.
j :happy
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Barsoom
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Barsoom » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:01 am

My wife and I bought burial plots two years ago (we're 60 and 58).

It wasn't cheaper, it's just that she wanted to have plots in her hometown cemetery where the rest of her family is buried before the cemetery was sold out.

-B

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Magruder » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:06 am

My wife's parents bought lots in a local cemetery in the early 70's and are both interred there today. At the time, they asked her and her siblings if they wanted to buy adjoining plots. We did - 4 sites for $35. We left town for 34 years, retired and returned, and will use two of the sites. In fact, at 75 years old, we had a headstone placed to save our kids the trouble! Now looking to sub-let the other two sites! :>)

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:15 am

Wow. Live and learn. I had no idea this was so much of a thing.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

likegarden
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by likegarden » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:19 am

I told my son to drop my ashes at a stream in the mountains - that's my 'burial place in advance'. It will be scenic.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by THY4373 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:28 am

I tend to agree with the posters here though I'll say that my family to date is something of an exception. My great aunt bought several plots that I think would hold about dozen folks each in a cemetery in a small town in New England (I would guess about 40% are used at this point). With the exception of one uncle who moved back in retirement none of us live there. I am probably one of the few in my generation that can remember spending my summers in the area (none of my generation was raised there). That said the cemetery has four generations of my family there in fact all of my direct ancestors with my surname on this side of the Atlantic are buried there and most of my extended family over that four generations is also buried there. My parents will be buried there along with my uncles and their wives. I suspect some cousins may be but I also suspect others won't. I'll be buried there because one it is kind of neat that so many of my family are there and of course it's free! In fact my dad already bought a tombstone that has my name on it and it is there and just needs my death date filled out when I fall off this mortal coil.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by jebmke » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:30 am

likegarden wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:19 am
I told my son to drop my ashes at a stream in the mountains - that's my 'burial place in advance'. It will be scenic.
could always hedge with natural gas futures. :beer
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dm200
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:45 am

My views:

1. Burial plot(s) NOT an investment

2. Could make sense if you are older AND near certain that the plot(s) will be used.

In our case (DW and I), I/we are leaning towards burial in a National Cemetery (plot is free) - since I am a veteran (short enlistment in the Navy). If cremated, we could even have the cremated remains in nearby Arlington National Cemetery. My wife is not, yet at least, convinced.

In my hometown (small place 400 miles from where we now live), it was common in past generations to buy a large family plot (perhaps a dozen burials) and erect a large monument to mark the place. My paternal grandparents bought a large plot and the granite monument with the family name shortly after they were married about 1900. I think there is one spot left.

Today, with more folks moving a lot, as well as more family changes, a plot may not be used. Cremation has become much more common. Your wife or husband today may not be your wife or husband when you die.

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dm200
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:49 am

The "latest" option I have seen recently is that you can have your body "composted".

Another "option" is to donate your body to be placed in one of those places where they study body decomposition. Bodies are left in the open, placed in car trunks, partially buried, etc. - sounding like an eposide of "Bones" or "Law and Order" or "Forensic Files".

I am also considering donating my body to a medical school.

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dm200
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:52 am

My paternal grandparents bought a large plot and the granite monument with the family name shortly after they were married about 1900.
I don't know what is cost them - back around 1900, but I am sure it was quite an expenditure. Both of my paternal grandparents were children of Irish immigrants and were of very, very "modest" means - probably "poor" - as farm workers - later buying land as their own farm.

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Watty
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Watty » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:58 am

When my parents were older and retired they intentionally bought burial plots that were right next to road. There had been an article in the newspaper about how some graves needed to be moved at a different cemetery to expand a road and the families received a significant payment to get permission to move the graves.

Their instructions were that if this ever happened that the money should be used to pay for any future grandkids, or great grandkids college. :oops:

One thing that has not been mentioned is that if you buy burial plots and then are divorced or widowed and remarried then the burial plot may never be used.

If you have a burial plot that you do not need and cannot sell then one option would be to donate it to a charity to get a tax deduction. Some charities will accept these to use for things like veterans funerals.

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dm200
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:22 am

Maternal grandparents "story" -

I only know one side of this family story - but it is "interesting". According to my late mother, back about a hundred or so years ago, her parents (my grandparents that I knew very well) went in (50/50) with my grandfather's brother and his wife to purchase a large (12 burial spots) in a local cemetery. The idea was that my grandparents would be eventually buried there, as well as some other family members. At some point (maybe in the 1940's or 1950's) - my grandparents discovered that there were no spots for them. My mother's opinion was that her uncle (my grandfather's brother) had "sold" half of the plot.

So, in the late 1950's or early 1960's, my grandparents bought a burial plot for the two of them. At the same time, or in conjunction with it, my mother's older brother and his wife purchased two spots adjacent. My grandfather died in the mid 1960's and my grandmother in the early 1980's. My uncle and his wife died about 10-15 years ago - and all four are buried in these plots purchased in the late 1950's or early 1960's.

This was a good purchase for them both - since it was near certain that they would die and be buried locally.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by fru-gal » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:35 am

Townline Lake wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:39 am
My wife and I grew up in the same small town in the upper Midwest and bought two burial plots in the church cemetery where we grew up next to my parents. We bought these 15 years ago while living down south. It gave my wife some peace of mind to do this. We have a title and cost was around $800 or so. We did not buy the plots for an investment. We are 54 now.
My mother bought a four grave site for about that price each grave site about thirty years ago when my Dad passed. Dad and Mom are both buried there. When Mom died I bought my brothers' portion of the third space. I am not moving away at my age, and view this as making things simpler, like having all my paperwork done.

We own the remaining grave site mutually. What will happen to that I have no idea, nor do I know why Mom bought four places. Maybe that's the way the cemetery sells them.

I would not prepay funeral expenses, because those businesses can go out of business.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by SrGrumpy » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:17 am

ionenergy wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:45 am
I live in los angeles btw
Thanks
Interesting thread. I think about it at least 4 times a day, but have done nothing yet. As others have said, it is certainly not an investment. At best it might be a hedge. But there's plenty of cemetery space in Los Angeles. My local Forest Lawn is expanding, for example. There are some smaller, more prestigious cemeteries where there will be supply issues, logically. And I guess "location, location, location" within a certain cemetery might drive you to consider pre-buying.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:30 am

My husband died unexpectedly young. We had made no advance preparation. There was a beautiful natural meadow burying ground within easy walking distance of our home, adjacent to an old forest nature preserve. The stream flowing through our wooded backyard flows into the stream that runs behind the natural burying ground. Fortuitously, it was a place where he had enjoyed walking during his lifetime, sometimes alone and sometimes with me and sometimes even pushing a stroller with our younger daughter there when she was young.

So we bought a plot for him there to bury him in. Other costs quite minimal due to the natural setting (no embalming allowed, only burial shrouds or very simple wood or wicker coffins with no metal nails allowed, no concrete vaults, no elaborate memorial stones allowed--only a simple small stone recycled from a nearby church engraved with name and dates and set flush to the ground.) There is a beautiful stone wall (also made out of stones of a different type recycled from a different nearby church) as well as a lovely wooden gazebo nearby in which to sit and remember.

After his burial, the cemetery reserved the plot adjacent to his for 30 days to give me the option to buy it for myself. I bought that plot for a modest sum, not as an ¨investment¨ but to make sure there is space for my remains near his. Also like the idea of being buried in a place full of green-oriented folks. My understanding is that this is greener than cremation. When I see a new small stone with a name go in nearby, I look up the obituary online. It seems like a very nice group of eternal ¨neighbors.¨

I like the idea that my daughters will have one less decision to make, that I have clearly communicated the simple and green nature of what I want (values they also share). As it happens, we live near a historic Shaker settlement. ´Tis a gift to be simple.

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dm200
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:51 am

I wonder (do not know) if buying a burial plot during the "rush" between a death and burial results in paying more for the plot than taking your time in doing so without the rush?

With cremation, there need be no rush to "bury" or place the remains. I suppose, as well, even with a body/casket - the actual burial might be delayed as well. I believe that, in some cases, the burial (casket/body) is delayed for some national cemeteries. I don't know if this is still done there, but in my hometown - the winters are long, cold and snowy. When someone died during the winter, and the grave could not be dug because of the deep snow, etc., caskets were placed in a building or chapel at the cemetery and the actual burial was done in the spring when the snow melted and the ground was not frozen.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by MtnTraveler » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:01 am

I guess prices go up in time so if you bought now you might potentially save money but I wouldn't do it for that reason. I actually own two burial plots weirdly enough. We bought a plot next to my mom when she died because our daughter was in the NICU and well if the worst happened I wanted her next to my mom. When my husband died I bought the plot next to him. Both can be sold back to the cemetery minus a small fee. Both have stipulations that they have to be used within a hundred years at which point they will try to find a relative and if none are found they will allow the plots to be re-sold.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by alfaspider » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:14 am

I can't see that as being a great idea, especially at a young age. Personal anecdote: My grandmother purchased a burial plot about 20 years ago thinking she would be saving burden on her family. Well, she was of modest means and the burial plot she could afford was right next to a busy road. It was not exactly the peaceful internment the family wanted. After a year, my aunt decided that she really didn't want to visit mom by the side of the road and purchased a different burial plot on the other side of town in a much more tranquil location.

Long story short- you never know what your heirs will want. Better to leave the money for such a thing in your will and have them do with it what they see fit.

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changingtimes
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by changingtimes » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:21 am

Ever since my mom died in 2013 (and with her ashes interred with her parents back in her home state, per her express wishes), I've been gently nudging my dad, now 85, to tell me where he wanted to be. He'd always answer flippantly about where he wanted his ashes spread by drone.

After my husband got sick, we visited a very historic cemetery in our neighborhood, and immediately decided that was where we wanted our final resting place to be. (There's a memorial bench there now, but his ashes haven't made the trip yet. Turns out I'm not quite ready for that yet. :) )

My dad, who lived in this same neighborhood when I was born, had never been to this cemetery, and the first time we visited together I could tell he was really impressed with the location. And, as it turned out, the plot next to ours was still available, and so now Dad has made the payment, and my brother and I are spared that decision. And I am guessing that I will get half of Mom's ashes and bring them back to be with Dad.

Kind of the best of both worlds--we know that this is where Dad wants to be, but it wasn't a decision made long ago that might not be what's best. If he had bought a plot somewhere else years ago, who knows where it would have been, and probably wouldn't be anywhere that means as much to him now.

I wouldn't do the "investment" route, but please, let your family know your wishes. No guarantee they'll honor them (!), but some guidance is better than none, especially when decisions have to be made during such a fraught time.

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dm200
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:31 am

Not applicable to me (yet at least), but when there are multiple spouses, due to death, divorce - and remarriage - things can get complicated. So, say my wife and I buy two burial plots for us. She dies and is buried in one. Then, I remarry to a woman who has no burial plans or specific needs. Now I die - do I get buried with first wife - leaving 2nd wife stranded?

I suppose if marriage 1 ended in nasty divorce, then it would make sense to leave my space unused by me.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by SrGrumpy » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:32 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:31 am
Not applicable to me (yet at least), but when there are multiple spouses, due to death, divorce - and remarriage - things can get complicated. So, say my wife and I buy two burial plots for us. She dies and is buried in one. Then, I remarry to a woman who has no burial plans or specific needs. Now I die - do I get buried with first wife - leaving 2nd wife stranded?

I suppose if marriage 1 ended in nasty divorce, then it would make sense to leave my space unused by me.
I do a lot of work on Findagrave, and see that often. The sad cases are where the spouse's headstone has a blank space for the surviving spouse's name and details, but that spouse decides to be buried elsewhere. So Spouse 1 spends eternity being stood up.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by kaudrey » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:48 pm

I wouldn't. What if you move somewhere far from where you are now? What will you do with the plots?

My parents, who are in their 80s, want to be cremated, as does pretty much everyone else in my family. Scatter us on our favorite lake/mountain/ocean/whatever.....

My grandparents are buried on Long Island, where I grew up. Now, their kids live in NH and CT, and the grandkids (my sister and I), live in MA and VA. No one has visited them in 18 years. If they had bought plots for my parents, they would have gone unused.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Cycle » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:04 pm

Imagine the regret of buying a burial plot if solutions are found to the aging problem, I'd wait till my demise is in view.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by tbill1 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:17 pm

Purchased not only the lot, but also the granite mausoleum in my late 20’s. Owner of the cemetery had a “show” mausoleum next to my parents/grandparents mausoleum. He sold the headstone/marker business an cemetery was in the deal, so purchased the 2 crypt mausoleum for wife an myself for a really great deal! Current age of 71, so I may be using it any day now. lol

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by fru-gal » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:19 am

dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:30 am
no elaborate memorial stones allowed--only a simple small stone recycled from a nearby church engraved with name and dates and set flush to the ground.) There is a beautiful stone wall (also made out of stones of a different type recycled from a different nearby church) as well as a lovely wooden gazebo nearby in which to sit and remember.
Can you say more about those recycled stones? When I was researching my family's history, I found that it was the usual practice in the Scandinavian country some of my ancestors came from to have a burial plot owned by the family for so many years after the burial, then the marker stone was moved to a stone wall enclosing the cemetery and the grave was reused. Is this what you mean?

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by fourwheelcycle » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:10 am

My mother's family has a family plot in a quaint Vermont cemetery with a small monument in the center and burial spaces all around it, with burials going back to the mid-1800's. My mother and father will be buried there. However, I doubt our children would ever make the trip to that cemetery, so my wife and I plan to be cremated and buried in our local church's memorial garden.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by bac » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:53 am

Only buy burial plots if you intend to use them, not as an investment.

My files are littered with deeds for sets of plots in a memorial park. My parents bought and sold several sets of graves, from what I can figure. They repose (with my paternal grandparents, sister and a niece) in one set of eight, so there's room for me, or more likely my ashes, if I go that route.

My aunt and uncle also had several sets of graves in the same memorial park, and they and my maternal grandparents are in one set. Best I can figure, there are two more sets of graves that I could sell, except that the transfer fees are astronomical and I would need the consent of an estranged brother. I've figured it's not worth the effort.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:38 am

fru-gal wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:19 am
dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:30 am
no elaborate memorial stones allowed--only a simple small stone recycled from a nearby church engraved with name and dates and set flush to the ground.) There is a beautiful stone wall (also made out of stones of a different type recycled from a different nearby church) as well as a lovely wooden gazebo nearby in which to sit and remember.
Can you say more about those recycled stones? When I was researching my family's history, I found that it was the usual practice in the Scandinavian country some of my ancestors came from to have a burial plot owned by the family for so many years after the burial, then the marker stone was moved to a stone wall enclosing the cemetery and the grave was reused. Is this what you mean?
The recycled stones had never previously served as memorial stones, rather, they were stones that had been repurposed in the process of reconstruction or demolition of beautiful old houses of worship in the local area.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Naismith » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:24 am

I am also a veteran and will end up in a National Cemetery, I hope Battle Creek Michigan with my mom (Army nurse in WWII), dad (also served WWII) and my brother (two tours Vietnam).

In my birth family, we tend to prefer cremation followed by burial. Much easier to ship a box than a full body, and you still have a tombstone for the family to visit.

Not sure if my husband will join me there (he talks about wanting to be closer to our children so they can visit), but I followed him all over the world for his career, and I want to go home in the end.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by friar1610 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:44 am

Naismith wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:24 am
I am also a veteran and will end up in a National Cemetery, I hope Battle Creek Michigan with my mom (Army nurse in WWII), dad (also served WWII) and my brother (two tours Vietnam).

In my birth family, we tend to prefer cremation followed by burial. Much easier to ship a box than a full body, and you still have a tombstone for the family to visit.

Not sure if my husband will join me there (he talks about wanting to be closer to our children so they can visit), but I followed him all over the world for his career, and I want to go home in the end.
I don't know if this is at all relevant to your plans...I've checked out the National Cemetery here in MA where I plan to end up. If you are cremated you are not buried. You are inured in a columbarium. I don't know if this is true at all National cemeteries or if it varies by location. My preference, although I don't really know why, would be to cremated and then to have the urn buried. But, if I'm getting the space for free I suppose I can't be too choosy.
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by PatrickA5 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:34 pm

My parents prepaid for both plots and funerals. Both were used as expected and everything worked out great - even after 25 years had passed since it was purchased. My in-laws bought plots early and it was used by MIL (FIL is still alive).

DW and I bought our plots in the same cemetery. We're in our 60's and I'd say there's a 95%+ chance they'll be used by us. We also prepaid and fully planned our funerals. That money is in a trust account in a local bank and can be refunded easily, if we wanted. The pre-purchased burial plots can not be refunded. They can either be transferred to another cemetery (in another state, for example) or they can be sold in the public market. From my research, most people with plots for sale in our particular cemetery are selling at a 50% discount from what they were purchased for, on average. So, I certainly wouldn't buy one at a young age, or if there was much of a chance of moving.

I think cremation will be the vast majority as time goes on. My parents were shocked that people weren't having a "viewing". DW and I personally feel that's kind of weird, so we don't have one in our preplanned funeral. My kids think funerals are weird, so I doubt they'll have anything other than a simple cremation. Times change.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:51 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (burial plot).
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:05 am

ionenergy wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:45 am
Hi,
Has anybody had any experience with buying burial plots? Would it really be cheaper to buy it earlier than later?
I’m 39 years old male with a wife and two children.
I’ve heard about burial plots as an investment.
I don’t have any plans to use it as an investment vehicle, but rather buy the plots in advance for my family and generations to come.
Is that a good idea money wise?
I live in los angeles btw
Thanks
When we buried my father we bought space for my mother as well - they will both be cremated but his ashes were put to rest there.

This fixed the price avoiding inflation in an urban cemetery.

My brother and I joked we were buying an inflation hedge for Mum. Not sure the salesman quite knew what to think of that ;-).

This was 8 years ago. So far we have not used the 2nd spot on the plaque although Mum had her name and birth date inscribed.

Short answer is only buy ahead when you know it will be used in that place.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by gd » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:06 am

The only time I recollect hearing about burial plots is extended family discussing what they're going to do with a plot purchased decades ago that no one now wants. Grown-up's Hot Potato game.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by gd » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:11 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:32 pm
I do a lot of work on Findagrave, and see that often. The sad cases are where the spouse's headstone has a blank space for the surviving spouse's name and details, but that spouse decides to be buried elsewhere. So Spouse 1 spends eternity being stood up.
In my town's cemetery, it's not unheard of for people to have their names and birthdays already inscribed. I've got one neighbor who tends her own grave. :shock:

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by mrc » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:32 am

gd wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:06 am
The only time I recollect hearing about burial plots is extended family discussing what they're going to do with a plot purchased decades ago that no one now wants. Grown-up's Hot Potato game.
I'm in this situation now. Grandfather purchased 6 plots for himself and wife, his uncle (who raised him) and his wife, leaving two for a son who drank and they were afraid wouldn't amount to much. Then, my dad (drunk's brother) dies young. Grandparents offer two plots to my mom, which she accepts. Mom installed one of those double headstones for my dad, but declined to engrave her name or birth year at the time. Mom, still alive, expects to be buried there. But the financing for a cross-country trip, plus funeral home prep isn't in the cards. The best she'll have is her cremated remains interred + engraving the other half of the stone. It's possible that nothing will happen too.

The grandparents were looking out for family, and I admire that. But sometimes circumstances and customs change over the decades. I can't sell off the extra plot because there is no local market for a spot with half a blank headstone in a section with a large stone that includes the family surname. Plots are not investments.

If I planned to be buried with my spouse (and she agreed), I would at most obtain a pair of plots as part of a pre-planning package. But that's the last thing either of us want.
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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by dm200 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:56 am

gd wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:11 am
SrGrumpy wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:32 pm
I do a lot of work on Findagrave, and see that often. The sad cases are where the spouse's headstone has a blank space for the surviving spouse's name and details, but that spouse decides to be buried elsewhere. So Spouse 1 spends eternity being stood up.
In my town's cemetery, it's not unheard of for people to have their names and birthdays already inscribed. I've got one neighbor who tends her own grave. :shock:
Yes - that is common. Then, after burial - only the date of death needs to be put on the tombstone or grave marker.

I am sure there are a lot of unused burial spots in cemeteries - many or most of which may never be used. My late in-laws, for example, purchased a two plot space in a cemetery that can hold two caskets (or cremated remains) and two cremated remains. There are now two cremated remains there (my wife's father and sister) and one casket (my wife's mother). So, one spot left for one full casket burial or one cremated remains. It seems very unlikely that any of her family would want or need to be buried there. As expensive as burial plots can be, too bad this one may never be used.

You never know, though. Good to always keep in mind if some family member in certain situations dies. It is probably a good idea, as well, to make sure all of the family members know about this as a possible option.

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Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Post by changingtimes » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:34 am

gd wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:11 am
SrGrumpy wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:32 pm
I do a lot of work on Findagrave, and see that often. The sad cases are where the spouse's headstone has a blank space for the surviving spouse's name and details, but that spouse decides to be buried elsewhere. So Spouse 1 spends eternity being stood up.
In my town's cemetery, it's not unheard of for people to have their names and birthdays already inscribed. I've got one neighbor who tends her own grave. :shock:
Yup, my dates are already inscribed on the bench. Whenever I visit, I am always hoping I don't find the end date filled in. :twisted:

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