Can You Get a Double Casket? Detailed Answer


While we traditionally think of burial plots as single-occupancy, double caskets and burials are becoming more popular. However, it’s not just about whether you can get one, but also whether it’s a good fit for your situation.

Two people can be buried in a double casket. A traditional double casket is an option for close relatives who pass away relatively close to each other. If a double casket isn’t available for your family, there are many alternatives to explore that may better suit your situation.

This article will explain when you can get a double casket and when it may not be the best option for your family. I’ll also give alternatives to a double coffin for occasions where a double burial is preferred, but a single casket isn’t feasible.

When To Get a Double Casket

A double casket is a burial option in which two people are buried inside a single coffin instead of in two separate caskets. There’s one major factor in sharing a double casket with a loved one: you have to die at the same time, or at least relatively close together.

It’s generally frowned upon to keep one body preserved for an extended time while waiting for their future casket mate to pass away. Therefore, the double casket is suited only for a few specific situations.

Elderly Couples

One of the most common situations for double caskets is when elderly couples pass away. Once couples reach a certain age, it’s relatively common to die fairly close together.

For example, in 2015, a couple married for 65 years were buried together in the first double coffin to be used in South Yorkshire, after dying nine days apart. In 2017, a couple married for 77 years in Missouri passed away roughly 30 hours apart and were placed in the same casket.

In both of these examples, the couples expressed great interest in always being together, and their families felt it was appropriate to keep them together even in death. If it’s what the couple would’ve wanted and the family is comfortable with it, a double casket can be a great idea for these situations.

Death During Childbirth

Another typical instance of a double casket is childbirth death. Though modern medicine has dramatically improved the safety and health of both the mother and child during birth, complications still occur. When a mother and baby pass during childbirth, it’s common for them to be placed in the same casket.

Tragic Accidents

Tragic accidents can also lead to a double casket. For example, if a couple were to die in a car accident, they may be buried together. The same can go for a parent and child or a couple of siblings. Tragedies can devastate a family, but some take comfort in knowing that their lost loved ones will be together forever.

funeral and cemetery; funeral with coffin

Benefits to Getting a Double Casket

While some people may have never considered being buried with someone else in a double casket, there are a few benefits to doing so.

Cost

The reduced cost is one of the main benefits of having a double casket. Caskets can be pretty expensive. In America, it’s common for them to be highly customized and ornate. These extra features can drive the price of a casket up to thousands of dollars. While a double casket may cost more than a single casket, it’ll likely cost less than two single caskets.

Read this page to find out more on how much caskets costs.

A double casket also means that you can have a double funeral. Funerals in America can cost upwards of $7,000 to $8,000, depending on the type of funeral you choose to have. Holding one funeral for two people instead of two separate funerals can ultimately save the family thousands of dollars.

Additionally, a double casket enables a family to purchase a single burial plot. Burial plots for a single casket can range from $525 to $5,000, depending on where the deceased is buried. The additional savings of purchasing a single plot can make a big difference for the family.

Being With Your Loved One After Death

Another benefit of having a double casket is that the deceased will get to spend forever together, even after death.

Some happily married couples want to spend all of their time together Those who felt that way in life may also want to experience that closeness after death. Double caskets are an excellent option for couples who wish to stay together even after passing.

This benefit isn’t just reserved for couples. If a parent and child are lost during birth or if young siblings pass simultaneously, the family may also choose to place them in a double casket so they won’t be alone.

Comfort for the Family

Many families find it comforting to know that their loved ones aren’t alone even after passing, especially for parents and small children.

If someone has grown up with parents who always wanted to be together, they may feel uncomfortable separating them into different caskets and gravesites.

Similarly, if a husband loses his wife and child, or if parents lose their children, those left behind may feel more comfortable knowing that those buried together at least have each other.

When You Can’t Get a Double Casket

While a double casket may sound like a great idea, there are some limitations that you should be aware of:

  • Every cemetery has its own rules: There are different laws and regulations depending on where you live. Additionally, each cemetery has its own rules on what types of burials they allow and don’t allow.
  • The deceased has to authorize it: In many cases, a double casket needs to be approved ahead of time. Funeral homes don’t allow random people to be buried together in a single coffin just because the second person to die says it’s okay. It’s a good idea to plan for a double casket while both parties are still living. However, there are specific circumstances, such as tragic accidents, where this may not be possible.
  • Parties must pass away relatively close together: To secure a double casket, the two people must pass away somewhat close together. While most funeral homes will preserve a body for a certain amount of time before burial, it’s rare to hold a body for years at a time.

Alternatives to a Double Casket

While it may be a great idea to have two people buried in the same casket, sometimes it just isn’t feasible. Maybe your loved ones passed away years apart, or the cemetery they’re in won’t allow two people to be buried in one casket. Whatever the reason, there are a few alternatives to a traditional double coffin that you can explore.

Side-by-Side Companion Plots

Side-by-side companion plots are extremely popular, especially among married couples. In a side-by-side companion plot, two burial plots are purchased together and are located right next to each other in the cemetery.

The price for these two plots will vary by location. Some cemeteries will charge full price for two plots, while others may offer a slight discount for the package. It’s best to ask around to find out what deal you can get.

You can also extend companion plots to close family members. Many cemeteries offer larger family plots packages that allow multiple gravesites to be purchased together. These plots may be in a straight line or in a square or rectangle-shaped formation.

The headstones for a family plot will depend on the formation of the graves. Some sites will offer a long gravestone, while others will suggest a row of individual stones.

Like companion plots, family plot pricing will vary by cemetery. Some do offer a discount for multiple plot purchases, so be sure to ask if it’s something you’re interested in.

Double Depth Companion Plots

Another companion plot variation is the double depth plot. In double depth plots, two caskets are buried on the same plot, one on top of another, instead of being buried side-by-side in two separate plots.

A double depth plot is often cheaper than the side-by-side option because of the labor and materials involved. Only one hole will need to be made, and only one large outer container is required. However, there’ll likely be a fee associated with reopening the grave to add in a second casket, so be sure to plan for that if you choose to go this route.

Another cost-saving benefit to having a double depth plot is having a single gravestone. While you’ll need to pay for the second inscription, you’ll be able to use only one headstone for both parties. Headstones can cost up to $5,000, so having an inscription on one stone is a great way to cut costs.

Urn Gardens

Another way to have loved ones buried together is utilizing an urn garden. An urn garden is similar to a family plot, but it’s for cremated remains instead. Those who wish to be cremated and buried with their loved ones can buy urn plots next to each other—they are similar to full casket plots but much smaller.

Urn plots are often much cheaper than burial plots because of their smaller size, and some cemeteries offer discounted rates for multiple plots sold together. Most cemeteries provide urn gardens as an option in addition to traditional plots, so be sure to look into it if you think it would fit your family’s needs.

Mausoleums

Mausoleums are a great option for those who don’t want to be buried underground or families who appreciate having a more private place to mourn their loved ones. There are numerous types of mausoleums, including indoor and outdoor options. Sizes also vary from holding a single casket to housing caskets for the entire family.

There are also mausoleums for cremated remains called columbariums. These crypts use wall cubbies to hold the various urns and can be located indoors or outdoors. Unlike the traditional mausoleum, these crypts are usually locked and only allow viewings from outside.

Burying an Urn on Top of a Casket

Another option for a double burial is to bury an urn on top of a casket. This is an excellent option for couples who either couldn’t afford a companion plot or have different wishes for their remains.

Most cemeteries will allow many urns to be buried in each burial plot. Because urns are much smaller than caskets, the fee for adding an urn to a plot will be much less than adding a second casket.

This is also an excellent option for family cemeteries that don’t have the resources to add a second casket and don’t want to involve a funeral home or cemetery.

Eco-Friendly Funerals

Lastly, another great alternative to a double casket is an eco-friendly funeral. Green funerals are quickly gaining in popularity as more information is coming out about traditional burials’ impact on the environment.

Green funerals take many forms, but the ultimate idea is that the body will eventually become one with the Earth through decomposition. In this instance, having two green burials in the exact location is an excellent alternative to burying two caskets or urns in the same plot.

How To Go About Getting a Double Burial

If you or a loved one are interested in having a double burial, you should talk to local funeral directors. Because pricing and availability vary significantly by location, understanding your options is the best step forward.

One thing to keep in mind is that pricing in your area isn’t a set standard. Different companies in the same town can offer different rates, deals, and options for burials. If a double grave is suitable for you or your family, be sure to talk to a few different people to fully understand what’s available for your family.

Final Thoughts

If you or your loved ones want to spend forever with one another, even after death, a double casket may be a great option. It can also save you some money on the casket, funeral, and burial costs.

However, a traditional double casket isn’t always feasible. In those instances, there are alternatives you can explore, such as companion plots and green burials.

If you’re interested in a double burial of any kind, be sure to ask around local cemeteries and funeral homes to see what options are available for you.

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Alex Noel

Hi there! I'm Alex Noel and live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I started this website to share my experience. My goal is to provide Americans a more fulfilling goodbye.

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