Exactly How Much Is a Burial Plot for a Casket in the USA?


Burying a loved one can be one of the most challenging things we’ll ever do, and it can also be overwhelming. Many particulars about the funeral process remain a mystery until we have to plan one ourselves. So, let’s go over some details to help you prepare better for a burial.

A burial plot for a casket in the USA ranges from $525 to $5,000. This price varies based on the cemetery, location, equipment, and staffing necessary to complete the burial. 

Let’s break down the price of a burial plot. I’ll help you calculate the costs to secure a peaceful resting spot for your loved one or yourself for when the time comes. 

What Factors Determine the Price of a Burial Plot?

Burial plot prices can change drastically depending on whether you choose a private or public cemetery, the size of the burial plot, and the price the cemetery sets. So, you may want to consider each of these factors carefully before deciding on a burial plot.

Some factors determining the burial plot price are entirely out of your control. However, there are things you can do to ensure you are getting a reasonable price for the plot. So, let’s talk about these factors and the costs you can expect to pay for each one you choose.

Private and Public Cemeteries

Part of the vast variation in burial plot prices is the differences between specific cemeteries. It will cost you a lot more to bury your loved one in a private cemetery than in a public one. Private cemeteries tend to be off-limits to the general public and only available to those related to the family that owns them.

However, that doesn’t mean that all private cemeteries are off-limits. Sometimes, family connections and occasional public availability can allow you to bury your loved one in a private cemetery. 

There are benefits to burying your loved one in a private cemetery. For example, the land is usually maintained more closely, and the area will be secure from pedestrians and vandalists. In addition, they will usually be much more empty, allowing you to visit the plot without talking to anyone. 

A burial plot for a public cemetery costs less than $2,000 for a burial plot. 

However, private cemeteries usually start around $2,000 and can go up to $5,000. So, decide carefully where you want to bury your loved one and consider the extreme price difference between private and public cemeteries.

The cost may be worth it if you have the funds and care about privacy and cemetery upkeep, but choosing a public plot might be your best option if you don’t care much about either of these factors. 

A new open grave prepared for a funeral burial service in a graveyard.

Burial Plot Size

Another major factor in the overall cost of a burial plot is the size. The size of the burial plot you need will vary based on how many spots you purchase and the casket size. 

Larger individual plots cost a bit more than standard size plots, especially if the cemetery you choose has limited space. So, consider how large you want the plot to be before setting a price target. 

In addition, it is common for people to purchase companion or family plots. While buying a plot before you need one may seem strange, this can ensure you rest close to your loved ones when the time comes. In addition, it can help make your passing easier on your loved ones in the future. 

Cemeteries do not hold a spot for family members around the deceased unless you purchase multiple plots. So, in preparation for this, some families choose to purchase more than one burial plot at a time in a companion or family package.

Purchasing a companion burial plot, usually for a married couple, will cost about double the price of a single burial plot. This is not always the case, though. Sometimes, cemeteries may offer another burial plot at a discounted price if you buy two instead of one.

The same applies to family plots. Though you may be purchasing multiple spots, you may get a discount from the cemetery. So, this process can save you some money down the road, but you will need to pay more now.

Cemetery’s Price

The price of a cemetery is one factor you can’t do much about. 

Cemeteries set their own prices for burial plots, and they have such a wide range that it is hard to nail down an average price. So, let’s talk about why some cemeteries may be on the more expensive side.

First, it is essential to consider the location of the cemetery. If it is in a highly-populated area, the cemetery may charge a higher price for a burial plot because demand is high. Many people want their loved ones buried nearby when they pass, and cemeteries in highly populated areas may have limited space.

Second, cemeteries may charge more for a burial plot if they face high costs for staffing and upkeep. Not only is the cemetery responsible for burying your loved one, but they also maintain the land and graves. So, some cemeteries may charge more for a burial plot to better invest in the maintenance of the land.

How Much Is a Burial Plot for an Urn in the USA?

A burial plot for an urn in the USA costs around $350 to $2,500, depending on where you bury your loved one’s ashes. Overall, burying an urn is cheaper than burying a casket because it takes up less space in the cemetery.

If you are considering cremation for you or your loved one, you can save a lot of money. First, cremation is cheaper than a traditional burial which involves embalming the body. Once the cremation is complete, you will receive the ashes of your loved one in an urn. Some people choose to keep the urns in their homes, while others prefer to bury them.

When you choose to bury your loved one’s ashes, you can still have a gravesite to visit without spending as much money as an ordinary casket burial. Some people aren’t comfortable having their loved one’s urn in their homes or nearby. So, they may want to keep their remains in a place they can still visit.

Should I Purchase a Burial Plot in Advance?

You should purchase a burial plot in advance if you can. Buying in advance means that you can choose where you want to rest, and it can save you or your family money and stress in the future.

It is a good idea to prepare ourselves and our families for the end of our lives. Whether that is making a clear will to help with costs or even making funeral purchases ahead of time, let’s talk about why you should purchase a burial plot in advance.

Save Money

Purchasing a burial plot ahead of time can save you money. Inflation has affected the prices of many everyday things that we are buying, and burial plots are no exception. 

Another reason that purchasing a burial plot ahead of time can save you money is that cemeteries are filling up. Available space in cemeteries to bury the dead has been a rising concern. As the availability of plot space decreases, the prices for a burial plot will only increase. For example, a plot that costs $2,000 today might cost $3,000 in 10 years. 

So, purchasing a burial plot now can help you from spending even more in the future as prices for goods and services continue to increase.

Planning ahead when it comes to a burial plot will help you be able to consider different cemeteries and choose the best deal for you. When planning a funeral, there isn’t much time to shop around for the best deal. So, purchasing a burial plot in advance allows you to contact different cemeteries and see their prices.

Choose Your Plot Carefully

Waiting until you or a loved one passes to choose the burial plot can severely limit your options. So, a significant benefit of choosing your plot ahead of time is deciding where you want your burial plot. Use this opportunity to look at different cemeteries in the area and pick the one you would like the most.

Take this opportunity to survey the area and decide where you or your loved one would prefer to rest when the time comes. The chances are that you and other family members will be visiting this area often. So, consider the surroundings and location carefully for this decision.

Be Close to Family

Planning ahead can also ensure that your family buries you or your loved one close to other loved ones. Above, we discussed companion and family burial plots and how they can save you the effort of finding a plot near other family members.

That doesn’t mean you can’t purchase a family burial plot when a loved one passes. Sure, there will be an option to do this even in the rush of trying to plan a funeral. However, with the limited space and resources available, you may not be able to get the plot that you want. So, consider planning ahead to ensure you can bury your family together.

Do You Need To Buy a Larger Burial Plot for an Oversized Casket?

You will need to buy a larger burial plot for an oversized casket. Oversized caskets are more common than people think, and they require special accommodations due to their size.

Choosing the right casket size can be a challenging part of the funeral planning process. Sometimes, depending on the height and weight of a loved one, we may have to consider an oversized casket to ensure they fit comfortably inside. 

If you are having trouble deciding on the right casket size for your loved one, check out our article here for some guidance.

If you or your family member require an oversized casket, you will need a larger burial plot to accommodate the size difference. I discussed above that urn burial plots are cheaper because they are smaller, and the opposite is true for larger burial plots. So, you can expect to pay more for a larger burial plot since the casket is larger than the standard size.

I factored the price of an oversized burial plot into the average cost, but understand that any price estimates from your local cemetery may not account for the larger size. So, let them know that you will be burying an oversized casket to get an accurate price for the plot you want.

Can a Burial Plot Expire and Be Eligible for Reuse?

Burial plots can expire and be eligible for reuse by the cemetery depending on the contract when you purchased it and state laws. The cemetery you bought the burial plot from still owns the land, but you decide who they bury there.

State laws vary about using or reusing purchased burial plots based on the lack of activity present. So, if the space remains empty and unused for a certain period, states often allow the cemetery to reuse the land for another burial. This factor should be noted in the contract presented when purchasing the plot.

Burial plot contracts can last anywhere from 20 to 100 years, depending on your cemetery. So, ask around for the best deal to ensure the plot is yours to use. Otherwise, the cemetery may reuse the spot for another burial, leaving you or your family member searching for another plot.

You can also consider renewing the contract for the burial plot with the cemetery. If you are nearing the end of the allotted time for using the burial plot, the cemetery will usually offer you an extension to ensure the burial plot remains yours. Always check with the cemetery for their renewal policy for burial plots if it remains unused for an extended period.

Final Thoughts

A burial plot in the USA varies significantly in price based on the abovementioned factors. When budgeting for a plot, consider the factors above before setting a goal. Preparation is the best course of action when it comes to funeral planning. So, consider purchasing a burial plot ahead of time to save money and guarantee a spot.

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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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