CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Let's begin with a checklist of things to keep in mind when it comes time to choose a final resting spot for a loved one.
- Choose the funeral home and cemetery.
- Request a tour of the cemetery.
- Ask for price list.
- Can you purchase a headstone from an outside monument business?
- Do you want a casket burial or cremation?
- Are grave liners required and who pays for them?
- Who's responsible for gravesite maintenance?
Since this is already an emotional time for family members, it's best to plan ahead.
In other words, buy the plot before you need it.
But ask questions first.
For instance, can you buy a headstone from an outside monument company ?
What about grave liners? Who pays for them?
According to Cecilia Reyes, office manager at the Chamberlain Cemetery in Kingsville, the price of the grave liner is included in the total price you pay.
“But you pay that cost to the funeral home, not the cemetery, Reyes told us.
She says expect to pay $850 for the industry-standard 5 x 10 plot size, plus additional costs for the opening and closing of the plot.
There are smaller plots for babies.
How much are cremations?
Cremations run $300 at her business. That amount doubles on weekends.
What happens if your plot isn't paid in full before the day of interment? Could it be sold to someone else?
"If months pass, and we send you your notices and registered letters, and still no response, then we can re-sell the plot. But as long as you're making your monthly payments, you've got a year to pay. No interest," Reyes said.
And here's something else to consider.
Can it be sold to someone else ?
Yes, according to Katie Galan with the Better Business Bureau.
"You can have people buried on top of each other, but that needs to be specified by the people who own that plot or the person who's paying for the plot," she said.
Galan adds that to further protect yourself, make sure the cemetery is properly licensed.
Noe Lopez, a longtime local funeral homeowner/operator says cemeteries are monitored and licensed by the Texas Banking Commission.
Finally, who's responsible for keeping the gravesite clean?
If it's a Perpetual Care Cemetery, the cemetery is. Otherwise, Reyes says groundskeepers will cut the grass around the site, but other maintenance is an agreement between the family and cemetery.