Buying Caskets, Urns, Burial Vaults, Monuments and Memorials

Arrangements for Memorials, Burial Vaults, Urns & Caskets

There are more choices of sellers of these products and variety of ways to go about arranging for them. Traditionally the funeral director arranged for it all.Not today.

There are internet sites and actual casket retail stores in many cities. The objective in this area of the arrangements is to at least get a description and price range of whatever would be required by your choice of burial, entombment or cremation. This should go placed in your file of these arrangements, so that, if you don't actually contract for the items, loved ones will have your guidance on the matter.

Use the links page, to find sites, and view the variety of products and price ranges available to you. Cemeteries and funeral homes can also show you what's available and how much.

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Memorials and Monuments

The choices are quite varied but a lot depends on your choice of location. Most cemeteries have specific guidelines on the type, size, material, placement, etc.

Once you have chosen where then you can shop locally or use our links to find what may interest you. Size and material determines price most of the time.

In addition to the actual cost of the item, there are shipping, foundation construction and installation costs. Size also dictates here. Ask the cemetery what the charges would be.


Burial and Entombment arrangements necessitate the purchase of these items. If you're considering planning to save the family emotional stress, a casket buying session is one of those hard moments. Any guidance you can provide, as to acceptable type and price range, would help a great deal.

Actually deciding on it would be the best. You can get a good idea of what to put in your casket description category of your arrangements by visiting funeral homes, cemeteries even retail stores in some city are open. Use the Links on this page as well.

Caskets come in several metals, woods and even plastics. In steel, the most used type, they're priced by 'gauge' of steel, i.e. a 16 'gauge' is generally higher priced than 18 'gauge'.

Caskets prices can carry 500% and 600% profit margins for funeral homes, similar to those in the jewelry trade. The reason for this is quite simple, nobody shops around like they would for just about anything else.

An important point, you can purchase a casket from some other source than the funeral home where the funeral is planned and that funeral home cannot increase your charges nor add some kind of "handling fee". This is strictly forbidden by the FTC(Federal Trade Commission) which regulates the death care industry. The FTC Link on this page will take you to its information site which has a wealth of things you should know as you formulate your arrangements. 


If cremation is the choice then in some cases an urn is desired. If burial is to take place the cremation container provided by the crematorium is generally acceptable to most cemeteries. Check with the cemetery of choice for the requirements on this.

Urns should be considered if the remains are to be displayed, such as in a mausoleum niche or private family retention. They are as varied in design, style, material and price as there are choices of jewelry.

Use the Links page to see what may interest you and the price range you want to put in your plan. If you aren't planning on purchasing yourself, try to provide as much detail as you can putting it down in your plan will aid your family in finding what you had in mind.

Burial Vaults

If there is a burial in your arrangement plan, you will need a vault. This is simply a protective outer container that will house the casket. We know of no cemetery that does not require this item as a prerequisite of burial.

The use of vaults allows cemeteries to aesthetically maintain the grounds. Without vaults the topography would become unsightly and dangerous for their maintenance equipment, as the ground settled around the pockets created by burial. Graves would begin to resemble those of the horror movies with markers sinking and angling in all directions.

A simple vault is all that most cemeteries require. Anything beyond the basic is a waste of money. The only upgrade would be a lined basic vault for better water protection. No matter what is chosen it does nothing to protect casket or remains. Nature controls in this area.  

Cremation Vaults are also sold. However, in most cases the container provided with the remains is acceptable for burial, as it is, in most cemeteries. Check with your cemetery of choice for details on this.

Custom Options

There is a large but virtually unknown cottage industry that creates many of these items in a variety of materials. Look around, the searching for a unique item may make this difficult task a bit more enjoyable. Some of the artistry is truly beautiful. Use the links page to find out a more of what's out there.

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