Opening and Closing Costs of Graves
The opening and closing costs of the grave at a graveside service can range from relatively inexpensive to extremely costly depending upon a number of factors. Of these factors you will find whether a service is performed at the time of burial, whether the casket is lowered into the ground during or at the end of the service, any special conditions, and the cemetery's general location. You can find a few ways to save money if you're willing to compromise on being present during the casket lowering and the graveside services.
Why are There Opening and Closing Costs?
Opening and closing costs are basically a standard applied to all traditional Earth burials because the employee fees for doing so are actually mandated by the government. In order to avoid paying minimum wage to workers to prepare and seal your loved one's grave, the government has assigned a particular wage for ensuring that the cemeteries hire skilled workers to take care of this aspect for you.
Each burial is unique and there are different ways that people bury their loved ones. In some cases, the opening or closing of a grave is a simple matter. For others, it is part of the service and becomes complex and intricate. The equipment that is used to lower the casket into the grave must be set up without any mistakes and the covers, the additional equipment, and the employees must all be available to make sure that it happens without an negative incidents.
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In order to help ensure that all goes well, there are employees who are hired to be there for services and take care of these actions who have been specially trained to eliminate the potential for errors.
What Do You Receive for the Opening and Closing Costs?
The opening and closing costs of a grave are generally not set in stone. If you have a service by the grave site that lasts only 30 minutes the employees who need to be available aren't there as long as they would be for a service that lasts an hour. In some cases, if you are not planning a grave side service and are not accompanying the casket to the grave at all, your fees for this service are likely to be less costly.
Some people choose to have the casket lowered into the ground to initiate the tradition of throwing fistfuls of dirt into the grave. This is an additional service on top of opening and closing costs and can add to your overall total bill.
Multiple Graves and Opening and Closing Costs
If you have more than one person being laid to rest at once you may end up receiving a discount on the opening and closing costs of a grave. Check with your selected cemetery before you make your final decision, but in most cases you won't be charged the same rate as two individual funeral services would cost.
Is This a Required Service?
The opening and closing of a grave is most definitely a required service. While your attendance and your level of participation may influence the fee, there is no way to eliminate it. The grave must be opened in order to place the casket inside and the grave must then again be closed in order to seal the grave.
The opening and closing costs of a grave are not generally excessive. The location of the cemetery will often play a role as cemetery services that are in major cities tend to be more costly than those in rural areas. The popularity of the cemetery within the region can also play a role. If you are having a loved one buried in the most popular cemetery in the city, the costs are likely to be higher because those who can afford to pay for their loved ones' resting place will choose to do so there.
* While the opening and closing costs of the grave are mandatory, there are different aspects of the service and the time spent at the grave site that can ultimately alter your final costs.