4740 Dacoma Street, Ste A
Houston, TX 77092
Phone: 713-637-4933
Fax: 713-583-4453

FAQs - Burial Services

Is a burial service the right choice in your situation? Our overriding goal in developing this website has been to empower the families and individuals living in our community. We want them to come to us prepared to speak about their wishes, and that means giving them the quality of information they need in order to do that. After all, everyone needs enough background knowledge to speak confidently about their options. We're always delighted to answer your questions, and should we have neglected to include your particular question about burial services in general, or the specific burial services we offer; we urge you to call us at 713-637-4933.

1. What does it cost to bury a person in a cemetery?
 
2. Does my loved one have to be embalmed prior to burial?
 
3. How much will a casket cost?
 
4. What is a burial vault, and why do I need to buy one?
 
5. What's involved in a cemetery burial?
 
6. Do I have to buy a headstone or grave marker?
 
7. Where do I purchase a headstone or grave marker?
 
8. What is "direct burial"?
 
9. Is direct burial right for our situation?
 
10. What services do you provide when I choose direct burial?
 
11. What is a graveside service?
 
12. What "extra" fees or charges will I need to pay?
 
13. When do I pay for a funeral service?
 
14. Who will write my loved one's obituary?
 
15. Should we request memorial donations instead of flowers?
 

Question #1What does it cost to bury a person in a cemetery?
Answer:First is the purchase price of the "right to use" the burial plot (unlike a real estate purchase, where you buy the land and all the structures on it; here you are only purchasing what is called the "interment rights" to the land). In addition, there are fees for the "opening" and "closing" of the gravesite; and any fees required to obtain the necessary permits and to maintain cemetery files and records. In addition, there's the fee for the use of any special equipment (such as a casket-lowering device); as well as the costs for any other services or items purchased. There's also the headstone or grave marker installation fee, and a one-time "perpetual care" (sometimes called "endowment care") fee paid to ensure your loved one's burial site is well-maintained.

Question #2Does my loved one have to be embalmed prior to burial?
Answer:This is a question we hear a lot. Many funeral homes suggest (and may even go so far as to require) embalming if you're planning a viewing or visitation. That's because they want the experience to be as good as it can be for those in attendance, and proper embalming can ensure the deceased looks as good as possible. But as a general rule, embalming is not necessary or legally required if the body is cared for in a relatively short amount of time. Please contact us for specific state or local requirements.

Question #3How much will a casket cost?
Answer:The Federal Trade Commission states that average casket costs around $2,000. We have many different options for you to select from.  Because we make no profit on the casket, you will feel no pressure when making a selection.

Question #4What is a burial vault, and why do I need to buy one?
Answer:Most cemeteries do not require the use of a burial vault, but will require the minimum of a concrete grave liner.  

Question #5What's involved in a cemetery burial?
Answer:If your loved one has not made previous arrangements for their burial, leaving you to pick the location of their interment, the first thing you'll need to do involves the selection of the cemetery and burial location within the grounds. After the paperwork is taken care of with the cemetery staff,  the date and time of interment is agreed upon. At that time, the cemetery grounds keepers will take care of the "opening" and "closing" of the grave and the proper placement of the casket in the outer burial container, if required by the specific cemetery.

Question #6Do I have to buy a headstone or grave marker?
Answer:The cemetery will put a temporary identification marker on your loved one's grave, but it is only intended as a placeholder until a permanent headstone or grave marker is set in place.

Question #7Where do I purchase a headstone or grave marker?
Answer:You have many options when selecting a monument company.  Most cemeteries can assist you in ordering a monument if you wish, but there are other options available.

Question #8What is "direct burial"?
Answer:When we make arrangements for the direct burial of an individual, we are typically arranging for an interment with no services held at the graveside.  We provide the physical care of the deceased (perhaps embalming their body, but certainly dressing and casketing) and then escort the casket to the cemetery for immediate burial. Some families prefer to have a memorial service or celebration of life at their place of worship and do not wish to go to the cemetery.  

Question #9Is direct burial right for our situation?
Answer:It's very hard to know without having the opportunity to speak with you. Direct burial works well when there are few mourners or if your loved one's wishes were for a simple interment. It's done quickly and professionally, without ceremony of any kind at the graveside.

Question #10What services do you provide when I choose direct burial?
Answer:Your funeral director will complete and file the death certificate, obtain signatures on any required permits or authorizations, helps you select a cemetery in which to inter your loved one, as well as a casket and outer burial container, depending upon the requirements of the cemetery. We will oversee the physical care of the deceased: they will be dressed in clothes you've provided, casketed, and then escorted to the cemetery for immediate burial. We will then witness the burial on your behalf.

Question #11What is a graveside service?
Answer:Rather than having a service in a church or funeral home chapel, and then adjourning to the cemetery for the burial; some families choose to gather at the cemetery. Many families now are choosing to have a private graveside service and then a memorial service for  friends and family at their place of worship.  A graveside service is a fairly short ceremony led by a clergy person or celebrant.  Families do then have the option to witness the in-ground committal of their loved one's casket.

Question #12What "extra" fees or charges will I need to pay?
Answer:These items, also know as cash advance items, are items for which we are paying on your behalf.  Again, we do not take a profit on these items.
Some of the most common cash advance items are certified copies of the death certificate, the obituary notice(s), honorariums for clergy or musician's fees, and opening and closing charges at the cemetery.

Question #13When do I pay for a funeral service?
Answer:The exact answer to this question largely depends upon the services, products and cemetery you've selected; but a good rule of thumb is to expect to pay at the time the service contract is signed (at the time of the arrangement conference, or soon afterwards).

Question #14Who will write my loved one's obituary?
Answer:Typically, a member of the family or family friend will write the obituary.  We do have a guideline for writing obituaries, to assist you, available under the forms section. We are available to assist you in writing and submitting the obituary to the new paper(s) in which you would like the notice to appear.

Question #15Should we request memorial donations instead of flowers?
Answer: Most commonly we advise families to offer their community as many caring options as possible; some will send flowers, some will send donations; and some will even do both.