By purchasing your burial plot while still alive, you save your surviving family members some added grief, as well as getting the plot at today’s prices as opposed to a higher price down the road. Photo by Ruane Remy

Plan now for your eternal resting place

  • November 3, 2013

Every five years between five million and six million Canadians move. Stability, a job for life, roots are not the hallmarks of our age. But it’s still a good idea to buy a plot of ground or a crypt in a mausoleum in anticipation of your final resting place.

“When pre-arrangements are made in advance of need, it allows one to focus on the important things at the time of death,” said Catholic Cemeteries — Archdiocese of Toronto marketing and public relations manager Amy Profenna. “Decisions are made in an environment that is unencumbered with the emotions that surround a death. You take the time you need to make an informed decision, select the products and services that are right for you and pay today’s prices — not tomorrow’s.”

The possibility you might move to another city, another province or another country shouldn’t discourage anyone from pre-purchasing a burial plot. Nobody needs to be stuck with a plot they can’t use.

“In the vast majority of cases, interment rights that are purchased are utilized,” said Profenna.

If you can’t use your plot, you can sell it. On Kijiji, Catholic burial plots in Toronto are going for anywhere from $1,800 to $3,500. Under new Ontario cemeteries legislation in place since July 1, 2012, people who hold interment rights can sell if their plans change or they move.

Buying a cemetery plot isn’t buying an oblong patch of ground big enough to dig a hole.

“When you purchase a plot you are purchasing interment rights,” explains Profenna. “An interment right is the right to bury and memorialize the interment rights-holder or those the interment rights-holder specifies, in keeping with the cemetery by-laws.”

Making that purchase in advance means relieving your spouse or children of a difficult decision and expense at the time of your death. It also means locking in the current price, and reserving a location that may not be available in the future.

“There are many factors to consider, such as the location of the crypt in the mausoleum,” said Profenna. “Prices of graves are determined by the size of plot and location in cemetery — such as, is it close to a shrine? Monument size and cost are also factors.”

Plots and crypt space in mausoleums come in a wide range of prices. But you won’t find a price list on the Internet.

“Planning a funeral and permanent resting place establishes a family’s heritage in perpetuity. As each family’s need is specific and the options are many, it is best to receive precise information through a professional consultation with one of our counsellors,” Profenna said. “Web site pricing tools typically provide a limited selection, or options the seller wants to sell. This is best done via a two-way conversation.”

Remember, your grave is about as permanent as permanent gets.

“There is no fee or obligation for a consultation. Some things are worth taking the time to plan for, as opposed to buying everything prepackaged. Final arrangements are just one of those things.”

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