StoneMor Partners, a national funeral home and cemetery company, has launched www.burialplanning.com, a one-stop burial planning website service for those concerned about burdening survivors with death expenses, according to a news release.
Cash-strapped families facing the death of a parent in recent years have increasingly been making burial arrangements based on cost rather than family tradition.
The choice has been between going deeper into credit card debt or a less costly cremation - a previously unthinkable option for some.
"Waiting to make burial arrangements can mean huge financial consequences for survivors," said StoneMor spokesman Ken Kilpatrick. "Although some parents purchase their burial plot in advance, many do not pre-purchase the casket, vault or grave marker, leaving the responsibility to surviving loved ones."
In fact, StoneMor conducted a study in the ten-mile radius surrounding its headquarters that showed approximately 10% of graves are unmarked.
"This could be attributed to the fact many families could not afford a marker at the time of death," said Kilpatrick. "And despite intentions to purchase one later, it continues to be cost prohibitive for many."
StoneMor developed www.burialplanning.com to navigate families through burial pre-planning decisions so a family's grief is not compounded by financial stress.
"Like weddings, births and college, death is an expensive life-cycle event that requires financial planning," Kilpatrick said. "BurialPlanning.com helps families control burial costs by setting a budget and choosing sensible options. The website is the national network of cemeteries with a directory containing information on 300 nationwide locations."
Purchasing your plot, casket, vault and tombstone now will spare loved ones the expense and prevent overspending attributed to emotional-driven purchases at the time of death. Additional savings are realized because the purchase is made at today's prices. Inflation doubles the cost of burial space and merchandise every ten years.
BurialPlanning.com allows visitors to choose a memorialization that fits their budget and style. Whether they prefer an in-ground burial, a mausoleum or a cremation, the site allows them to select a StoneMor cemetery based on their preference for a flat marker or a raised monument, religious affiliation, landscaping design or a designated cremation garden.
BurialPlanning.com guides visitors on how to share selections with loved ones prior to death to ensure their wishes are followed and survivors are not financially burdened.
Posted Nov. 1, 2013