How Long do You Own a Cemetery Plot?

Purchasing a Cemetery Plot

Generally speaking, when you purchase a cemetery plot, it does not expire, and it will always be yours. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it's important to point out that when you purchase a burial plot, you are not purchasing the land itself. While the cemetery retains ownership of the land, you are purchasing the right to use the land for a burial.

However, some locations in the United States can potentially reclaim the space if there has been no activity with the space for an extended period of time. For example, a cemetery may choose to reclaim a cemetery plot if it has not been used in four decades or if no provision was made for maintenance. What defines an "extended period of time" depends entirely on the cemetery, which is why it is so important to find a cemetery near you to get more information. The cemetery owners will explain the details regarding how long you will own the cemetery plot.

Important to consider is that there are pre-purchasing and pre-planning options that handle all these details for you. It's one of the many benefits of using You can also learn more about buying a burial plot in advance here.

Also keep in mind that the laws regarding burial plots may be different in other countries.

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Expiration Dates on Cemetery Plots

People who are considering purchasing a burial plot often ask whether the plot has an expiration date before use. This is usually not the case, and when you purchase a burial plot, it is usually always yours. Until it is used by the owner, that person owns the burial plot in perpetuity, and it can even be passed down to your next of kin. But as mentioned above, some cemeteries retain the right to reclaim the plot due to inactivity.

However, after burial plots are used, there are some instances in which they can be reused, with new headstone and new remains placed atop the existing remains. In addition to retaining the rights to reclaim an unused plot, some cemeteries may choose to reclaim plots that have been used. This is usually after several decades and depends on the cemetery. Think of it like a lease - the lease on the plot may run out in 20 years, in which case they may offer the opportunity to renew the lease. If the lease is not renewed, the plot will be reused. This is again why it's important to consider a pre-planning service such as

To reiterate, all this ultimately depends on the rules and regulations where you live, as well as the cemetery you choose. For more specific information on how long you own a burial plot after it is used, we recommend that you contact a cemetery near you now to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the Average Cost of a Cemetery Plot?

The cost of a cemetery or burial plot varies state to state. Get information on burial plots, including average prices by state now. read more