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Answers From Our Audience: What Confusions Did You Experience When Planning a Cemetery Memorial?

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Alecia Milano
Posted by Alecia Milano on June 1, 2021

The average person plans and purchases just one memorial in their lifetime. So, it’s not surprising that many families are unsure of where to turn when it comes time to plan a memorial. While many of our customers turn to the Milano Monuments team for preplanning and memorialization assistance, others turn to their local cemeteries.

Throughout the years, we have had many customers turn to our team with confusion or additional questions when working with their local cemeteries. Some individuals have experienced unexpected fees, perplexing wording in documents and a variety of memorial regulations.

To support our customers, we invited the families we serve to share their experiences of planning a memorial through their local cemeteries. We appreciate those that took the time to send in feedback.

To prevent future confusion for families planning a memorial, our team has responded with several comments and solutions.

“I didn't know that the area of the cemetery where my son is buried doesn't allow stand-up-style headstones—only in-ground.”

Plot size, location and type of marker all influence the price of a cemetery plot. However, many families don’t realize that cemeteries have designated areas for different types of memorials. Large, monument memorials are typically restricted to certain areas, while others only allow lawn-level, or flat, memorials. Once your plot is purchased, it can be difficult to move to a different area without paying a fee.

Cemetery personnel should include this information prior to selling the space, but it is always best to ask before agreeing to buy a cemetery plot or grave location.

For more plot selection tips, and information about Cleveland-area cemetery fees and regulations, download our free Cemetery Memorial Guide. For more questions to ask before choosing a cemetery, read this post.

“Why go through a monument company as a middleman when you can deal directly with the cemetery?”

This is a great question and common misconception. A memorial provider like Milano Monuments is the direct producer of a memorial, not the cemetery. Cemeteries source their memorials from (oftentimes not local) monument providers, then offer them to families.

At Milano Monuments, we support both families that choose to purchase their memorial through a cemetery or through our team of memorial specialists. We ultimately want to help them through the grieving process in the best way we can. While each family has a choice, we highly recommend that they work with an experienced memorial provider. Here’s why.

“It would have helped to have a simple timeline [of the memorialization process] with responsible contacts.”

Memorializing a loved one is by no means easy, especially during a time of grieving. Oftentimes, there are many organizations involved (church, cemetery, memorial provider) and several steps to take throughout the process.

At Milano Monuments, our team of memorialization experts tries to ease this burden as much as possible by offering clear guidance to families during the planning and purchasing of a memorial.

Below is a general list of tasks (graciously suggested by Todd and Lor Wiese) a family may want to consider when memorializing a loved one:

  • If you know the type of memorial you would like, work with a memorial provider. They will help you navigate the different cemeteries and properties that are available in your community for your designed memorial. They will also be able to explain the costs associated with any cemetery fees as well.
  • If a cemetery plot or grave location has already been purchased, a memorial provider can help explain all of the rules and regulations at that cemetery.
  • Determine your memorial budget.
  • Contact a memorial provider to design the memorial. Consider booking an appointment beforehand.
  • Place a deposit for your memorial provider to start on the memorial design. Note: Your design does not have to be final at this time.*
  • Finalize the design and work with the cemetery on all appropriate applications that are needed.
  • Production of the memorial will then take place from the design you finalized.
  • Pay the remaining balance once the memorial is complete.
  • The memorial is delivered to the cemetery and either the cemetery or memorial provider will place the memorial.

*At Milano Monuments, we understand that designing a memorial for a loved one can be difficult and do not force families to make fast decisions or complete their design until they are ready.

Need Help with Memorial Planning?

Whether you’re preplanning your own memorial or are in the midst of planning a memorial for a loved one, our team is here to help. Contact one of our memorial specialists who will be happy to assist you.

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