Burying Cremated Remains in a Cemetery

Columbariums are one of the options available for cremated remains in a cemetery.Have you attended a graveside service where there is an urn sitting on a pedestal instead of a casket? It is happening more and more often. This is due partly because of the cross-generation influence. Most of our parents were raised with having traditional burial being the common choice so that seems normal to them. At the same time, younger generations have been broadly exposed to a world where cremation makes up roughly 50 percent of deaths. Put the two together and you can see why, for some, burying cremated remains (also called cremains by some) makes perfect sense. Then there are the other factors including situations where a family already owns the traditional cemetery plot and it’s paid for, or a loved one wants to be cremated but also wants to be placed next to a spouse or loved one who had a full-body burial. The good news is that there is an acceptable option for everyone.

Although Best Cremation Care specializes in direct cremations, many of our families choose a cemetery as the final resting place for the cremated remains. If you decide to use a cremation service provider like us, instead of a traditional funeral home, be sure to let the team know your intentions. That way, we can file the permit with the cemetery’s name in it. This will avoid the need for filing (and paying) for a second permit.

Cemetery Options

Modern cemeteries are very quickly adapting to the increase in cremations rates, especially in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. So, if your desire is to have a final resting place for cremated remains inside a cemetery, the next step is deciding which option within a cemetery is right for you. Three common approaches for cremated remains at a cemetery are:

  • Burying the cremated remains in a cemetery plot
  • Having the remains stored in an above-ground columbarium
  • Utilizing an urn garden that accommodates urn burials

Traditional Cemetery Plots

This is an ideal and obvious choice, especially if your family has a “family cemetery” or already owns cemetery plots. My suggestion is to talk to the cemetery upfront about their policies on burying cremated remains. In some cases, they will allow you to bury multiple urns in the same plot but they may not necessarily volunteer this information so be sure to ask.


Modern columbariums come in a wide variety of styles and seem to be popping up inside most modern cemeteries as the cemetery owners try to accommodate the increasing number of people in California choosing cremation. These above-ground structures range from the simple to the elaborate and elegant.  Depending on the style of the columbarium, there may be an opportunity to provide a small display along with the urn to further memorialize a loved one’s life.

Urn Gardens

More and more cemeteries are creating special urn gardens. Others have dedicated areas specifically for cremation that contain a variety of options. Many are unbelievably peaceful with professional landscaping and peaceful paths along which you can bury remains. Some provide such choices as having the remains buried as part of a large rock, in a bench or other landscape elements such as architectural obelisks.

Buying space for a loved one’s remains

The advantage of being in or near a large city is you have several cemeteries from which to choose. It’s also good to keep in mind that pricing changes for each property and based on the type of burial you are considering. Do your homework. It will be well worth your time to make sure you find the right place for yourself or your loved one.


About Best Cremation Care

Best Cremation Care provides affordable cremation services throughout the Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland / Alameda, and San Jose / Santa Clara) and Southern California (Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and San Diego County). We are a licensed funeral establishment and have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

About David Finch

David Finch is a Licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer, Crematory Manager and Funeral Insurance Consultant in the State of California with 30 years experience. Other professional accomplishments include Founding the Professional Fellowship of Hospice Chaplains, managing a public cemetery, volunteering as a Sheriff's Chaplain, Board Member of the Orange Belt Funeral Director's Association, consulting with the State of California as Subject Matter Expert for the Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing Exam, and has the privilege of overseeing the tutelage of many great apprentice embalmers. David has overseen the Southern California operations of Best Cremation Care since January of 2015 and has enjoyed seeing the company grow and client families receive compassion and a great value during what can be a difficult time in their lives.

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