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The cost of interment

May 05, 2003|by KATE COLEMAN

Location, location, location is a factor in the cost of a final resting place. Costs vary in different areas, says Steven Sklar, director of the Maryland Office of Cemetery Oversight.

The actual grave in which a body is interred costs about $1,000 to $3,000, Sklar says.

You are not paying for the real estate. "You are buying the right of putting a human inside," he explains.

And there are costs for opening and closing it - about $1,000.

With the ground, you need a vault or a liner, typically made of reinforced concrete, or plastic materials. Liners generally cost $600 to $1,000.

Caskets run from about $1,000 to $3,000. Most people want metal or "better wood" caskets, Sklar says.

The cost of memorials - a headstone, flat plaque or standing monument, granite or bronze - varies. It could cost a couple of thousand dollars.

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Then, there are the funeral home charges, which can run about $4,000 to $6,000, Sklar estimates.

Overall, it can cost $8,000 to $10,000 to bury someone "modestly," Sklar says.

Cremation costs less. Sklar estimates basic costs at $400 or $500. There are, of course, added costs for an urn or storage container, earth burial and funeral home services.

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