Should You Buy Your Own Headstone Before Your Death?

Planning or pre-paying for your own funeral can seem morbid. However, doing so can be a welcome blessing to your family members and loved ones who might otherwise have to struggle with difficult planning decisions during an emotionally devastating time. One of the more costly components of your funeral -- as well as one of the easiest items to pre-purchase—is your headstone. Read on to learn more about some of the advantages of pre-purchasing a headstone, as well as factors you may want to consider when making this purchase.

What Are Some Advantages of Pre-purchasing a Headstone?

The primary advantage of pre-purchasing a cemetery headstone is financial. With continued increases in the cost of labor, raw materials, and sales taxes, your family will wind up paying much more for the same headstone in the future than you will if you purchase it now.

Another advantage is creative control. By purchasing and designing your headstone long before your own death, you'll be able to ensure that your final physical presence on earth is one that you've created and approved yourself.

What Factors Should You Consider Before Purchasing a Headstone?

  • How final are your burial plans?

Although many individuals who opt for cremation still choose to purchase a headstone to serve as a physical memorial, in some cases you may want to choose a small plaque or other type of remembrance instead. If your burial plans are not yet set in stone (so to speak), you may want to mull over this decision before literally setting your plans in stone.

  • Do you have a cemetery plot?

If you already have a cemetery plot—either purchased or inherited—you're ahead of the game, and should be able to select a headstone that fits in well with the surrounding headstones (particularly if you're in a family plot) or the overall look of the cemetery.   

However, if you haven't yet picked out a plot, you may want to keep in mind that certain cemeteries have limitations on the size or height of a headstone. For example, some cemeteries permit only flat, plaque-style headstones that can be easily cleared by a lawnmower. Other cemeteries permit only square or rectangular headstones of a certain size, rather than those that are more unusually-shaped or very large.

If this is the case in your situation, you may be better off designing or sketching what you'd like your headstone to look like, as well as the specific language you'd like included, and making your final order after more firmly arranging your final resting place. For more information, contact Maurice Moore Memorials.