Cemetery Plots, a "Grave Investment"?
Price Gouging is happening at Utah City Cemeteries. We spoke with a family who told us they had to pay $2100 for opening/closing because their deceased loved one wasn't a Bountiful resident. Their Bountiful plots were purchased YEARS ago so the family could be buried together.
The city council voted for it. The city knows it has families with pre-purchased plots by the neck to pay 4x what a resident pays. This is extortion!
What's normal you ask? Orem city cemetery charges residents $600 and non-residents $750 for opening closing (aka "Interment"). Some cities charge less.
Cities shouldn't be allowed to price-gouge families who pre-purchsed plots years ago thinking 'everything is taken care of', only for the next generation to find out the city thought of a way to 'SELL' THE PLOT AGAIN to the family through outrageous fees.
Kaysville city is even worse than Bountiful. Last we knew, if you move out of Kaysville to be cared for by a loved one, you are no longer a resident of Kaysville despite how many years you paid taxes there.
LESSON: If you pre-purchase plots the price list for opening/closing (or interment) will say in parenthesis "Prices subject to change". There will be no contract to keep that price reasonable. City Councils can decide any time they want to fundraise through exorbitant cemetery fees.
What is a Simple, Green or Natural Burial?
It is a type of burial where the body is most directly allowed to return to the earth in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition. It is also more environmentally friendly than burying chemicals, concrete, plastics, metals and precious woods in the ground.
In 1993 the modern idea of green burial really took hold in the UK. Since then the concept has spread across the globe.
Use a natural casket (or shroud)
Burial is in an area with native trees, shrubs and flowers, with no man-made additions
Burial is ideally about 3.5 feet deep
Grave markers are those that do not intrude on the landscape
As in all cemeteries, a record is kept of exact location of each burial (typically using global positioning coordinates)
In Utah only a few commercial cemeteries offer Green Burial. However if you want to dig the grave yourself or avoid a vault, a rural cemetery may allow you to. One assigned Dispositioner who lives in a rural community with such a flexible cemetery wrote, "Four of us dug his grave and I would highly recommend that because it was a labor of love."
Also you can bury on your own rural private property (paying attention to county ordinances governing such).
For a search engine of rural and non-commercial cemeteries in Utah:
https://history.utah.gov/cemeteries/ click on "Find a Cemetery"
Burial on Your Own Rural Land
Utah Law effective 5/13/2014
8-3-1. Plats of cemeteries shall be recorded.
(1)An executive officer of an organization in control of a cemetery, including a municipality or a cemetery maintenance district, or an individual owner in control of a cemetery, offering burial lots for sale in any county, shall file and cause to be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county within which the respective cemetery is situated an accurate plat of the cemetery.
(2)The plat required under Subsection (1) shall clearly show:
(a)the sections of burial lots which have been disposed of and the names of the persons owning or holding each burial lot; and
(b)the sections of burial lots held for disposal.
(3)An executive officer or owner shall file additional plats of any addition to a cemetery before offering for sale any burial lots located in the cemetery.
(4)A county recorder may not collect any fee for filing and recording an original plat required under this section.
Burial at a Veteran's Cemetery
COST FREE: Honorably discharged veterans get free burial at a Veterans National Cemetery. Free burial often includes the grave, vault, opening and closing, marker, and setting fee.
Many State Veterans Cemeteries also offer free burial for veterans and, often, spouses too.
More info on veterans benefits at: funerals.org and also
Utah's Veteran Cemetery & Memorial Park 801-254-9036
17111 S Camp Williams Rd
Bluffdale, UT 84065
(Here they require you purchase the vault)
The"DD 214", is a document of the United States Department of Defense, issued upon a military service member's retirement, separation or discharge from active-duty military. This is needed to get burial in a Veteran's cemetery. If it is lost do not wait until after death to try to obtain one.
Reservists and National Guard retired personnel with 20 yrs of service are eligible for burial also, as are surviving spouses and dependent children (under rules established by the State of Utah: Just Google "Utah 71-7-3" to read it.
Utah Families can act as their own funeral director when caring for their veteran dead with proper paperwork from the Vital records office in the county where death occurred. Family may bring their veteran to the cemetery themselves, make their own casket and bypass the mortuary completely, saving several thousand dollars. (see how on our "DIY Funeral" page)
Environmental Issues with Conventional Burial
Research from the 1990's found:
Each year, over 22,000 cemeteries across the United States bury approximately:
30 million board feet of hardwoods (in caskets)
90,000 tons of steel (in caskets)
14,000 tons of steel (in vaults)
2,700 tons of copper and bronze (in caskets)
1,600,000 tons of reinforced concrete (in vaults)
825,000 US gallons of embalming fluid (include mostly formaldehyde)
This video was produced for proprius Caskets which is no longer in business. However the environmental message is still applicable to Utah.
Links to more about Natural Burial
Grave Matters A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial by Mark Harris
Pleasant Green Cemetery is on the foothills just south of the Great Salt Lake. This natural historic cemetery does NOT require vaults. The Superintendent welcomes family-directed funerals.
Not hiring a mortuary, but need a Vault for burial in a commercial cemetery?
One Utah vault company that happily sells directly to DIYers is:
725 S State St, Provo, UT 84606
Since 2021 there is a casket-maker in Northern Utah who sells polyvaults to anyone:
Robert Alexander in Farr West, Utah 801-388-9158
FCA of Utah does not receive compensation for products or services featured on this site.
For personal cemetery help and information text/call either
Joyce at 801-368-5884 or
Sharlynn at 801-391-6556
For a copy of our 2008
Statewide City Cemetery Comparison
& to volunteer to conduct another survey of Utah cemeteries please email
In 2012 one of our members went to affordable-markers website. They bought a "pet" size marker for $174 which included s&h (in 2012).
Don't take the word "pet"as an insult, it's just 16" long instead of 20"). That size was acceptable at the Pleasant Green cemetery.
Check ahead with your cemetery to see what their rules require.