Before you buy a monument, even before you buy a cemetery lot, there are some important things you should know.
Here some questions to ask… the answers will give you the information you need to make this important decision.
Buying a monument is something you may do only once in your lifetime. You will be purchasing something that will last through the ages to commemorate the life of someone very special, someone whom you love dearly. The memorial may well serve as a historical data for future generations of your family. It is a purchase that should be made unhurriedly, with great care and consideration. There are many things you should know before you make this purchase so that you may be assured this important investment meets you needs and desires. When you have obtained satisfactory answers to all of these questions – and any further questions you have thought of yourself – then you are ready to choose a memorial for the ages.
About the Cemetery…
1. Does the cemetery allow monuments?
This may seem like a basic question, and it is. Many cemeteries (often known as “memorial parks”) allow NO monuments whatsoever. Lot owners are restricted to bronze markers or grasslevel granite markers which lie even with the grass, and are often hidden beneath the grass. If you buy grave space in this type of cemetery, you will never be able to have a monument.
2. Does the cemetery restrict monuments to certain sections?
Some cemeteries have one section for upright memorials and another, different section for flush markers (again – the kind that lie even with the grass). In this type of cemetery, it is important to select grave space in the section that allows upright monuments.
3. Does the cemetery require you to purchase a specific number of grave spaces in order to place a monument?
If this is true, you should know it at the time of purchase to make certain you buy sufficient space to allow for a monument. You don’t want to buy a two-grave lot today and then, in the future when you have a need to use it, find out you can’t put a monument on it.
4. Does the cemetery have any restrictions as to the size ot the monument it will allow?
This does not need to become a problem because a good memorialist can be very creative in designing a monument to fit the space, but you should know in advance what restrictions apply.
5. Does the cemetery have any rules or regulations governing installation of the monument?
Some cemeteries may insist on installing the monument themselves and charge a variety of fees for installation of the monument, perpetual care of the monument (over and above perpetual care of the grave space), and other add-on services. Without making a judgement as to the correctness of these charges, it is important for you to know in advance what costs you would face from the cemetery.
6. Does the cemetery tell you that installation costs are part of the lot price, or that you must buy your memorial from them?
If so, take warning. This practice has been held illegal by several federal courts in the United States. ALWAYS ask questions BEFORE you buy a cemetery lot. Your local monument retailer is an excellent source of information about which cemeteries welcome upright monuments and what restrictions, if any, a particular cemetery may impose. The purchase of a cemetery lot will dictate what kind of monument (if any) you may eventually have. It is a purchase of great importance.
About the monument retailer…
1. Is the monument retailer a local business?
It is important to do business with a person and a firm that are local to your community, someone who has a commitment to your community, a real stake in it. You want a firm that is stable, has been around for awhile, and has an honest business reputation.
2. Is the monument retailer a “full-service” operation?
Memorials should be their main business – not an add-on to some other business they may do. The retailer should have a local shop or store, a recognizable place of business, not operate from his backyard or from the office of some other business. A monument retailer will ordinarily have a showroom – indoors or out (or both) where a selection of full-size monuments is on display. He may also have a variety of other designs to show you, as well as samples of granite in addition to what is on display.
3. Is the monument retailer willing and capable of providing you with a personalized memorial?
The monument retailer has the ability to listen to what you tell him or her about yourself, your loved one, your family, in order to help you create a memorial that is beautiful as well as distinctive. There is no need to buy a carbon copy of what everyone else has. Your family is not like the family next door…
4. Is the monument retailer willing to work with you in advance, if you decide to purchase a monument before the need arises?
The monument retailer welcomes the opportunity of helping you plan your memorial in advance. This is becoming more popular, as couples, in particular, want to create their own memorials, selecting colors and styles, and having a hand in the design. Such a purchase can be made without grief, unhurriedly, and paid for out of current income at today’s prices.
5. Is the monument retailer able to offer designs for use with cremation?
Cremation is an accepted form of handling the remains after death, but there is still every reason to want to commemorate that life, even though cremation has taken place. A monument retailer can suggest a wide variety of memorial designs suitable for cremation.
A memorial will last longer that any other purchase you make. It is important that the firm that sells you that monument can also provide you with the long term service you need. A monument retailer who is an independent businessman or woman in your community, who is caring and concerned about your special needs, is best fitted to serve you.
(C) 1994 This information has been prepared as a public service by Monument Builders of North America.
Why You Should Purchase From A MBNA Retail Firm
As part of their membership, MBNA member companies subscribe to a statement of policy, The Code of Good Practice, that promotes fair and honest business practices that, in turn, serve and protect the consumer. MBNA monitors it’s members to assure the highest of ethical standards. MBNA considers the welfare of the consumer of such importance that it supports a Consumer Advocacy Program to protect the consumer from unethical and often unscrupulous activities which may be encountered in some segments of the death care industry.
When you purchase a monument / memorial from an MBNA member, you are assured of ethical, honest business practices from someone who is committed to his industry and art. The majority of members are multi-generational memorialists who have learned the exact art of stone carving from their fathers and grandfathers. Although technology has advanced the industry into a new phase through the use of computers, computer-assisted design, computer etching, diamond tools, and more, the final result is an exceptional, eternal monument carved in stone to last for generations to come. Remember, always look for the MBNA name and logo, it is your assurance of quality and craftsmanship.
We at Stennes Granite are not here to sell you a monument, memorial, headstone, or grave marker, we are here to help you purchase a lasting memorial and tribute to family and love… With you from “Concept to Completion”, call Stennes Granite in East Grand Forks, MN at 218-773-7461, or visit us at 2029 Central Ave NW for all of your granite upright Monument, Memorial and headstone needs. Quality and meaning will be remembered long after the price is forgotten…
Hours of Operation: M-F 8:00AM – 5:00PM. Evenings and Weekends by Appointment.