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Do You Need a Burial Vault For Cremation Services?

Many bereaved choose to bury their loved one’s remains after cremation services in Walnut Creek, CA. However, many of these families are unaware that they might be required to purchase a burial vault for said burial. Burial vaults are outside containers that hold a coffin or casket for burying full body in the ground. Their primary function is to protect the casket, and to help maintain the gravesite’s integrity so the surface doesn’t sink in.  

Most active cemeteries do require burial vaults to keep the cemetery ground intact and safe. However, this requirement is not the law in most states. The majority of states to not have laws requiring burial vault containers for buried cremation urns, rather, it’s only the cemeteries that have the requirement.  

Cemeteries can choose to require burial vaults for both caskets and urns to preserve the safety and beauty of their cemetery grounds, and to make sure their maintenance equipment is protected. Vaults offer more protection to the ground because as caskets and urns naturally break down and decompose over time, the earth on top of them settles and sinks. Although buried cremation urns cause this settling on a much smaller scale than caskets, most cemeteries do still require burial vaults for urns.  

Burial vaults for both urns and caskets are made of durable materials that do not decompose, like metal, concrete or plastic. You can even find solid metal burial vaults. Like most things in life, the quality of the burial vault you choose mostly depends on the price. You can find basic, affordable burial vaults on websites like Amazon for less than $200, but the price only goes up for thicker, heavier, higher quality containers. If you want an ornate, decorated burial vault, you need to be prepared to shell out some serious cash.  

If you desire a cemetery burial for your loved one but don’t have a big budget, you can save money by choosing a simpler urn and less ornate burial vault. As both will be buried, they don’t have to be ornate. If you desire, you can also buy a decorative urn to memorialize the deceased above ground.  

According to California state law, graves using a non-permeable container, like a vault, must be buried at least 24” below the surface. Meaning, if the container is 12 inches high, then the hole is 36” inches deep. Some cemeteries allow a cremation urn to be buried in an existing grave, and allow the urn to be place on top of a previously buried vault. Some families prefer this, as it allows them to place loved ones together even in death.  

Do you have more questions on burial, burial vaults, and Walnut Creek, CA cremation services? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Please visit us at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, or give us a call at (510) 317-7890. We would love to help you learn more about burying cremated remains, as it is a great way for families to enjoy the flexibility and affordability of cremation while still creating a permanent resting place in a traditional cemetery.

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