Family Burial Plots & Companion Graves

Our families are usually our first strong support systems. Family is with us through thick and thin, lifting us up when we’re low and celebrating our achievements throughout our lives. So it makes sense that many families choose to be laid to rest together. Whether you're choosing a family burial plot for immediate and extended family members or a companion grave for you and your spouse or partner, cemetery property can carry forward a critical bond after death.


Family plots also establish a lasting legacy. A permanent memorial gives future generations a place to visit and reflect. Gravesites are also part of the historical record, and a family plot is a bit like a branch of a family tree.

In this article you will learn about:

Find the right final resting place

Explore your many options with The Buyer's Guide to Cemetery Property.

Family plots

Groups of burial plots where many family members, sometimes spanning generations, can be buried alongside one another are called family plots. Families who choose family plots want to keep the family together, even after death. A family plot may simply be a few adjacent plots in a community garden, or those plots may be sectioned off by a hedge wall or gated for more privacy. Most family plots have room for at least four loved ones, but a larger family may want more space. Some accommodate as many as 16 or more.

If you're contemplating a family plot, think about the future and discuss it with your parents, children, siblings and anyone else who might have an interest in staying together. It's helpful to try to determine how many family members want to be buried together and whether some would like to be cremated.

Companion graves

A companion gravesite is suited for two. Spouses, partners, even friends often choose companion graves to celebrate their time together in life and represent their enduring connection. Regardless of the nature of the relationship, companion graves honor the love shared between two people. Companion graves can be side-by-side or double-depth burial plots. The former are two adjacent plots; the latter is a single plot that allows for two caskets to be buried one on top of the other.

Cemetery property for families

All types of cemetery property are available to families. Here are a few to consider.

Community gardens

When you think of a cemetery, you likely think of community gardens, sweeping lawns dotted with headstones and shaded by trees or beautifully landscaped areas designed especially for cremation memorialization. Family plots are usually found in these gardens that welcome everyone.

Family estates

A family estate is a large area designed to suit a particular family. Usually more expensive than adjacent plots in a community garden, it's often in a premium area of the cemetery and may include a variety of memorialization types. Similarly, hedge estates are walled off by shrubs and other greenery.

Mausoleum at Memorial Oaks Cemetery


A family may be able to purchase several adjacent crypts in a community mausoleum, and some indoor mausoleums have whole rooms set aside for families. Companion and couch crypts allow a pair of caskets to be entombed together. A family who wants a more exclusive option may choose a custom private mausoleum.

Outdoor companion cremation columbaria monuments with yellow flowers at Pacific View Memorial Park.


If your family chooses cremation over traditional burial, you may prefer a columbarium. A columbarium may be a building full of glass-front niches or an outdoor structure comprising granite-front niches. You could choose single-urn niches in a group together or a companion niche that holds two urns. There's also the option of a private family columbarium for two, four, six or more loved ones.

Headstones for family and companion plots

A permanent memorial is a lasting connection to a loved one that provides comfort and solace as well as a place for future generations to learn more about those who came before them. Headstones help honor and preserve life stories.

Very often, family plots and family estates have a central headstone or monument engraved with the family surname. A slab of polished granite or carved monument makes a stately impression and speaks to a family's legacy. Individual markers may be selected to honor family members and complement the family monument.

Similarly, a couple who chooses a companion burial plot often also chooses a companion headstone, whether with an upright granite monument, flush bronze marker or another choice. They may also choose a companion headstone in addition to individual grave markers.

Combining burial and cremation

More and more people are choosing cremation, and it's possible for family members to make different choices and still be memorialized together. A burial plot may be used to bury urns, or a large headstone in a family estate may be modified with a base that offers multiple cremation niches. A cremation bench or private columbarium could be added to a hedge estate. There are always creative ways to address a family's cemetery wishes.

Cemetery property and funeral planning

It’s important to remember that choosing a cemetery plot is only one part of pre-planning. The cost savings and peace of mind that come with selecting and paying for a plot ahead of time also applies to funeral or cremation arrangements. Being fully planned means ensuring all these elements are in place.

When you make final arrangements in advance, you have the luxury of time. You'll be able to carefully consider all your options and create a truly personalized service. Your loved ones won't have to worry about guessing your wishes or finding the money during a difficult, grief-filled moment. In addition, you’ll avoid future price increases on many items. A Dignity Memorial® associate can share more.

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Create a lasting legacy

Many people don't realize the significance of choosing a final resting place. It is an important step in creating a family legacy, establishing a place of remembrance for future generations and paying tribute to a special life. Your Dignity Memorial professionals are here to help.

Get your free Buyer's Guide to Cemetery Property today. 


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