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Whether for religious beliefs or personal reasons, it’s common to consider being buried with a loved one. We hear many people say they prefer the thought of knowing they will have a loved one nearby. In this article, we'll explain more about double burial plots and shared burial plots, how they work, and what you need to know if you're considering this as an option.

What is a double burial plot?

A double burial plot is a grave site that can hold two burials. Sometimes known as a ‘companion plot’, a double plot is typically twice the size of a single plot and traditionally allows for two caskets to be buried alongside each other. Sometimes, cemeteries will choose to create space for a double burial by digging the plot to double the depth, meaning the two caskets or coffins are buried on top of one another. Whether this is possible or not will depend on the geography of the land, the quality of the soil and other environmental factors.

If you choose a double plot, you’ll usually have a choice about whether you arrange separate headstones or use a single memorial to commemorate both individuals.

How do shared burial plots work?

Shared burial plots work in much the same way as double plots. They allow for multiple burials to take place in the same area of a burial ground. This can be a good choice for families who want to be laid to rest together.

In this case, the family may choose a single large headstone engraved with the family name, perhaps placing smaller markers at the head of each individual plot.

Is it possible to find double burial plots in natural burial grounds?

If you’re considering burial in one of the beautiful natural burial grounds in the UK, you should still be able to arrange to be buried with a loved one, but you may be more restricted as to the location you choose.

Due to a need to preserve the land, some natural burial sites don’t allow you to reserve a plot, making it more difficult to guarantee a double plot. You could consider visiting and talking to the owners of the burial ground you’re interested in to find out more.

As long as there is enough space, and the site you choose allows you to reserve, you should be able to get two burial plots next to one another. Though keep in mind that you’re less likely to find double depth graves in natural burial sites due to environmental and conservation concerns.

Can you book a double burial plot in advance?

Due to the limited space available in many burial grounds across the UK, we recommend reserving your double or shared burial plot in advance. If you don’t, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to be buried with your loved one.

If you plan to be buried with a loved one, make sure to check that your preferred burial ground offers the choice of double burial plots, has availability and that your chosen funeral directors are aware you’d like your loved one to be buried in a double plot. Some cemeteries only have single plots, or may only offer shared plots for burying ashes. There are also many cemeteries and burial grounds that don’t offer the ability to reserve plots in advance, so you may need to find an alternative to guarantee burial with your loved one.

Is there a difference in price between double and single plots?

When it comes to burial costs, reserving a double burial plot or two plots side by side usually costs a similar amount to buying individual plots. Double depth plots tend to cost less, as the grave will only need one outer casing. If you plan to bury two people in one grave at the same time, you may find that you only need to pay one burial fee.

Keep in mind, though, that there are many other costs associated with burial, including paying for the coffin and headstone, maintenance fees and of course the funeral itself.

Funeral Choice helps people in the UK find and compare funeral directors. Visit our advice centre for more funeral planning help.

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