Is it mandatory to have a vault or crate for a burial?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Is it mandatory to have a vault or crate for a burial? I live in Michigan, and they charge $600 or more for a vault.

Expert Answer

Rebekah Peoples, CFSP, CPC, Is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is passionate about serving others and believes that giving clients honest, accurate information empowers them to create tributes and services that are meaningful and appropriate.

You ask a good question about something that probably many people have wondered. Although not a state law, the state allows cemeteries to create their own ordinances and burial requirements regarding a vault or burial container for the casket. Almost all cemeteries in Michigan require one, with the exceptions usually being some Jewish cemeteries and also some "green" cemeteries that use what they call "natural burial."

You're right about the price range starting around the $600 price range. If you're not Jewish or are not interested in a green cemetery burial, but price is an issue, talk to your funeral director. There are many other areas of service in which a funeral home can help you save money. A reputable funeral director will listen to your wishes and concerns and offer helpful alternatives. Unless you have a specific funeral director you want to use, it would be helpful to call more than one.