Frequently Asked Questions

Why is having a place of memorialization to visit so important?

Because it provides a focal point for memorializing the deceased. To remember, and be remembered, are natural human needs. Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead has been a key component of almost every culture. Providing a permanent resting place for the deceased is a dignified treatment for a loved one’s mortal remains, which fulfills the natural human desire for memorialization.

Are all welcomed?

Reflecting the diversity of Northeast Florida, Evergreen is the resting place for people of many religious, ethnic and heritage groups. Some have specially designated acreage within the cemetery, with the majority of the park available to all.

What are the advantages of preplanning?

When you plan ahead, you are able to consider the many options available. You have the opportunity to make an informed decision about your funeral and cemetery arrangements, and the form of memorial you prefer. You are able to make choices that are meaningful to both you and your family, and you gain peace of mind knowing your family and friends will be relieved of the emotional and financial burden often associated with making arrangements when a death occurs. By prearranging your funeral and cemetery services, you benefit by buying at today’s prices, free from inflationary pressures in the future.

How do I choose the right type of grave?

Because it is an important decision – and because graves vary by size, location and price – many things must be considered. What type of memorial do you prefer? A marker set flat on the ground? An upright monument? How many burials do you expect to take place? Are you arranging for yourself or your family? How much do you want to spend? Answers to such questions will help you make the right purchase.

What are burial vaults and graveliners?

These are the containers in which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are made of a variety or combination of materials including concrete, stainless steel, copper, bronze, plastic and fiberglass. A graveliner is a lightweight version of a vault.

Must I buy a burial vault?

In Jacksonville, local law requires that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave. Either a graveliner or a burial vault will satisfy this requirement.

What options are available aside from ground burial?

Aside from ground burial, Evergreen offers interment in lawn crypts, entombment in mausoleums and numerous choices for those who have selected cremation, including placement of cremated remains in a mausoleum niche or interment in a grave space.

What is entombment?

Entombment is the interment of human remains in a tomb or mausoleum. It involves placing a casket or cremation urn in a crypt or niche (individual compartment within a mausoleum or columbarium), which then is sealed.

What is a mausoleum?

A community mausoleum simply is a large building designed to provide above ground entombment for a large number of people. Sharing the costs of the mausoleum with other people makes it more affordable than a private mausoleum. Crypts are designed to hold casketed remains. Following a casket entombment, the crypt is sealed, and a granite or marble front is attached. Niches accommodate urns containing cremated remains. Following an urn entombment, a niche front of granite, marble, bronze, wood or glass is attached.

What are the advantages of a mausoleum burial?

Mausoleum crypts are both clean and dry. They offer a viable alternative for those who simply have an aversion to being interred in the ground. With a growing shortage of available land for cemetery use, mausoleums also allow for a maximum number of entombments in a minimum amount of space.

How can a mausoleum help eliminate expenses?

When you select a mausoleum, you eliminate the need for expensive vaults and monuments or memorials, which almost always are purchased with ordinary in-ground burial.

I want cremation, but my spouse does not. Can we be buried together?

Yes. Many couples have different preferences regarding final arrangements, just as they may about other choices in life.

What is Endowment Care?

A portion of the purchase price of the grave is contributed to an endowment care fund. Income from that fund is used to provide regular care and maintenance at the cemetery. Regular care and maintenance can include cutting grass, re-grading of graves, planting and caring for trees, and maintaining water supply systems, roads, drainage, etc.

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retarding the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.

Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?

No, embalming is not required for burial. It is your choice. Choosing not to embalm may depend on such factors as whether the family selects a service with a public viewing of the body, wants to enhance the deceased’s appearance for a private family viewing, intends to have the body transported by air or rail, or chooses to extend the length of time prior to burial or cremation.

When I buy a grave space, do I receive a deed like when I buy other types of real estate?

When you buy a grave space you actually are buying THE RIGHT TO DESIGNATE WHO MAY BE INTERRED IN THE SPACE, rather than buying the grave space itself. The space remains the property and responsibility of the cemetery. A deed to this right is issued to the purchaser.

Is cemetery property tax deductible?

No, the purchase of a grave is not tax-deductible, although the charitable donation of unwanted grave spaces may be deductible as an “in kind” charitable contribution. Check with a knowledgeable tax adviser for details. Even without a tax break, a grave purchase today avoids rising costs in the future.

Isn't burial space becoming scarce?

While it is true some metropolitan areas have limited available cemetery space, most areas of the country have enough space set aside for the next 50 years without creating new cemeteries. In addition, land available for new cemeteries is more than adequate, especially with the increase in entombment and multi-level grave burial.

What happens when a cemetery runs out of land?

When a cemetery runs out of land, it continues to operate and serve the community. Because more and more individuals and families are buying their graves in advance, graves that have been sold will be opened when a death occurs, markers will be placed and other services will be provided. Most states have laws that require funds to be set aside from each sale for the long-term care and maintenance of the cemetery. The amount to be set aside varies from state to state. Florida requires 10 percent of the grave purchase price to be placed into an endowment care fund.  Evergreen makes the full 10 percent contribution each year. Evergreen Cemetery has the largest endowment care fund of any cemetery in Florida and has the space to accommodate burials for another century.

If I choose a plot now, what assurances do I have that I actually will get that specific space when I die?

Cemeteries are required to keep accurate records describing the ownership of “Interment Rights,” or the right to use a space. These include numbering systems that ensure no space is assigned to more than one owner, except as specified by the purchaser.

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