What is a Cemetery Vault Inspection Fee? A Monument Inspection fee? Overtime Fees?

Published: January 25, 2021

I am going to cover some common practices used by some cemeteries and funeral homes that will cost you your hard-earned money. Primarily, I am going to focus on those fees that involve what the cemeteries and funeral homes have termed or defined as "inspection fees", vault installation fees, processing fees, and vault inspection fees. These fees are basically what I call "hidden fees". Corporations began to introduce these in the 1990's. Some private funeral homes and cemeteries followed the corporate blueprint. 

Johnson Memorial Gardens and Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Homes do not engage in any of these practices. 

These cemeteries and funeral homes penalize you or charge you an "inspection fee", which is basically a way of inflating prices to stop you from purchasing a vault or monument from a locally owned company.  After 34 years in the funeral and cemetery industry, I have yet to have someone clearly explain to me what a vault inspection fee is in a cemetery that is believable.  What is involved in this "inspection" and who is qualified to make this "inspection"? Valid questions in my opinion.  However, it is not about inspecting a vault or monument.  It is about punitive charges imposed on you for not buying the vault or monument from the cemetery.  It is a "ruse" or "trick" for the funeral home or cemetery to make more money. Always speak to one of our directors at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home or Johnson Memorial Gardens to understand what is standard. 

Another practice referenced in my first paragraph was inflated costs to open and close graves.  This is seen in many corporately owned cemeteries. For example, Johnson Memorial Gardens cost to open and close a graves is $750.  Another cemetery in the area charges in excess of $1,200 for the same service.  This is an example of an unscrupulous business practice. Why charge almost double the cost of the fair market price? Simple. These families are being forced to pay an excessive amount because they chose a cemetery for their loved one and are being taken advantage of by the cemetery and its owners. 

In summary, carefully choose a cemetery before buying a final resting place for your family.  Always call the professionals at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Homes and Johnson Memorial Gardens if you need guidance.   (334)768-2141

by Wesley Anderson

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Valley Location
3700 20th Avenue P.O. Box 65
| Valley, AL 36854
Tel: 1-334-768-2141
| Fax: 1-334-768-2107
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| Lanett, AL 36863
Tel: 1-334-644-4812

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