End-Of-Life Planning: 5 Tips To Prepare Your Headstone 

Updated on February 12, 2022

End-of-life planning is the process of organizing one’s affairs and determining how final days are to be spent. It is also known as advance care planning and consists of completing a living will, a healthcare proxy, and the last will. While end-of-life planning is vital, it is not always straightforward. 

One part of end-of-life planning is preparing for your final resting place. One of the most important decisions to make when organizing a funeral is how to mark the memorial location and choose a headstone. There are various factors to consider when picking a headstone. This guide will walk you through the most critical tips and assist you in making an informed decision. 

1. Think About The Inscriptions 

The headstone inscription includes the name, birth date, and death date of the deceased in most cases. These are customized in honor of a loved one who has passed away. Certain epitaphs contain poetry, scripture phrases, and even verbatim quotations.  

Symbols and images can be etched by hand or laser on a headstone. Keep the allowed area on the memorial in mind while using gravestone symbolism, portraiture, or lettering and seals to ensure that the complete design fits perfectly. A lengthy epitaph may be out of your budget range because most engravers charge by the letter. 

Selecting a typeface for your inscriptions should be the first step, as different fonts fit different memorials. The type of material chosen to create your monument is a crucial factor to think about. Certain stones are too abrasive to be engraved with thin script typefaces, while softer materials like sandstone will look better with a delicate script font than a hefty block typeface. 

2. Opt For A Lasting Material 

Consider the material’s long-term endurance before making your decision. Think about the upkeep and care requirements of the material. Granite is the most malleable and flexible stone available. It’s available in various colors and treatments, and it’s been proven to last. As a result of its extensive availability, granite has grown increasingly economical and is one of the most cost-effective options today. 

Marble has unique blue and gray veins, making it a striking material. It is frequently chosen for aesthetic reasons because of its lovely and smooth texture. However, it is not permitted in all burial grounds because it’s not as strong as others and won’t last long. Limestone also remains a popular option. It’s a traditional stone that deteriorates rapidly over time.  

Marble and granite are more stain-resistant than limestone, so they’re easier to clean.  

The type of finish you desire for the headstone is also something to think about. A polished, semi-polished, pitched, or rock pitch finish is available. The front is typically polished to draw attention to the inscriptions, while the edges may be left unpolished or polished to a high sheen. 

AdobeStock 281382963 1

3. Select The Correct Size 

Are you looking for a massive headstone with etched images or metalwork? Would you prefer a smaller, less noticeable marker? The material, cost, and features will depend on the headstone size you imagine. 

If you’re unclear about the size you’re looking for, stop by the cemetery and take a look around. Is the size and form of each stone the same? If that’s the case, you’ll want to keep your stone within those parameters to avoid it looking out of place. 

4. Acknowledge The Cemetery’s Rules 

Think about the cemetery rules when making a funeral plan and choosing a headstone. Each cemetery has its own set of rules and regulations that govern the types of headstones to be built. The headstone’s size, substance, and style may determine the rules. For example, some cemeteries may not allow you to place a massive monument.  

Read about the rules and restrictions of the cemetery you’ve chosen before you start buying. You can obtain the necessary information by contacting the cemetery’s office or any nearby monument company.  

5. Choose A Reputable Headstone Vendor 

Funeral homes, cemeteries, monument dealers, and online retailers sell headstones. Think about your possibilities and be sure the source will fulfill your needs. Cemeteries are frequently the most expensive option, followed by monument dealers and funeral homes, so evaluating prices is vital. 

The most cost-effective option is to shop online. Seek suggestions for a local supplier from relatives and friends. To establish the company’s reputation, conduct a due diligence examination. Furthermore, don’t forget to read user reviews before making an online purchase. 


Choosing a headstone can be an emotional process, and the information provided here should have aided you in your decision. It’s not an easy task, but preparing your headstone will ensure that you’ll keep what you have in mind even in death.