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Often Veterans and their families are unaware of the many benefits available to them. One of these benefits is free burial and internment of cremains in a VA National Cemetery.
Burial benefits, at no cost to the family, include:
Gravesite in any of the national cemeteries (available space and gravesite cannot be reserved in advance);
Opening and closing of the grave;
Government headstone or marker;
Burial flag; and
Presidential Memorial Certificate.
If cremation is the preferred burial method, cremated remains, known as cremains, are buried or interred in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
Burial benefits are not just available to the Veteran. Burial benefits are also available to spouses and dependents. These benefits include:
Burial with the Veteran;
Perpetual care; and
The spouse or dependent’s name, date of birth, and death will be engraved on the Veteran’s headstone.
Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried in a national cemetery, even if they predecease the Veteran.
Benefits offered to Veterans who wish to be buried in a private cemetery may include a U.S. Government headstone, marker or medallion, a burial flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. The benefits are at no cost to the family. Please note, benefits for spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery are not available.
We recommend planning for final disposition in advance of need. The Veteran and family can make funeral or cremation arrangements in a national cemetery with any funeral provider or cremation office. Of course, any additional items or services obtained will be at the family’s expense. When making pre-need arrangements or at the time of need, the Veteran’s discharge papers will be necessary in establishing burial benefits eligibility.
About the Author: Peggy Hoyt Peggy R. Hoyt practices in the areas of family wealth and legacy counselling, including trust and estate planning and administration, elder law, small business creation, succession and exit planning, real estate transactions and animal law.