Make A Donation
We encourage you to make your death and burial arrangements before they need to be implemented, so that your final wishes are clearly understood by your family and friends. Have honest conversations now. When the time comes to honor your final requests, your loved ones will be grateful to you for this guidance.
Include a tour of Heritage Acres in your preparations. To schedule a visit and make your burial plans, give us a call at (513)-231-8634.Below are some other steps you can take to get your final wishes in place. Once you have your affairs in order, be sure to let everyone who will be involved know what you want – especially as it relates to green burial, as they may be less familiar with this option. Keep copies of all your paperwork in safe location or a legacy drawer.
Complete Your Will
By completing and signing a will, you clarify your intentions around the distribution of your estate. This is a very important document that every adult needs to complete. To learn more, contact your lawyer, or consult the website of your state bar association. For Ohio, please review Ohio Bar Association’s Law Facts: Wills.
Note that wills should be reviewed periodically – and sometimes require updating – so even if you already have a will, it is a good idea to take a look at it now, to see if there is anything you want to change.
Complete Your Advanced Care Directives
Advanced care planning will ensure that your health care and body disposition preferences are honored. These include a “living will,” a health-care power of attorney, and more. OhioHealth’s Advance Directives Packet is a good resource if you are living in Ohio.
Note that advanced care directives also should be reviewed occasionally, and sometimes need updating. Even if you already have completed one or more directives, it is a good idea to take a look at them now, to see if there is anything you want to change.
Choose a Burial Site
You can pre-purchase burial rights at Heritage Acres, including selecting a specific burial location. Or, if you prefer, you may make a decision about your exact burial location later, or even allow family members to do so. Whatever you choose, simply call us at 513-231-6438 to arrange a tour of our burial meadow and woodlands, and discuss your options.
We offer a variety of options for burial, including both full body green burial and cremation burial in our meadow, as well as cremation burial in our woodlands. Heritage Acres also has a lovely scatter garden for those who would like to scatter a loved one’s ashes. We encourage you to make pre-arrangements and to pre-purchase burial rights. Survivors can also contact us at (513) 231-6438 with at-need burial inquiries or view our pricing page for more information.
Choose a Burial Container
Many different options of biodegradable burial containers are available to the public. Caskets can range from beautiful natural wood and the traditional “pine box” to lovely woven caskets made of bamboo, wicker, seagrass and more. Shrouds have been associated with human burial for millennia. Natural urns and other containers for ashes offer a variety of choices. Whether you are choosing a body burial or a cremation burial, all materials in the burial container must be biodegradable. Please view our burial containers page for more information about your options.
Funeral Home or Home Funeral?
Many people are unaware that a “home funeral” is an option they could have. A home funeral is a family-directed funeral in which the rituals and care of the body are carried out by family members, friends, loved ones, and/or home funeral guides. Usually, a home funeral – which is perfectly legal in Ohio – occurs at a private residence. A home funeral may last a few hours to a few days. For more information, consult the National Home Funeral Alliance
Plan Your Ceremony
Burials at Heritage Acres are as unique as each individual life. Families may wish to create a ceremony that reflects the personality of their loved one. Talk with your beloveds about what you’d like your funeral to look like (or not to look like). Some people prefer a more conventional burial ceremony, while others want something more distinctive. We offer multiple options for a burial ceremony depending on you and your family’s wishes.
Words from the Green Burial Council
While green burial is a traditional practice in the U.S., advocates meet people everyday who are purely gobsmacked to learn that someone can be buried without being embalmed, wrapped in a sheet (or just their birthday suit), and put in a plain pine or cardboard box without a concrete vault. “Is that even legal?” Yes, it is legal in every state in the country. But many people who know about and choose green burial wind up embalmed, in a metal box, inside a concrete vault anyway. Why? Because they didn’t make their wishes known in a way that would ensure that the job got done correctly.
So what can you do about it?
Take control of your life and your green death by creating your EOL and after-death care plans, and share them.
Doug Renfield-Miller’s non-profit GoodEnding can get you started with the big picture, from creating an advance directive to funeral planning.
Information is easy to find: Compassion and Choices has advance directive resources for your state; your health care provider may have blank directives; Five Wishes, an easy-to-use advance directive is enforceable in 42 states. Remember that each state has its own set of rules and forms, possibly nullifying your documents if you find yourself in another state at the end of your life.
Make sure your designated health care agent is fully aware of your wishes and has your documents easily accessible. Check your state to see if it has an advance health care directive registry. If so, you can upload any advance directive you already have to My Directives.
Bottom line is that because green burial is not the automatic choice for most people in the U.S. at this time, you will only get buried green if you make a plan for it and share it. Find your spot (cemetery, back yard, or ocean), select your covering (box, shroud, banana leaves, or nothing), write down your plan, then communicate it to the people you trust to implement your plan. At that point, you’ve done what you can do. Your designated agents and nature will take care of the rest.
The information above is taken from a recent newsletter of the Green Burial Council. This information is a guide only, not intended for legal advice. It’s best to consult with private legal counsel when a situation is overly complicated or critical.
What Else Can You Do?
Have conversations with friends and family members about death and dying. Attend a Death Café or Death Over Dinner event.
Read these books:
- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, by Caitlin Doughty (Amazon)
- Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial, by Mark Harris (Amazon)
- Greening Death, by Suzanne Kelly (Amazon)
- The Green Burial Guidebook, by Elizabeth Fournier (Amazon)
- Going Out Green, by Bob Butz (Amazon)
Burial Rights (body)
(includes the right to be buried in the meadow section of Heritage Acres and administrative and record-keeping services)
Burial Rights (ashes)
$950 (in meadow) to $1,950 (in woods)
(includes the right to bury ashes in a green burial section of Heritage Acres and administrative and record-keeping services)
Burial Rights for Pets
(includes burial of a deceased pet’s body or ashes, or scattering rights thereof, in a section of Heritage Acres designated for pets)
Grave Digging / Site Preparation
(payable at time of service)
- (body burial) - $500
- (ashes burial) - $250
- (pets)- $100
At this time, plans are being developed for a designated section of memorial trees at Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary. Please note that these trees will be “in memory of” an individual (or in honor of a family) – complete with a marker – but the trees will not be in a burial section and cannot be located at or on a specific grave. When the design of the memorial tree section is complete, pricing for in memoriam trees will be made available.
Burial containers, shrouds, urns and the like must be obtained and provided by the person or persons making burial arrangements. Heritage Acres will make available a list of recommended businesses, vendors and craftspersons who make and sell these products. Heritage Acres does not provide, make or offer any burial products, and is not responsible for them.
The body or ashes should arrive at Heritage Acres ready for burial or inurnment; transportation is the responsibility of the person or persons making burial arrangements. Heritage Acres can provide recommendations regarding transportation, but is not responsible for transportation to the Sanctuary.
Obituaries, announcements and the like are the responsibility of the person or persons making burial arrangements. Graveside or other memorial services also must be arranged and paid for separately by the person or persons making burial arrangements. There may be times when Heritage Acres staff or volunteers can assist with graveside or memorial services, but no express commitment is made herein to provide such services.
Are you interested in learning more about Heritage Acres? Would you like to get involved? Do you have suggestions or feedback for us? We’d love to hear from you.
796 Locust Corner Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45245
2710 Newtown Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45244
Phone: (513) 231-6438