Arlington National Cemetery does not charge fees for an interment or inurnment at the cemetery. The only potential costs to the estate of the deceased are for private headstone monuments or vaults. The next of kin may elect to have a private headstone monument (depending on the availability of gravesites in sections of the cemetery where private headstone monuments are permitted) erected in lieu of using a government-provided headstone. Please note, the availability of gravesites in the older sections of the cemetery is limited. Additionally, the next of kin may elect to provide a private vault as an outside container other than the standard government-provided grave liner.
Government grave liners are made of reinforced concrete that surrounds the casket or urn. After the committal service, the casket or urn is lowered into the government liner and the concrete lid is placed on top. The purpose of the government liner is to prevent the grave from sinking. It is not designed to protect the casket or urn from the elements. A government liner is provided at no cost to the family.
A burial vault is made of reinforced concrete or other materials such as steel or bronze. Burial vaults come with a variety of special linings and may be sold with a warranty. The purpose of the burial vault is to protect the casket for some period of time and prevent the grave from sinking. Burial vaults are sold by funeral homes and not provided free of charge by the cemetery. If a family elects to purchase a burial vault, the cemetery will not provide the free government liner.
All costs associated with preparation of the remains, casket or urn, and shipping of the remains to the Washington, D.C. area are at the expense of the estate, unless the deceased was on active duty with a branch of the Armed Forces. Please check with your local VA and Social Security Administration office to determine if any benefits are available from either or both agencies.