Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about Forest Lawn Cemetery.
For more information about our services, feel free to contact us at (716) 885-1600 or email us at

Yes! Forest Lawn has more than 20 acres of land that are still undeveloped. In fact, people can keep choosing Forest Lawn for hundreds and hundreds of years to come as their final resting place. Forest Lawn is also affiliated with four suburban cemeteries (Lakeside Cemetery in Hamburg, NY; Williamsville Cemetery and Gethsemane in Williamsville, NY; and St. Matthew’s Cemetery in West Seneca, NY) where you will also find space available. For a personal tour of available space at any of our cemeteries, please call one of our Family Service Representatives at 716-885-1600, or email

It is less expensive than you think. Prices start at just $400 for a cremation grave, and for an in-ground burial space (grave), prices start at $2,500 for pre-need and $3,500 for at-need – and no matter what price point you are comfortable with, you still get everything that Forest Lawn has to offer, from Mirror Lake and the stunning landscape, to a Western New York landmark that is on the State and National Registries of Historic Places. At Forest Lawn, we know that the idea of remembering has nothing to do with money or how much you spend. It is about the memories and love you shared. You can spend too much – and you can spend too little – but the only one who knows what you spend is you. So contact one of our Family Service Representatives today at (716) 288-5999, or email, and learn why choosing the best doesn’t have to cost more.

The cemetery is located on Delaware Avenue – fewer than 10 miles from Amherst, Tonawanda and Lackawanna, and just 15 or 20 minutes from most other suburbs. Yes, other cemeteries may be “right around the corner” from where you live today. But when you’re considering a resting place for all eternity, remember that Forest Lawn has a unique beauty, history and landscape that you won’t find anywhere else in Western New York. Forest Lawn is surrounded by a wrought iron fence, for added peace of mind. So call today for a private tour, and you’ll see why people from all over Western New York have chosen Forest Lawn for generations.

Distance to Forest Lawn:
Amherst – 7 miles
Cheektowaga – 10 miles
Clarence – 18 miles
Depew – 11 miles
Grand Island – 11 miles
Hamburg – 15 miles
Kenmore – 3 miles
Lackawanna – 9 miles
Lancaster – 14 miles
Niagara Falls – 20 miles
Orchard Park – 18 miles
Tonawanda – 7 miles
West Seneca – 12 miles
Wheatfield – 17 miles
Williamsville – 10 miles

Without pre-arrangements for funeral and cemetery services, there are at least 49 decisions your loved ones will have to make within hours on the worst day of their lives. But if you plan ahead, your family has only two decisions – day and time of the service. With pre-arrangements, you can choose exactly what you want, pay in today’s prices and finance your purchase over multiple years at 0% interest. So don’t wait. Contact one of our Family Service Representatives to make your pre-arrangements today. Call 716-885-1600, or email

Read more about 49 vs 2 and download a checklist here.

We understand that this is a very difficult time for you. The first thing to do is to call your family funeral director. According to New York State law, he or she is the only person who can legally handle the funeral arrangements for the deceased in New York State. Even if you are choosing cremation for your loved one, you must – by law – contact a funeral director.

If you have not already chosen a funeral director, this link can help you find one from the local Erie Niagara Funeral Directors Association.

At Forest Lawn, we encourage families to call or email the cemetery to pre-arrange for your needs. Pre-arrangement allows you to discuss your plans with your loved ones, and protect your family from having to go “cemetery shopping” on what may be the worst day of your entire life. Forest Lawn’s trained professionals are ready to assist you with pre-arrangements, as well as during your time of need. Please call us at (716) 885-1600, or email, to speak with a Family Service Representative. Our office is open 6 days a week for the convenience of our families and funeral directors.

For traditional, full-body, in-ground burial:

  • Space (the land)
  • Outer Burial Container (burial vault, available through a Funeral Director)
  • Cemetery Interment Service Fee
  • A Memorial Grave Marker (typical but not required)

For traditional, full-body, above-ground burial:

  • Space (also known as a crypt)
  • Cemetery Interment Service Fee
  • Lettering for Name and Dates on Crypt Front (typical but not required)
  • A sealer casket (available from your funeral director) is also required for above-ground entombment, as per City of Buffalo ordinances.

For cremation and burial in-ground:

  • Space (land)
  • Outer Burial Container (this may be an urn vault or a Marbelon urn) from Forest Lawn or your Funeral Director
  • Cemetery Interment Service Fee
  • A Memorial Grave Marker (typical but not required)

Simply call our office at (716) 885-1600, or email to make an appointment with one of our Family Service Representatives. Our office is open and a Family Service Representative is available 6 days a week to fit your schedule, so please call anytime for an appointment. If you are unable to come in to our office, a representative can come to you.

You can “browse” some of the property currently available in Forest Lawn by clicking HERE.

All full-body, in-ground spaces at Forest Lawn, Lakeside, St. Matthew’s, and Williamsville and Gethsemane Cemeteries allow for both a casketed body and one or more cremated bodies.

In the case where above-ground burial is preferred, a casketed body can be entombed in a crypt, and a cremated body can also be placed in that same crypt. Please note that this arrangement must be made at the time of purchase. To learn more about your options, please call one of our Family Service Representatives at (716) 885-1600, or email

The Cemetery Interment/Entombment Fee is for our basic services and overhead relating to the final disposition of the deceased, as well as the general care and operations of the cemetery.

The fee includes the use of the cemetery’s professional, union and non-union staff, facilities and equipment, to respond to and complete the request for interment / entombment / or inurnment service, as well as maintaining the cemetery. It includes verifying ownership and right of burial privileges and confirming the permanent interment location. It also includes coordination between cemetery and administration and grounds with the funeral director and/or family members requesting and authorizing the burial service, securing and issuing necessary permits and authorizations for the service, preparation of the space for burial, and restoration of that space following the service.

Download our current Services and Fee Schedule.

It is truly a matter of preference. When you purchase in-ground (traditional) space, the cemetery requires an outer burial container (known as a vault), which must be purchased from a Funeral Director. However, if for religious reasons or green burial reasons you would prefer not to have a vault, the cemetery will waive this requirement – a modest additional fee for this interment is required as the cemetery will need to go back more frequently and add earth to the interment site.

When above-ground space in a mausoleum is purchased, the vault is included in the price.

Whether you prefer in-ground or above-ground, purchasing space ahead of time (pre-arrangement) allows you to “lock in” the price for three of the most significant cemetery decisions (Space, Outer Container and Memorial Grave Marker).

Some people think it’s OK to put the cremated body on a shelf in their closet, or on the mantle above the fireplace. But a deceased human being is a deceased human being, whether in a casket or an urn. In the United States, we bury our dead in a permanent resting place so our loved one’s cremated body is protected, in a sacred place, where the body will always be treated with dignity and respect.

At Forest Lawn, cremated bodies may be buried in-ground, placed above ground (in a mausoleum, sculpture, bench or boulder), or scattered in one of our gardens. There are also many choices for memorialization – a plaque or inscription that is either near the remains, or is placed in another section of Forest Lawn. To learn more about cremation, please click here, call our office at 716-885-1600, or email

If no burials have occurred in your space, you may sell it. The State of New York requires that you offer it first to the cemetery. Write a letter (see below for the address) with your signature notarized, requesting that we make you an offer for your space, mailing it return-receipt requested. In our offer letter, we will tell you your options, based on New York State laws and Forest Lawn policy. You do not have to accept our offer. If you do not accept our offer, you will be free to sell it on your own to whomever you wish.

If you have further questions, please email us at or call 716-885-1600.

Send your request to:

Forest Lawn
1990 Main Street
Buffalo NY 14208

The original lot owner may give permission to anyone to be buried in his/her lot. The lot owner, spouse, and direct descendants have a “natural right” of burial, as long as there is still actual space available, according to the number of burial rights (spaces) purchased and appropriate authorization. Direct descendants are children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. Spouses of direct descendants may be buried, if there is room and with appropriate authorization. Other family members may have right of burial if no direct descendants are surviving. Contact us if you have any questions by email at or call 716-885-1600.

Once the lot owner is deceased, the right of burial passes to the children, then grandchildren, and so on. If a direct descendant is willing to wait and hope that other direct descendants will not use up all remaining space on the lot, then no reservations are required. However, if a direct heir wishes to reserve a burial space on the lot prior to the time of need, specific authorizations are required. An Affidavit of Title must be completed by a direct descendant that lists every living direct descendant of the lot owner who has a right to be buried on the lot (or in the mausoleum).

A Reservation of Burial Form must also be completed and signed by every living direct descendant listed on the Affidavit of Title, giving up his/her right to the space that is being “reserved”. The Affidavit of Title and all Reservation of Burial Forms are to be collected by the inquirer and submitted to the appropriate cemetery office with the New York State approved fee of $95.00 for review and processing. If you have any questions, please email us at or call 716-885-1600.

Download the Affidavit of Title Form and the Right of Burial Form.

Yes! Forest Lawn is a celebration of life, which is why dozens of wedding parties each year choose to have their photos taken outside our chapel, near Mirror Lake, or in the Meadow. There is no charge for this, but please be aware that you may have to wait, as taking pictures are on a first-come, first-serve basis and are very popular at Forest Lawn. See Forest Lawn’s Wedding Photography Information & Affirmation for details.

At the present time, the Forest Lawn Chapel is NOT available to the general public for private events.

Yes. Photography for use in news, commercial film, video, advertising, promotion, publications or on websites is allowed only with cemetery approval prior to filming or taking photographs. Such approval may be condition upon execution of the Forest Lawn Group’s Commercial Film/Photography Agreement and payment of a usage fee.