Considering a Full Monument?
If you're planning ahead for your eventual funeral, you'll be able to choose a headstone or grave monument and prepay for it. This gives you control over what's on your grave, rather than leaving it to your family's emotional whims and tastes when you've died. Your choices will be limited by what the cemetery allows and what the monument company has available in terms of materials and models, but you can find some interesting options, including full monuments. These are headstones with an upright stone at the head of the grave and a full base extending down the length of the plot. (Lawn monuments are smaller stones that sit only at the head of the grave.) They look amazing but do be aware of what having one of these can bring.
You Can't Stop Monuments From Showing Age
All grave monuments are going to eventually show their age, even if cared for well. Stone weathers over time, and if the cemetery falls into disrepair decades or centuries from now, all the remaining monuments aren't going to look too good, of course. A full monument would certainly be more likely to remain very visible, and the artwork you have carved into it could remain identifiable for a long, long time. But it could be more expensive to care for if you want to keep it in tip-top shape.
Full Monuments Will Cost More Than Lawn Monuments
The more stone you want to be carved and moved, the more it will cost you. If you can afford it, great, but ask about what costs your family will face once you die. You can pay ahead for materials and carving, but will your family have to pay for the transportation to the grave site? If so, that's going to cost more than the transportation for a simple lawn monument. If you can prepay for that cost, too, do so.
It Could Change Where You Can Be Buried
The cemetery you're planning to be buried in might allow full monuments, but be sure they allow a mixing of full and lawn monuments. In other words, if you're planning to be buried in a plot that's next to other family graves, can you have a full monument if the other graves have a lawn monument? Sometimes you can, but other cemeteries may want the lawn and full monuments separated due to potential differences in spacing between the graves.
You're doing the right thing if you're planning your funeral and prepaying expenses now. Your family will appreciate that they don't have to worry about plans or how they'll pay for most of the costs. And you'll have a grave monument you're happy with.
Reach out to a monument company to learn more.