One NE 60th Ave. • Des Moines, IA 50313 • Phone: 515-289-2230

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I consider the purchase of burial property before I need it? 


A:The death of a loved one is a sorrow every family member experiences. Often family members will find themselves poorly prepared to deal with the heartache, decisions and expenses death forces on them. By making the decision now, you can exercise sound judgment about whatis best for you and your family. By doing so, you'll have a wider choice of locations and we can offer a variety of affordable payment options.




Q: What if I prefer cremation but own a traditional interment space?


A:Cremation burials are allowed in all traditional spaces in the gardens. Please ask about Highland's  regulations regarding multiple burials in one grave space.




Q: If I already own interment space(s) at Highland, what else will I need?


A:At the time of burial it will be necessary to have a burial receptacle in which the casket is placed, plus payment of the interment service fee. In addition, most families choose to commemorate their  loved one with a bronze memorial




Q: What is the Interment Service Fee?


A: The Interment Service Fee is the amount collected for grave opening and closing and related services performed at the time of burial. Beginning with the examination of the cemetery's records for the proper location, the cemetery grounds personnel then excavate the burial site and provide the chapel tent and other equipment needed on the day of the service. Following the interment service, grounds personnel refill, tamp and re-sod the gravesite in a timely manner.




Q: Highland's regulations require an outer burial receptacle. Where can this be purchased?


A:As a lot owner at Highland Memory Gardens you have the opportunity to purchase a choice of a variety of vaults on a pre-need basis at substantial savings.

Highland Memory Gardens chooses not to be in competition with area funeral homes at the time of need; therefore we offer these vaults only when purchased in advance. Through pre-panning, we are prepared to help our lot owner families when they recognize the financial benefits of pre-arranging the vault before the need arises.




Q: Are upright monuments permitted at Highland?


A: No. In 1929 when the cemetery was founded, it was designed as a memorial park with lawn level memorials only. Families and visitors to these grounds are met with a serene and peaceful atmosphere created through the natural beauty of trees, shrub borders, and floral displays. In preserving the beauty of these natural surroundings, all memorialization is done in lasting, eternal bronze on 4-inch-thick granite. Elegant in design and timeless in meaning, a commemorative bronze memorial will carry the rich heritage of each family name for generations to come.




Q: May I purchase the bronze memorial at the cemetery?


A: Yes! The four prominent bronze foundries represented at Highland are recognized in the bronze industry for their expertise, quality and artistry in memorial bronze.




Q: What are the advantages of purchasing a bronze memorial from Highland Memory Gardens?


A:We guarantee that only the best materials have been used in the casting ofthe bronze memorial. Should the memorial require date scroll completion they will be guaranteed by the terms of our contract made with the family. Each foundry adheres to the Bureau of Standards assuring the quality. A memorial may be purchased through our attractive payment options.

The selection of a bronze memorial is available to lot owners both before need and at the time of need.Cost is based upon the dimension of the bronze, the dimension of the granite foundation and whether a flower vase is included in the bronze. Due to the wide range of choices and styles available, it is difficult to provide specific costs for memorials in this format. Sample memorials are located at the cemetery office.

Qualified veterans of the US Armed Services are entitled to receive a 24” X 12” “Stone Edge” design bronze marker without charge for the grave of a veteran by application to the Veterans Administration in Washington, DC. It should be noted however, that funds for the placement of the marker and the required base granite are not provided. Please check with our office for further information regarding the placement of a veteran marker




Q: You have told me about the interment fee, the cemetery's vaults and the bronze memorial.  Can all of these arrangements be handled ahead of time?


A: Yes, in all instances! We have seen a steady increase in the cost of funeral and cemetery expenses. Pre-planning effectively stops this price inflation. Pre-selected services and merchandise will be delivered when their need occurs without further costs.




Q: How is my investment for these future needs protected?


A: In accordance with Iowa law, funds received in payment for pre-planned services and merchandise are deposited into a trust account at Iowa State Bank, trustee for the cemetery. These funds cannot be accessed by Highland until such time as they are needed by you. Only at that time is the cemetery authorized to withdraw funds for those services performed or merchandise delivered for your benefit. All of the financial transactions and bookkeeping of Highland Perpetual Maintenance Society, Inc. are subject to yearly audit to confirm the proper use of all funds.




Q: I have plenty of life insurance.  Will it cover all of my expenses?


A: You may have an excellent insurance program; however, have you considered that those funds may be needed for funeral expenses, other unforeseen expenses and the bulk of the estate will still be needed to provide living expenses for spouse and family?




Q: If I decided to pre-plan the services, do I have to pay in one lump sum?


A: Only if you prefer. Highland Memory Gardens currently offers a 0% interest installment program that can be spread over 12, 24 or 36 months, according to purchase levels. A payment plan can be arranged to meet your family's requirement. For your added convenience, we also accept VISA, MasterCard, and Discover.




Q: Where can I get more information about pre-planning?


A:  Please call our Family Services Representative at (515) 289-2230 to arrange an appointment.




Q: What do I need to know about "Second Right of Interment" and where do I find the information?


A: "Second Right of Interment" refers to the permission given by the lot owner for a second burial to take place on one space. This is generally done at the time of the space purchase. If you have questions concerning this subject please call our Family Services Representative to receive specific and timely answers to your questions.




Q: What time does the cemetery grounds close?


A: Highland Memory Gardens is not a gated cemetery, so you may come on the grounds any time from sun-up to sun-down.




Q: Can the permanent vases be used all year long?


A: It is the cemetery policy, in place since the early 1960's, that no vases be used during the winter season. During the fall cleanup, permanent bronze vases are inverted into their ground containers by our grounds staff. This is done to protect your vase and marker from damage during the winter months. Vases that are turned upright after the fall cleanup are often hidden by a blanket of Iowa snow. Hidden vases may be hit by equipment and both vases and markers may be severely damaged. Also, when vases fill with water and freeze, the vase will split. This type of damage is not covered under perpetual care. We do not want to see the tribute to your loved one damaged in any way, so please do not use the permanent bronze vases between the fall and spring cleanups. Vases turned up following fall cleanup will be inverted again.