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Exclusive rights of burial

When a grave is "purchased" this refers to the purchasing of the exclusive right of burial in a grave space and not the purchase of the land itself. This means that you do not own the land but have the exclusive right, during the period stated in the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial, to say who can be buried in the grave.

Also, provided that you do not, during your lifetime, transfer the right to another person and provided that the period stated in the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial has not expired, you can also choose to be buried in the grave yourself. However, the council will determine the number of burials (this includes cremated remains) permitted in the grave space.

A Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial will be issued to the grave owner. This should be kept in a safe place as it will be required should there be a further burial in the grave at some point in the future. If you wish you can transfer those rights to another person, the documents that we will require from you are detailed below.

In accordance with the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order, all grave rights are sold for a fixed period. The number of years the rights have been granted for is shown on your Grave Grant. At the end of this period you may apply to the bereavement services office to extend those rights. Please advise us if you change your address. This is most important to enable us to keep our records up to date. If you wish to transfer the ownership during your lifetime you must complete a Form of Assignment and submit it to the bereavement services section, together with the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial. A blank Form of Assignment for you to complete is available from the bereavement services office.

Documents needed if a will was left

If the deceased owner left a will stating who the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial should be passed to and you are that person we will require:

  • the Grant of the Exclusive Right of Burial
  • the Grant of Probate
  • an Assent from the Executor(s) of the will giving the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial to you.      

    If the deceased owner left a will of insufficient value to merit application to be made for Grant of Probate and you claim the exclusive right of burial, we will require:

    • the Grant of the Exclusive Right of Burial
    • the Death Certificate
    • a Statutory Declaration detailing the relationship of the person claiming the right of exclusive burial to the deceased owner.
    • a Form of Renouncement from all other people who would be entitled to claim the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial.     

    Documents needed if there is no will

    If the owner dies without leaving a will we will require:

    • the Grant of the Exclusive Right of Burial
    • the Grant of Letters of Administration
    • an Assent from the Administrator(s) giving the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial to you.      

      If the estate is of insufficient value to merit application for Letters of Administration we will require:

      • the Grant of the Exclusive Right of Burial
      • the Death Certificate
      • a Statutory Declaration detailing the relationship of the person claiming the rights to the registered grave owner.
      • a Form of Renouncement from all other people that would be entitled to claim the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial.      

        Statutory Declarations must be witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths or Magistrate.

        Please note: References to Wills are references to Wills recognised as valid by the laws of England and Wales.