Grave ownership

Exclusive Right of Burial

When you purchase exclusive right of burial from our bereavement services, you are buying the exclusive rights to bury in that grave for a specific period of time from a minimum of ten up to 100 years.  The land remains our in effect you are leasing the grave. No burial may take place in the grave and no memorial may be placed on the grave without the express written permission of the grave owner. The grave owner has the right to be buried if there is space, written permission is not necessary. A fee is payable for the digging and preparation of a grave at the time of need and a fee is also payable for the installation or re-inscription of a memorial. The exclusive right may be extended at any time. Grave ownership cannot be bought in perpetuity and may not exceed 100 years.

Deed ownership of the exclusive right of burial is therefore a very important matter. Ownership can be transferred either during the owner/s lifetime or after death. The procedure for transferring the ownership is detailed below. Please advise us of any changes in name or address.

Our bereavement service, hold records that contain details of the registered grave owners. However, it is important that the deed holder keeps their deed of grant safe and is able to produce the document when required. We will issue this document when the grave lease is first purchased and should be produced for each burial or interment thereafter. It must be stressed that possession of the deed does not in itself signify the ownership of the exclusive rights of burial. Ownership is solely to those named on the deed.

Transfer of Deed Ownership

The deed owner can assign the exclusive right of burial, during their lifetime; to another individual on completion of an assignment form this is called a living transfer.

The deed owner can relinquish the exclusive right of burial if the grave has not been used for burial or interment; we will consider buying back the grave for a fee calculated on the number of years left on the deed. The request for relinquishing a deed will need to be put into writing to our bereavement service enclosing the original deed of grant. The procedure for establishing the deed ownership when the last original owner has died depends upon whether the deceased left a will.



For more information please access below.

Deceased left a valid will

If the deceased deed owner has made a valid will and left an estate of sufficient value which requires a grant of probate, the ownership of the deed can be transferred to the executor/s. The applicant must produce a sealed and embossed copy of the grant of probate along with forms of ID.

For example -

  • one form of photo ID
  • passport
  • driving licence
  • bus pass and

One proof of address -

  • council tax bill
  • TV licence
  • utility bills
  • birth certificate
  • marriage certificate only when necessary, you will be advised.

If the estate is not of sufficient value to require probate, ownership may be transferred to the executor/s named in the will by statutory declaration, you will need to produce the will as evidence of this. It is then the executor/s right to accept or to choose to transfer the deed ownership by using a form of assent. Seek help and advice from bereavement services staff.

Deceased dies Intestate

If there is no will the person/s who wish to deal with the affairs of the deceased can apply to a court for a grant of letters of administration which has a similar effect as Grant of Probate relating to a will. As with a grant of probate the original sealed document from the Court must be produced. You should speak to your own legal advisor or service to discuss this.

The applicant wishing to take transfer of a deed ownership should complete a statutory declaration. Statutory declarations are legal documents produced by our bereavement services. This document must be collected from Bereavement Services and taken away to be completed and signed in the presence of a Magistrate or Commissioner of oaths (usually a solicitor), then returned back to our sereavement services.

The statutory declaration should clearly set out the facts regarding the original purchase of the exclusive right of burial, the death of the registered deed owner, intestate or otherwise, and the relationship of the applicant to the registered Deed owner. The original deed of grant should accompany the declaration. Where the deed has been lost, suitable wording should be incorporated within the declaration to this effect. It is essential that all next of kin of the deceased deed owner complete a Form of Renunciation if they do not wish to be included in the new grave deed ownership and attach it to the declaration; this will be provided by bereavement services.


The following examples show some of the possible circumstances:

Deceased owner survived by Application made by Consents needed



None -

Transferred to spouse


son or daughter

Transferred to spouse -

assigned up to three children

No spouse -

But all Children
son or daughter All other children - irrespective of legitimacy*

No spouse or children –

But three brothers or sisters

brother - sister

All, other brothers/sisters

“*NOTE: Adopted children are for all purposes the child of the adoptive parent/s, not their birth parent/s, but fostered children are not”

For more information please access below flowchart-


Family disagreement

Where a family do not agree on the ownership of the deed and relevant consents are not made; the ownership cannot be transferred. We would advise that all parties involved seek legal advice to resolve complications. We cannot resolve these issues for the parties.