Six Statements About Grave Ownership
TRUE or FALSE?
“I paid for the grave, I own it”. FALSE!
When a grave is purchased, the actual land is not purchased, just the right to have a burial or burials in that grave. The land remains in the ownership of the Burial Authority i.e. Leverington Parish Council.
“I can do what I like with the grave”. FALSE!
Owning the rights to the grave means that the owner can say who can be buried there and within
the burial authority’s regulations, what memorial can be placed on the grave. The owner does not have the right to do anything to the grave that doesn’t comply with the regulations.
“I have got the grave rights for ever”. FALSE!
The Local Authorities’ Cemetery Order 1977 allows the Burial Authority – Leverington Parish Council – decide how long they issue rights for and all rights in the Parish Cemetery are for 60 years.
“I hold the ‘deed’ to the grave so I’m the owner”. FALSE!
Possession of the deed does not imply ownership. The owner is the person who the burial authority has recorded in the Register of Purchased Graves. If the owner is deceased, a transfer of ownership needs to take place before a burial can be allowed in the grave.
“As I am next of kin everything comes to me automatically”. FALSE!
The Local Authorities‘ Cemetery Order 1977 specifies that rights can be assigned by deed or bequeathed in a will. If the grave owner is alive and wishes to transfer ownership they must use a Form of Assignment. If the owner is deceased, ownership passes according to whether they left a will and probate was granted, if not a statutory declaration can be used to transfer to the entitled relative.
“I’ve been told you can reuse my grave after 100 years”. FALSE!
The Burial Authority can remove any memorial from the grave, it cannot however, disturb any previously buried remains for the purpose of reusing that grave for future burials.