Exclusive Right of Burial and Transfer of Burial Rights

We will help you in the selection of a grave plot either for a pending funeral service or for a purchase of Rights of Burial in reserve.

Normally, your funeral director will help to make the necessary arrangements for purchasing the Exclusive Rights of Burial. Some people may want to make their own arrangements at the time of the funeral – you can organise this by contacting us directly and we will be happy to advise you.

The Exclusive Right of Burial to a grave or cremation plot in any of the council's cemeteries can be purchased either at the time of an interment or in advance to reserve a plot.

  • By purchasing the Exclusive Right of Burial, the purchaser does not own the land or plot itself, but they do have the sole right to say who is buried in that plot or to be buried in that plot themselves
  • The purchaser also has the right to apply to have a memorial placed on that plot, and also has the right to apply to have an inscription added to that memorial, please see our list of fees and regulations for guidance
  • If the Right is purchased at the time of an interment, the fee will be based on whether the deceased qualifies for residency fees or not (residency is based on last known address). However, if the Right is purchased in advance then the fees will be based on whether the purchaser satisfies the residency rules or not
  • A Deed of Grant will be issued to the purchaser. This deed will last for 30 years from the date it is issued
  • Only the owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial has the aforementioned rights. Following the demise of the owner, no one else has the right to be buried in that plot or to apply to have a memorial or additional inscription added without the ownership being transferred (Transfer of Burial Rights)
  • You may wish to consider multiple ownership e.g. husband/wife; husband/wife and a son/daughter; two or three siblings etc. As long as there is one surviving owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial when the plot is full, there will still be a living owner who has the right to place a memorial on the plot or to add an inscription to that memorial
  • If there are multiple owners, however, they will all have an equal right to be buried in that plot until such time as it is full
  • Also, should there be multiple ownership of Exclusive Right of Burial, any application for an interment or a memorial/additional inscription would need to be made by all those named on the deed
  • Should the Exclusive Right of Burial not be purchased until an interment is taking place, it would normally be expected that the surviving spouse and/or next of kin would be named as owner
  • Should an interment be due to take place but the owner of Exclusive Right of Burial (purchaser) is deceased and the person being interred was not that owner, it will be necessary to arrange for the Transfer of Rights to take place by means of a legal process, such as applying for probate or letters of administration, before any application relating to the grave plot or memorial can be considered. This lengthy legal process would considerably delay opening a grave plot for an interment or placing a memorial on a plot but could be avoided if there is still a living owner
  • It is possible to add an owner or to transfer ownership whilst the owners or sole surviving owner is still alive. Contact us to discuss further

Please Note: As owner of the Right to a grave you are responsible for informing the council of any change of address. If a problem occurs with the grave or the monument and we cannot contact you, we have the right to take whatever action is necessary to rectify the problem. If this involves a cost to the council, this may be levied against the grave, and must be paid before any more interments can take place.

Who can buy Rights of Burial in the borough?

  • Anyone can purchase the rights of burial
  • Non-residents can purchase Rights of Burial in a cemetery but must pay a non-resident fee, which is twice the fee of that for a resident

After you have bought the burial rights, we will send you the deed of Rights of Burial, which lasts for 30 years. Keep the deed in a safe place as you will need to provide details from them when ordering a memorial and arranging any future burials.

Return a burial plot to the council

If you have purchased a plot and no longer wish to retain it, it is possible to apply for a refund. Please note that an administration fee will apply.

Where the fee has been paid for the purchase of a right of burial for a fixed term, the refund will be reduced by the period of the term, which has already elapsed, less the administration fee of £10.00.

For example, for a 30 year term with 27 years remaining, the refund would be 90% of the original fee paid less £10.00 administration charge.

If you have reserved a plot by paying a reservation fee, this is non refundable.