Transfer of burial rights

Interment paperwork required has, up to now, been:

  • Preliminary Particulars of Interment (faxed to office) - this may be preceded by a telephone booking
  • Notice of Interment NCR 3 part set - to be hand delivered at least two days before interment
  • Deed of Grant or ‘Loss of Deeds’ declaration (a form of indemnity) for private graves
  • Burial certificate from the Registrar (green form) or cremation certificate or other disposal certificate - such as from the coroner or hospital
  • Interment and/or Exclusive Right of Burial fees - to be hand delivered at least two days before interment

Signatures of both the applicant for the burial and the deed holder are required on the Notice of Interment. The deed holder’s signature is not required if the Exclusive Right of Burial has not been purchased (for example, if it is a public grave) or where it is to be purchased later. A separate form is available for this purpose.

If the deed is not produced at the time, then a Loss of Deeds indemnity form has traditionally been completed by the deed holder and, sometimes, by the next of kin, as a means of exercising the right to bury in the grave. However, this cannot be used by anyone other than the deed owner to claim the burial rights. For a person other than the original deed holder to claim the burial rights or to declare a ‘loss of deeds’, a legally binding form of transfer must have previously been completed and a new deed holder declared.

The transfer of the grave rights should previously have been achieved by one of the following means:

  • form of assignment (signed in the presence of a Magistrate or Commissioner for Oaths)
  • grant of probate
  • grant of letters of administration
  • form of assent

When the deed holder is living

Where the deed holder is still living, their signature must be obtained. If there are joint or multiple grant holders, then both or all are required to sign. If a transfer of grant has taken place, then a ‘form of assignment’, duly notarised and witnessed, must be produced and the new deed holder’s signature obtained.

When the deed holder is deceased

If the deed holder is previously deceased and no transfer of the burial rights has taken place, the normal rules of inheritance will usually be observed with ownership being transferred as property via the estate of that person.

If the deed holder is the interred deceased, the grave owner’s details can be verified against the details on the interment form. Technically however, the next of kin should complete a ‘statutory declaration’ to legally transfer the burial rights, together with a Loss of Deeds form if the deeds cannot be produced.

Statutory declarations

A statutory declaration can be used to transfer ownership and usually conveys the ‘known wish’ of the deceased grave owner. Statutory declarations are legal documents which must be signed in the presence of either a Magistrate or a Commissioner for Oaths - they are often a useful way of transferring the burial rights legally and quickly, without the need to go through a long drawn out legal process which could delay the interment.

Milton Keynes Council proposes to introduce the use of statutory declarations in cases where the grave owner is deceased and a legal transfer of the burial rights has not taken place before the proposed interment.

Crownhill Crematorium and Cemetery Team

Crownhill Crematorium and Cemetery Team contact information

Crownhill and Crematorium and Cemetery Office, Dansteed Way, Crownhill, Milton Keynes MK8 0AH