What is an ‘Exclusive Right of Burial’?
Purchasing the ‘Exclusive Right of Burial’ means that the grave may not be opened or reopened, and no one may be buried there without your permission.
As the Exclusive Right of Burial owner, you have the right to decide who will be buried in that grave and any memorial placed upon it. However, these rights do not make you the landowner and therefore permission should be sought before you can do anything to the grave.
In North Lincolnshire, you may initially purchase this right for a maximum of 50 years in one of the cemeteries we own.
During the period, or at the end of this time you may extend the right, but you are not permitted to exceed the maximum of 50 years.
Where the Exclusive Right of Burial has lapsed, the ownership reverts to North Lincolnshire Council and as such, we may reuse or resell any space remaining. Only an unused grave may be reused or resold. Graves in which a burial has taken place cannot currently be reused. However, for any changes to be made to existing memorials, or for any further interments to occur in such a grave, the ownership of the Exclusive Right of Burial must be transferred.
An Exclusive Right of Burial must be purchased prior to any interments taking place.
Information on the transfer of the Exclusive Right of Burial can be found below.
What is the difference between a Traditional Grave and a Lawned Grave?
A Traditional grave allows for the entire grave can be surrounded by kerbs, edging or mounded full-length, with a memorial stone placed at the head of the grave.
A Lawned grave will only permit a memorial headstone to be erected at the head end of the grave; no planting or other items are permitted within the grave space. We cannot accept any form of edging around the grave as this restricts our mowing and maintenance, nor will you be permitted to create a garden area.
It is important to note that there are defined areas with cemeteries for Traditional and Lawn sections and you will not be permitted to erect a memorial kerb set in an area of the cemetery defined as a Lawn section.
What happens if the owner of these rights dies?
If the owner of the Exclusive Rights dies, it is assumed that they give permission to be interred into their own grave. After this time the Rights become part of their estate and may be left in a will to someone else.
If the Rights are not specifically mentioned in the will, they will form part of the ‘Residuary Estate ‘ of the will, usually willed as ‘and all my other worldly goods’ at the end of the will.
Whoever inherits the Rights will need to contact our office and arrange a transfer of ownership before the grave can be opened again.
It is best to do this as soon as possible after inheriting the Rights.
Can I transfer ownership to someone else?
Yes, simply contact us and we will send you details of how this can be done.
The owner of the rights died some years ago, and the family want to reuse the grave for another interment
In order for this to happen, you will need to contact us, and we will help you to ascertain if we are able to transfer ownership to you.
You may need to show us copies of any Will and/or Grant of Probate, and as this process may take some time complete, please don’t wait until you need to arrange a funeral.
In some cases, you may be asked to make a formal declaration in front of a Magistrate; we can advise you of the process and supply the document for you.
Ownership is the family’s responsibility; we cannot accept an interment unless ownership has been confirmed.
Can two people own these rights?
Ordinarily we will only grant Exclusive Rights to an individual, although we do permit joint ownership should a family request this. Parents of a child 17yrs and under are always encouraged to have the exclusive rights in both parent’s names.
Where joint ownership has been requested, please bear in mind that authorisation from ALL parties would be required for every action relating to the grave.
What are Memorial Rights?
In North Lincolnshire, the right to erect a memorial is automatically granted when Exclusive Rights of Burial is purchased, however, you will still need to apply for permission to erect the monument.
This must be done using a NAMM registered or similar approved memorial mason and there is a charge for the approved permit.
We are keen to promote personal memorials within our cemeteries and will do our utmost to accommodate your personal requests where possible, subject to meeting our regulations regarding size and fixing methods. However, we reserve the right to refuse a memorial which is deemed unsuitable.
If you place private mementos and other items on a grave, please be aware that as the owner, these items belong to you, and we cannot accept responsibility for private property which is subsequently damaged as part of our maintenance of cemetery areas.
Please be mindful of leaving any items which have great sentimental value.
A list of prohibited items that must not be placed on a grave (alcohol, glass etc.) can be found in our Cemetery Regulations. Such items may be removed immediately without notice. The Regulations can be found online at: Bereavement Rules and Regulations
Can I pre-purchase a grave ahead of time?
Yes, this is permitted in all of our cemeteries.
Please complete the attached form and payment. <insert form-see notes below>.
The grave deed will not be granted until such a time as payment has been received.
Unfortunately, Exclusive Rights must be purchase in full, we are unable to arrange for any part payments.
What if the Deed to the Rights goes missing?
When a Grave Deed is granted, it is important that you return the grave receipt containing your usual signature.
If you are the registered owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial, and have returned the grave receipt, we will be able to match you signature with that submitted on the grave receipt.
If the grave receipt was not returned to us, you will be asked to confirm your identity. We will ask you to attend the Bereavement Services Office and provide 2 forms of ID to ensure we are providing the copy Deed to the correct person(s).
If you are entitled to be the owner through inheritance, we will guide you through the correct transfer procedure.
Please note: As owner of the Rights 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 future interments can take place.
We do not permit the erecting of a memorial headstone, for a period of 6 months following the burial.