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What are my options for a burial?
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Home / Making a Will / Creating your Will / What are my options for a burial?

Do I have to be buried on consecrated land?

There is no requirement that a person be buried on “consecrated land” (land which has been declared by the church to be sacred). Some cemeteries and graveyards are made up of both consecrated and non-consecrated land and some cemeteries and graveyards have areas of non-consecrated land set aside for the use of particular denominations or religious bodies.

Can I be buried in the church graveyard of my choice?

If you are a parishioner or inhabitant of a parish or die within the parish you have the right to be buried in the parish churchyard or burial ground. You are also entitled to be buried in the parish churchyard or burial ground if, at the date of your death, your name is entered on the church electoral roll of the parish.

If you do not have the right to be buried in the parish of your choice permission can be obtained from the minister of the parish.

Can I be buried in the cemetery of my choice?

There is no right for a person to be buried in the cemetery of their choice. Permission for a burial in a cemetery must be obtained from the “burial authority” (the owner of the cemetery).

Can I reserve a plot in a church graveyard?

There is no right to the exclusive use of a particular part of a churchyard. In order to reserve a plot a “faculty” (permission) must be obtained from the Ecclesiastical Court.

Can I reserve a plot in a cemetery?

There is no right to the exclusive use of a particular part of a cemetery. In order to reserve a plot permission must be obtained from the burial authority.

Can I be buried in my garden?

As long as there are no restrictive covenants affecting the use of the land and no “nuisance” is caused a person can be buried in their garden or on other private land, providing that the land owner’s consent and the consent of the local authority is obtained.

There is no requirement that the land be consecrated. There are laws relating to the making and storage of records relating to burials, the registration of burials and as to the depth of graves. It is worth noting that the Secretary of State has the right to inspect any burial ground and has the power to require the removal of a body or human remains from its place of burial.

Can I be buried without there being a religious service?

A burial can take place without a religious service. However, if you wish to be buried in a church graveyard on consecrated land the burial service of the Church of England will normally need to be performed. It is possible to be buried in a church graveyard without the burial service of the Church of England being performed if the person arranging the funeral gives notice to the rector, vicar, incumbent or officiating minister that a burial service of the Church of England is not required.

Burial in a cemetery may take place without any religious service.

How can I make my wishes known?

If you make a will you will have the opportunity to specify any funeral wishes you may have in your will. Funeral wishes are not legally binding as ultimately it is for your executors or administrators (where there are no executors) to decide upon how your body is disposed of and your funeral conducted. However, where a person’s wishes have been made clear they will normally be adhered to.

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Single Will or Mirror Wills?

If you are a couple and wish to leave all your assets to each other then you could save money by making  Mirror Wills. You can also use Mirror Wills if you whish to leave your estate to the same beneficiaries. 
 
If you wish to leave different legacies, appoint different executors or you would like to specify individual funeral wishes then you will need to make two Single Wills.
single will mirror will