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Burials and Cremation

Cremation Procedures

As a cremation is an irreversible process, there is considerably more paperwork to be completed. This is to ensure that all procedures leading up to a loved one’s passing have been dealt with correctly – safeguarding the interests of the person who passed away and also the medical profession.

Medical Cause of Death Certificate – Issued by the doctor in attendance before the passing, and used for registration of the death. Once registered, a Registrar’s Certificate for Cremation will be issued.

Doctor’s Medical Certificate for Cremation – Usually issued by the General Practitioner; a form stating the cause, and any contributing factors leading to the death. This is then verified by an independent doctor who completes a Confirmatory Certificate. The charge for this paperwork is £164. This procedure is dealt with by the funeral director.

Application for Cremation – To be completed by the next of kin. This form confirms that all necessary parties are agreed on cremation, rather than burial, ensuring that there are no concerns regarding the death which could lead to further inquiry. Also, that there is no pacemaker or hazardous device in the body that is to be cremated.

Burial Procedures

The paperwork for a burial is less complex.

Medical Cause of Death Certificate – Issued by the doctor in attendance before the passing, and used for registration of the death. Once registered, a Registrar’s Certificate for Burial will be issued.

For burials in a churchyard this certificate is sufficient; however, if the burial is to take place in a private or municipal cemetery there may be additional documentation depending on the cemetery. After burial in a municipal cemetery, a Deed of Grant will be issued – this is proof of ownership for the grave and will be required for any reopening of that grave for further burials.

The maximum depth for burials is generally ‘double depth’ in most cemeteries (due to Health and Safety regulations) but can be limited to ‘single depth’ where the ground is unsuitable.