Home > Burial Procedures > Purchasing a Burial Plot

Purchasing a Burial Plot

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 30 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Death funeral burial burial Plot

It is estimated that just over a quarter of the British population chooses a traditional burial but even this relatively low percentage is still proving to be too much for cemeteries in the UK. Many local councils are having trouble providing spaces for their deceased residents, and it has been estimated that almost all of London’s cemeteries will be full by 2030. If you are considering a burial for yourself, even simply for your ashes after having been cremated, it may be best to act now and ensure that there will be a space reserved for you whenever you need it.

Selecting a Burial Plot

Given the high demand for the limited supply of plots available in UK cemeteries and graveyards, there may not be too many options available from which you can still select a burial plot. However, this does not mean that there aren’t still some decisions to be made. To begin with, think about where you would like to be laid to rest. Is there a certain town or city? Is there a particular graveyard or cemetery? Would you prefer to be in consecrated ground? Once you have a general idea of where you would like to be buried, contact the Cemetery Services (or similar) department of the local council in that area. This office will be able to tell you all about the burial options within their remit, though chances are that fees will be higher if you are not a resident of that area at the time of your death.

Do not be surprised if the office tells you that you can not buy a burial plot outright, but instead can buy the exclusive rights to that land for a certain number of years (usually between 25 and 100 years). This is a typical situation. It means that you will be awarded a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial (or similar) and will then be the only person able to bury in that plot for the number of years you have purchased. Often there will be the option to renew the Grant for another number of years if necessary.

Purchasing a Burial Plot as a Gift

Some people would like their whole family to be buried close to each other, and thus inquire about purchasing multiple plots with the intention of gifting them to others. Generally this is not a problem, but you will need to speak to the local authorities about their specific rules and regulations. It may be that you must provide a name for each plot, so think carefully about for whom you will be purchasing the exclusive rights. Also consider if you will still be willing to pay for an extension to the rights for that plot if needed in the future.

Not Purchasing a Burial Plot

At the moment it is by no means essential to pre-purchase the rights to a burial plot if you would like to be buried when you pass away. If you do not pre-purchase a plot, it is most likely that your loved ones will simply allow the funeral director to make these arrangements when they are needed. If, however, there are certain items that you would like included in your funeral service, buried with you in your coffin, or used to mark your grave, then these stipulations should be specifically written out in your will.

Purchasing a burial plot is an attractive option to people who want to be sure of their final resting place. It is not, however, strictly necessary to pre-purchase a burial plot for yourself. If you would like to be buried but have not pre-purchased a plot, leave these instructions in your will and you’re loved ones, with the help of their funeral director, will work towards seeing them through.

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I purchased a plot for my son however I think it was just for him. Is it possible to add myself to the same plot?
HayJay - 30-Oct-17 @ 3:05 PM
happyabbie - Your Question:
My dad has said he wants to be cremated and his ashes put with his dad, and other relatives (square headstone) each side of the square) in church yard down road where he grew up. I do not know who has deeds to my grandfathers plot or how I would go about organising it.

Our Response:
Try asking other family members, or you might be able to find out from the cemetery office - where there may be a record. The grave deeds title will usually be passed to administrator of the deceased's estate, so if you can establish who that was, it might help. If there was no executor or administrator deeds automatically pass to the next of kin.
FacingBereavement - 9-Oct-17 @ 3:19 PM
My dad has said he wants to be cremated and his ashes put with his dad, and other relatives (square headstone) each side of the square) in church yard down road where he grew up. I do not know who has deeds to my grandfathers plot or how I would go about organising it.
happyabbie - 8-Oct-17 @ 11:05 PM
Hayleybirkitt - Your Question:
My dad and his sister, there mum my nan is buried in a cemetery in Enfield, she died when he was 7 and the rights to her grave went to there dad, there dad disowned them after there mum died and they were left to be raised with family they have many years later as adults got in contact with there dad to ask for the rights to there mums grave and he had refused. can we not also buy rights to her grave he just wants to be buried with his mum when he dies! And unfortunately his dad is just a horrible horrible heartless man. we really want to be able to have rights to her grave what can we do? Surely a mothers children have rights to her grave? if I died I'd want my children to have the rights to my grave !

Our Response:
Unfortunately the person who holds the grave deeds holds the right to decide who is buried there.
FacingBereavement - 25-Sep-17 @ 2:11 PM
My dad and his sister, there mum my nan is buried in a cemetery in Enfield, she died when he was 7 and the rights to her grave went to there dad, there dad disowned them after there mum died and they were left to be raised with family they have many years later as adults got in contact with there dad to ask for the rights to there mums grave and he had refused .. can we not also buy rights to her grave he just wants to be buried with his mum when he dies! And unfortunately his dad is just a horrible horrible heartless man .. we really want to be able to have rights to her grave what can we do? Surely a mothers children have rights to her grave?if I died I'd want my children to have the rights to my grave !
Hayleybirkitt - 22-Sep-17 @ 11:16 PM
Nobby - Your Question:
Myself and wife purchased a burial plot in 2005 obviously for our burials,since then we have had a change of mind and now thinking of cremation. (Change of mind is will anybody religiously keep it tidy).If we wanted to go ahead with this would the local council buy the site back from us?

Our Response:
The council will most likely buy the plot back from you at the price you paid for it. It might be worth asking local funeral directors if you live in an area where demand for plots is high...you could secure a higher price selling it privately!
FacingBereavement - 20-Sep-17 @ 12:01 PM
Myself and wife purchased a burial plot in 2005 obviously for our burials,since then we have had a change of mind and now thinking of cremation. (Change of mind is will anybody religiously keep it tidy).If we wanted to go ahead with this would the local council buy the site back from us?
Nobby - 19-Sep-17 @ 3:45 PM
Von24 - Your Question:
We sadly recently lost both grandparents within 6 months of one another, both age 90. My grandfather was ex army and very well organised. He purchased a burial plot many years ago but when it came to burial, the funeral director said he could find it so had to purchase another. Is there any way I can search for myself? (Scotland)Thanks

Our Response:
Try all the cemeteries in the area(s) your grandfather might reasonably be expected to have purchased a plot?
FacingBereavement - 21-Aug-17 @ 2:47 PM
We sadly recently lost both grandparents within 6 months of one another, both age 90. My grandfather was ex army and very well organised. He purchased a burial plot many years ago but when it came to burial, the funeral director said he could find it so had to purchase another. Is there any way I can search for myself? (Scotland) Thanks
Von24 - 18-Aug-17 @ 5:56 PM
Hi,,,,,I've just bought a two person plot for myself and my partner, ( He gave me half of the money) Although we are not married,,,I need to know how to put his name on the deed as well as mine,,,,,At the moment i'm the only name on the deed because they said i couldn't put his name there,,,instead,,,make a will giving him permission that he comes with me once his time comes,,,,,,But a Will would cost more money again and i have nothing else that credits making a Will,,,,,Please,,,,any advice on this matter would gratefully be appreciated.... I really do need his name as well as mine on the deed.
Jay - 7-Jul-17 @ 12:57 PM
Koulla - Your Question:
Would like to find out how to get a plot to bury my mum in the Bromley borough

Our Response:
Here is Bromley council's web page which deals with purchase of a grave/burial plot.
FacingBereavement - 6-Jul-17 @ 2:43 PM
Would like to find out how to get a plot to bury my mum in the Bromley borough
Koulla - 6-Jul-17 @ 11:22 AM
My brother is buried in anothet town due to his father wanting him close. Hos father has now passed. How would i move my brother to my mothers double plot?
J - 29-Apr-17 @ 8:12 AM
Hi. My mother passed away 10 years ago. Her partnet at the time (not married) arranged a double plot.. to which the debt he left in my brother name.. who passed soon after. I am sure i am next of kin. How can i make sure that my mothers ex partnets does not get buried in that plot???
J - 29-Apr-17 @ 8:11 AM
Hello, I have a plot that I'm looking to sell as we are moving out of the area and I won't be able to use the plot. Also, because we'll be relocating nearly 300 miles away it's going to be a long way for my family and mainly my little girl if I die prematurely, to visit me. The grave is a double plot and situated in East London and has 35 years left on the lease. I'm open to offers as they currently sell for £3,300 on prepayment basis. Thank you for reading, Warm regards Mel
MrsJim - 16-Feb-17 @ 1:44 PM
Max - Your Question:
Hello my friend I went to a funeral director to talk about a funeral plan with the co op they told me that I had to buy a plot of land for me and my husband to be buried on in a Muslim so it has to be a Muslim graveyard I have contacted other funeral company's and they said nothing of having to buy a plot I always thought that was included in your funeral plan no one ever explained this to me I was wondering if you could advise me on how to go about purchasing a plot in a graveyard I live in Glasgow and their is a Muslim yard near buy but was told it was full would be so greatful if you could give me any advise help would be appreciated so much take care look forward to here from you thank you x

Our Response:
Different funeral plans contain different options, so it's your choice whether you buy the actual plot in advance or simply pay in instalments towards the cost of the funeral (which will include a plot purchase at the time of death). If you want to buy a burial plot in advance, you can, try contacting the Cemeteries Office at Glasgow council - they will be able to tell you what's available in the 32 Glasgow cemeteries.
FacingBereavement - 5-Jan-17 @ 11:29 AM
Hello my friend I went to a funeral director to talk about a funeral plan with the co op they told me that I had to buy a plot of land for me and my husband to be buried on in a Muslim so it has to be a Muslim graveyard I have contacted other funeral company's and they said nothing of having to buy a plot I always thought that was included in your funeral plan no one ever explained this to me I was wondering if you could advise me on how to go about purchasing a plot in a graveyard I live in Glasgow and their is a Muslim yard near buy but was told it was full would be so greatful if you could give me any advise help would be appreciated so much take care look forward to here from you thank you x
Max - 4-Jan-17 @ 1:10 PM
I'm trying to find out if we own a plot in Ely cemetery
Ally - 17-Dec-16 @ 8:17 PM
Hi there. My mother and father in law bought 2 plots in Scotland 17 years ago, beside my mother in laws parents grave. My father in law passed away over the weekend and it's came to light that if we bury him in the plot, there will be no space for my mother in law. The family are deeply saddened and I'm looking for any advice on how to proceed. We can't bring ourselves to tell my mother in law about it. Any advice would be appreciated. They need to know today what we want to do.
Rhiannon - 7-Dec-16 @ 4:22 PM
Hi My Dad was buried in what was supposed to be a double plot earlier this year however it has only just come to light from the funeral directors that some error has occurred and it is in actual fact a single plot only. Everyone really upset as don't want to disturb him although this has been suggested by funeral company. Can anyone advise what my options are it's our word against theirs. In addition the headstone for s double grave has been being talked about and organise for the last two weeks with them who are apparently looking at the correct data on the system but if they were the error would have come to light then sure it? Any help would be appeeciated as we all feel deeply saddened.
Ange - 2-Nov-16 @ 11:11 PM
My mother-in-law is buried in a double depth plot where my fater-in-law will be buried. He doesn't have any paperwork relating to this.Will we have to pay again for this? Who do we ask about it?
Bee - 1-Jul-16 @ 11:01 PM
How much is a plot to.purchase now please as i have my parents.Both urns at my brothers and have been talking of letting them be birried now as time is pushing.on and we are no longer getting any ypunger many thanks am in grimsby n e lincs
jenno 12345 - 4-Apr-16 @ 11:47 PM
I Am Sultan Zawarani,we lost our father when he came to UK from Egypt for a visit about 2 weeks ago in Addenbrooke's Hospital.So we need a space to bury him soon (Adult grave),because he is already embalm in uk hospital. So let me know if this space is still available and what are the required things from us and the last asking price for it . Waiting for your reply,
prince - 28-Sep-15 @ 5:15 PM
Brills - Your Question:
My Father reserved his plot in 1970`s/1980`s (he spoke of it afterwards but exact date unknown). He was buried double depth in 1996 with no problems leaving space for my mother, his wife. He would have complied with all necessary paperwork and payments to ensure the situation. I checked with them about two years ago that the plot was still available for my mother and was told it was. My mother is due to be buried there next week but the local council are asking for an advance payment of £200, because we do not have a deed. They admit that he may not have been given a deed at the time, there were no transfers of title to my mother requested at the time of his burial, they will not/cannot search the records. Apparently they have changed their rules and undertaken computerisation in the last few years but still say the onus is on the family to produce a deed (which may never have been given ! ). Please advise

Our Response:
It's a very specific case, but if the council never issued a deed and are refusing to search their records, we suggest you seek legal advice or make a formal complaint before paying the fee requested.
FacingBereavement - 21-Aug-15 @ 2:10 PM
My Father reserved his plot in 1970`s/1980`s (he spoke of it afterwards but exact date unknown). He was buried double depth in 1996 with no problems leaving space for my mother, his wife. He would have complied with all necessary paperwork and payments to ensure the situation. I checked with them about two years ago that the plot was still available for my mother and was told it was. My mother is due to be buried there next week but the local council are asking for an advance payment of £200, because we do not have a deed. They admit that he may not have been given a deed at the time, there were no transfers of title to my mother requested at the time of his burial, they will not/cannot search the records. Apparently they have changed their rules and undertaken computerisation in the last few years but still say the onus is on the family to produce a deed (which may never have been given ! ). Please advise
Brills - 20-Aug-15 @ 1:18 PM
My mother purchased a burial plot in a church after the loss of her son in the 1950's.She still has the receipt and pictures of the plot.We left the area and was too far to visit regularly.I took my mother to see the grave and although we can pinpoint where it is it is just flat basically.Would we still be able to place a plaque there now, and would it still belong to her as she purchased it.
Pohenhale - 22-Jul-15 @ 3:45 PM
@jay. Contact your local council (ask for Cemeteries) - they will be able to give you all the details.
FacingBereavement - 30-Jun-15 @ 12:10 PM
Please could you tell me how much it would be to buy a plotplease .
Jay - 26-Jun-15 @ 8:36 PM
@Pryncess Angel Dust. The local council will be the best place to start. They'll be responsbile for any municipal cemeteries in your area. Here is a directory of all the London Councils
FacingBereavement - 22-Jun-15 @ 2:00 PM
Im 26 and just lost my mum at 46 to lung cancer, im trying to get a plot somewhere in west london i have no idea who i should be contacting tho its all pretty confusing i want prices of how much it would be to bury her if any one knows or knows where i can look for this information please let me no thanks very much
Pryncess Angel Dust - 17-Jun-15 @ 12:00 AM
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