Home > Ask Our Experts > The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?

The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 13 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Grave Cemetery Plot Gravestone Grave

Q.

I lost my dad when I was really young and have never had a gravestone at his plot.

Because of a family argument, my uncle got the deeds to the plot rather than my mother and he never got a headstone because he didn't want him buried.

Can you give me any advice about how I would obtain the rights to get a headstone now - many years later? I would buy them if possible. Or could you give any advice about what I am entiled to do with the plot without needing the deeds such as putting a permentant vase or something there instead?

(I.F, 13 April 2009)

A.

What may be put on a grave site depends upon both the Deed of Grant as related to the plot and the rules and regulations of cemetery in which the grave resides.

Generally it is only the person who is named on the Deed of Grant to a cemetery plot who can erect memorials and decide upon the inscription of these items, but there may be some situations in which others can become involved. If, for example, the Deed of Grant has expired and needs to be extended then it may be that a second individual can become involved and do this. Similarly, if the person named on the Deed of Grant dies then the Deed becomes a part of his or her estate or is given to his or her next of kin.

However, for individuals who want to become more involved in the grave without waiting for one of these events, then a transfer of Deed can be undertaken. This requires the person named on the Deed to agree to transfer the title, and requires that both the person named on the Deed and the person to whom the Deed is transferring must register the new information at the cemetery office.

In addition to having the right to erect a memorial via the Deed of Grant, what may be put on a grave site must also conform to the cemetery's rules and regulations. These guidelines may specify the size and/or shape of a memorial, the type of materials which may be used, the number of items which may be erected and also cover smaller items such as permanent vases and plaques. These guidelines will also cover who has the right to erect or leave such items, so it is important to make sure that they are totally understood before any decisions are made regarding memorials.

If, after you check on both the Deed and the cemetery's regulations, you find that you will be unable to erect a gravestone as desired then you might consider another way of honouring your father. Planting a tree or flowers in his name, donating a bench in his name, erecting a plaque somewhere else in the cemetery or in another location may be possible ways by which his presence is acknowledged without requiring the Deed to his plot.

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[Add a Comment]
Ang - Your Question:
My sister died over 17 years ago and has never had a headstone will it cost to get one erected now.

Our Response:
If you ask at your local cemetery office, they will be able to give you the details of local stone masons who can give you a price for a headstone.
FacingBereavement - 16-Oct-17 @ 11:55 AM
My sister died over 17 years ago and has never had a headstone will it cost to get one erected now.
Ang - 13-Oct-17 @ 4:57 PM
My brother died and the deeds belonged to his girlfriend which at tym was ok however we have fallen out and she has now decided to make all changes to the original arrangments would never have bothered but she has not given any family the chance to be involved or has she meet any of the requests as his oldest sister and actual family whereas his girlfriend is not they were not married does this give me any rights to overturn her and have the headstone done as the whole family want
Kim - 5-Oct-17 @ 12:51 PM
How can i obtain the deeds to my dads plot. My brother i trusted and arrange our dads funeral to which we paid half direct to funeral director's and still have the receipt even though it was 17yrs ago. Brother has avoid all my attempts to add me or talk to me regarding a headstone. Until recently i asked for the deeds and full responsibility for our dads plot and he responded with his dead his not getting a headstone. Told me basically to go away. We since discovered he didnt pay anything to the funeral or cemetery but got the deeds. His not aware we know this. Do we have a case to claim the deeds
suzanne Akers - 29-Aug-17 @ 4:36 PM
Hello, pretty please can you help? My uncle passed Away last year, his wife has deed of grant, refuses to erect A headstone, my nanna wishes to obtain a headstone can you Tell me which court papers would be needed to take legal action to get deeds as it's our only option I'd be representing my nan in court as we can't afford solicitor fees, your our last hope to lay my uncle to rest properly. Thank you deeply.
Clmobbs82 - 1-Aug-17 @ 10:43 PM
My brother had a fiance, he unfortunately passed away. And to he honest we think she might have been the cause of it. he had just won a law suit and got a big settlement and only spent $20 to get a Cuban sandwich and died that night she kept the money paid for his grave sight her bills and bought the plot next to him. One day she completely disappeared from the face of the earth and then a police officer came to drop of the belongings of my brother, I asked her if she would please give me the grave plot since she moved on, and her response was "no you will never get it, that belongs to me and only me." and i said "but you have a daughter and what if she wants to be buried next to you there is no space, how will you take that opportunity away from her." she replied that is none of your concern this discussion is over." I am broken hearted and I need to see if there is any legal action I can take to get that plot back I am his only next to skin and I really want to be buried next to him my loving little brother. Please help me and thank you!
Machi - 31-Jul-17 @ 4:07 PM
When my husband died, I purchased a double plot and paid for his plot in full and arranged to make payments on my plot. Long story short, I was unable to make payments timely so the cementary canceled my contract.Recently, my husbands first wife died and their children purchased my plot and buried her next to my husband.Now the children are asking me to remove our double headstone so that they can put a headstone on their mother's grave. What can I do?
Tiger - 28-Jul-17 @ 6:07 PM
Nana - Your Question:
My grandchild died and I can't get my daughter to start a gravemarker for her, if they refuse to do this, can I with out their permission?I don't want my grandchild in an unmarked grave.

Our Response:
A council owned cemetery will not allow you to erect a headtone unless you are the holder of the grave deeds. You could try asking the council, but it may be that you will need to consider legal action (although there is no obligation on her part to erect a stone).
FacingBereavement - 24-Jul-17 @ 9:56 AM
My grandchild died and I can't get my daughter to start a gravemarker for her, if they refuse to do this, can I with out their permission? I don't want my grandchild in an unmarked grave.
Nana - 17-Jul-17 @ 12:43 AM
I am curious why you have not given me a reply to my enquiry.I can't seem to get a definitive answer to this,my wife's sisters action have left a great divede in the family .
J daz - 8-Jul-17 @ 3:21 PM
Hi my children's father had died and his partner doesn't get on with them she has gone ahead with a plaque at the crematorium. My grown up children are not happen with this.( they are next of kin) not her. My Daughter has been in touch with the crematorium to object and says she was told anyone can order a plaque. Is this right.
White - 7-Jul-17 @ 2:25 PM
Benson - Your Question:
How would she get the power of atternoy and for her dad or her mum and how much does this cost? And thank you for the help

Our Response:
You can do this online at the Office of the Public Guardian here
FacingBereavement - 6-Jul-17 @ 12:01 PM
How would she get the power of atternoy and for her dad or her mum and how much does this cost? And thank you for the help
Benson - 5-Jul-17 @ 5:48 PM
Benson- Your Question:
Hi my sister thinks that her dad has the deed to her mum's grave but he is incapable of doing anything how would she go about putting a headstone on her mum's grave admits been 10 years this year thank you

Our Response:
If her father is incapable, she should apply for power of attorney, so that she can manage his affairs for him. She should then be able to retrieve the deeds and take necessary steps to erect a headstone.
FacingBereavement - 5-Jul-17 @ 2:40 PM
Hi my sister thinks that her dad has the deed to her mum's grave but he is incapable of doing anything how would she go about putting a headstone on her mum's grave admits been 10 years this year thank you
Benson - 5-Jul-17 @ 7:44 AM
My wife's sisters daughter passed away recenently.We have a family plot with both our grandparents and parents interred .My sister has had her daughters ashes interred in the plot without any consultation with myself or other siblings We found out about it on Facebook .Does she have the right to do this.We live in Scotland.
J.daz - 18-Jun-17 @ 1:20 PM
My Father was killed in action before I was born. My grandmother and her other sons decided not to include my Mum and me on the Headstone. I am 17 In November this year, do I have any right to get it changed?
Georgia - 19-May-17 @ 11:09 AM
Cay - Your Question:
What can I do if the cemetery (in California) I am trying to order my mother's headstone from will not correct the dates on their contract? I am required to go through this cemetery, but the representative will not correct the wrong date she put on my forms. She says to wait for a proof, but I want the original forms to be correct.

Our Response:
Unfortunately we can only comment on UK based cases as we are not sufficiently familiar with the laws of other countries.
FacingBereavement - 18-May-17 @ 10:35 AM
What can I do if the cemetery (in California) I am trying to order my mother's headstone from will not correct the dates on their contract?I am required to go through this cemetery, but the representative will not correct the wrong date she put on my forms.She says to wait for a proof, but I want the original forms to be correct.
Cay - 17-May-17 @ 1:16 AM
Hello. My sister had a still born son 3 years ago who was cremated. She kept his ashes but wants them buried and a grave plot to be able to visit. Is this possible and does it cost alot?
Hales - 21-Apr-17 @ 11:55 PM
Tammy - Your Question:
I want to know the answer to this question my family is going thru the exact thing please I need to know I was threatened with the police ( being arrested) if I put one on there. Even though it's been 3 years!!

Our Response:
Which question? The one above has been answered in the article and the one below also has an answer?
FacingBereavement - 19-Apr-17 @ 11:42 AM
Jr - Your Question:
I have a difficult situation my sister died 2 years ago her husband did not get a headstone her husband oit of spite said we cant buy her one all my parents want is for there daughter to have a headstone. Now he has moved oit of north carolina is there anyway that we can buy my sister a headstome my dad is heartbroken

Our Response:
We can only speak from a UK point of view. Here you can you only arrange the headstone/memorial if you are the holder of the grave deeds. If the deed holder refuses to erect a headstone, the only option is to try legal action via the courts.
FacingBereavement - 19-Apr-17 @ 11:42 AM
I want to know the answer to this question my family is going thru the exact thing please I need to know I was threatened with the police ( being arrested) if I put one on there.. Even though it's been 3 years!!
Tammy - 16-Apr-17 @ 6:50 PM
I have a difficult situation my sister died 2 years ago her husband did not get a headstone her husband oit of spite said we cant buy her one all my parents want is for there daughter to have a headstone. Now he has moved oit of north carolina is there anyway that we can buy my sister a headstome my dad is heartbroken
Jr - 14-Apr-17 @ 8:27 PM
Dmarie - Your Question:
My fiance passed 7 months ago. I realized that his mom has put no tombstone we have 3 kids together in feel horrible my kids going to see just dirt nothing in the memory of there father. Is there anything I can do?

Our Response:
Talk to his mother first of all (assuming she's the one that holds the grave deeds). Maybe she can't afford this at the moment or is still waiting for the stone to be completed?
FacingBereavement - 10-Apr-17 @ 12:48 PM
My fiance passed 7 months ago. I realized that his mom has put no tombstone we have 3 kids together in feel horrible my kids going to see just dirt nothing in the memory of there father... Is there anything I can do?
Dmarie - 7-Apr-17 @ 12:55 PM
Caz - Your Question:
Hi I wonder if you can help me please. My Husband died 18 years ago and I purchased a double plot for him and myself. I have a headstone at the grave with an inscription for him. I left the bottom half of the headstone blank for myself.My Brother in law died 2 years ago the family asked my permission if they could bury his ashes with my husband and I gave written permission. ( I do not talk to the family as we fell out years ago) I did not give them permission to write on the headstone as that space was for me when I die. But they have done this and I am so upset. I am the deed holder. Is there anything I can do? I thought they would have had to have my written permission before going ahead with this. Kind Regards

Our Response:
Yes they should have obtained your permission beforehand and whoever did the engraving should have been approved by the cemetery office and should have checked the title deeds before carrying out the work. The best solution if there is no space for your name when you die, might be to take legal action for payment for an additional or replacement headstone.
FacingBereavement - 6-Apr-17 @ 2:02 PM
Hi I wonder if you can help me please. My Husband died 18 years ago and I purchased a double plot for him and myself. I have a headstone at the grave with an inscription for him. I left the bottom half of the headstone blank for myself. My Brother in law died 2 years agothe family asked my permission if they could bury his ashes with my husband and I gave written permission. ( I do not talk to the family as we fell out years ago) I did not give them permission to write on the headstone as that space was for me when I die. But they have done this and I am so upset. I am the deed holder. Is there anything I can do?I thought they would have had to have my written permission before going ahead with this. Kind Regards
Caz - 5-Apr-17 @ 6:39 PM
PEG - Your Question:
Hi I im getting a head stone for my nanna and grandads grave my mum and aunts ashes are also buried there can I have all there names on the head stone ore do I need permission I would also like to have my dads name on it as well under in memory of is this allowed as I was told ide have to get permission 1st

Our Response:
Check with the cemetery office. Generally you the holder of the grave deeds can put whatever they like on the headstone, within the cemetery rules.
FacingBereavement - 24-Mar-17 @ 11:06 AM
hi i im getting a head stone for mynanna and grandads grave my mum and aunts ashes are also buried there can i have all there names on the head stone ore do i need permission i would also like to have my dads name on it as well under in memory of is this allowed as i was told ide have to get permission 1st
PEG - 21-Mar-17 @ 7:13 AM
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