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The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 4 May 2018 | 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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Mum passed away 3 years ago and brother took total control eliminating me from making decisions for the funeral and we've spent the last three in an estate dispute. Although I offered to pay for a headstone a number of times through my solicitor, he ignored my requests. Payments are now due to be distributed to beneficiaries and he has decided on style and wording of headstone to be paid out of the estate. Does he have the right to claim these costs at this stage? I'm not standing in the way of him erecting a headstone but as we will never agree on the style or wording I believe he should fund this himself. Thank you
Mickynorth - 4-May-18 @ 8:39 PM
Rose - Your Question:
My dad passed and my mom has deed to grave. I have a half sibling who is sticking her nose in and is going to buy a headstone with just his name on stone. She cannot have it placed unless she has a deed, correct.? My mom intends on getting a stone with both names on it.

Our Response:
No only the deed holder can have a headstone erected. The deed holder can take legal action to have one erroneously erected.
FacingBereavement - 20-Apr-18 @ 12:23 PM
My dad passed and my mom has deed to grave. I have a half sibling who is sticking her nose in and is going to buy a headstone with just his name on stone. She cannot have it placed unless she has a deed, correct.? My mom intends on getting a stone with both names on it.
Rose - 18-Apr-18 @ 1:12 AM
My x husband died and the deeds have been changed into my name I want to get a new headstone for my son grave and do not want my x husband surname put on there my 4 daughters do not want he’s surname put back on it also as was not a good dad left them when they were young can I do that buy a new one and leave the surname off
Bernie - 6-Apr-18 @ 3:05 PM
Lisa - Your Question:
My mother died in March 8th 2015Is there in any way I can get a grant or any help to pay for a headstone for her grave.I'm a single mother of 2 young children.i have no saving and no family to turn to to ask to help pay some money towards the headstone.the grave yard she is buried in us beautiful and all thexcited other gravestone have head stones.this has made me so depressed that I can't afford to buy my mum and simple headstone.if any one knows where I can get some kind of help pls could you let me know as I would be very grateful for any kind of help.much appreciated lisa

Our Response:
Here are some suggestions:
Try The Turn 2 Us website
Ask the funeral director if they have any schemes that allow you to pay back over a period of time
Try your local council or Citizens' Advice to see if there are any locally available grants
FacingBereavement - 6-Apr-18 @ 12:43 PM
My mother died in March 8th 2015 Is there in any way I can get a grant or any help to pay for a headstone for her grave.I'm a single mother of 2 young children.i have no saving and no family to turn to to ask to help pay some money towards the headstone.the grave yard she isburied in us beautiful and all thexcited other gravestone have head stones.this has made me so depressed that I can't afford to buy my mum and simple headstone.if any one knows where i can get some kind of help pls could you let me know as I would be very grateful for any kind of help.much appreciated lisa
Lisa - 5-Apr-18 @ 6:06 PM
Marie - Your Question:
When two people who own the deed. And they can't agree on the name for a head stone. One person wants no last name. And the other person wants legal last name on head stone. How do you petition the court?

Our Response:
You could try a mediation service first? It's a bit ridiculous to spend money on a court case but if you wanted to do, it would be most likely the consistory court (church council) you should apply to.
FacingBereavement - 19-Mar-18 @ 10:11 AM
When two people who own the deed. And they can't agree on the name for a head stone. One person wants no last name. And the other person wants legal last name on head stone. How do you petition the court?
Marie - 16-Mar-18 @ 3:20 AM
D - Your Question:
I my brother had the title deeds in his name for my dads grave from 1998 my mom was still alive and we were told that because they had been put in his name so long that my sister would have to get him to sign them over if my mom wanted to be buried with dad. If dad had died recently mom who have had the title deeds because it was so long ago they must stay in my brothers name how can we get them changed over or do we need his permission

Our Response:
Sorry it's not really clear what your question is? Is your mother still alive? Is your brother refusing permission to have her buried in the plot when she dies?
FacingBereavement - 12-Mar-18 @ 12:25 PM
my adoptedsister is the exeutor of my mums will.My mum wi8shed to be cremated and interned with my brother and faher. This i arranged but my sister has had the headstone and the border frame removed you can see where it has been smashed off. This was not what my mother wanted all she wished is to be added to the headstone and any wording that needed to be replaced as done no the whole grave has nothing on it. My daughter is a beneficerie and my sister is fully aware that this was never my mums wish but she is anry that she not her children were listsed to inherit. The grave looks vandalised with smashed debris of white marbel . What can i do is this allowed . Legally how do i stop her from doing this as she is intent on sing the inheritance to do this against the whole familes and my mums wishes.
katie - 12-Mar-18 @ 9:28 AM
My mum passed away 10 months ago she had a prepaid f plan but it didn’t cover the price of the burial plot so that had to be paid for as my brother organisedthe funeral he paid the extra cost and I sent a cheque to him to cover this out of mums estate,he returned this to me because he said that mum should not have to pay for her own grave! he is with me an executor of mums willbut he signed the paperwork for funeral should I as the other executor signed the paperwork also as now he has the deeds to the grave and myself and my siblings have to get his permission to erect a gravestone is this legal?as there is a family rifthe would probably stop us from putting a headstone on mums grave so this is why I am wondering if I should have signed any paperwork concerning mums burial. Would really appreciate some advice
Wheels - 11-Mar-18 @ 6:49 PM
I got told the person who paysfor gravefirst dad then mum they atomatic become deed owner ,so why was it given to my natratissticbrother he refused to put inscriptions on headstone and removes my things i put on grave
dee dee - 11-Mar-18 @ 6:13 PM
My sister was buried 5 years ago. Her ex husband married and moved to the U.S.A The family would like to put a headstone on the grave. The ex husband has the deeds to plot.
Olive - 11-Mar-18 @ 5:38 PM
I my brother had the title deeds in his name for my dads grave from 1998 my mom was still alive and we were told that because they had been put in his name so long that my sister would have to get him to sign them over if my mom wanted to be buried with dad. If dad had died recently mom who have had the title deeds because it was so long ago they must stay in my brothers name how can we get them changed over or do we need his permission
D - 9-Mar-18 @ 11:30 AM
Hi My step sister has the deeds,but does speak to her step dad, my dad paid for the grave /headstone etc. I'm. His nok what rights has me or my dad got to get this feed of her.
Marie - 3-Feb-18 @ 10:59 PM
Missy - Your Question:
My dad died 10 years ago and was cremated. My brother told me that because my dad was cremated we can't put up a headstone. Recently this topic came up and I was told that he (my brother) was wrong and that many people choose to put up a headstone or a memorial marker. Is it too late to have a memorial marker, or tombstone?I am divorced now and would very much like to be buried next to my dad. He was an awesome dad and I miss him so much. I want his life to be remembered for generations to come. Something tangible. A place to sit and remember. (A bench too)Is it too late? My mother is still alive. When she dies she could be there too. They were together for over 50 years.Please give a definite answer and not a guess. Thank you

Our Response:
Contact your local cemetery office to see whether a memorial stone is possible...most cemeteries have a specific area for those who've been cremated. Of course, there is nothing to prevent you from having a bench erected in your father's favourite spot, you just need to contact the landowner to see if this is possible. Many places such as National Truts properties will place a small plaque on a bench or erect a bench specially (depending on the size of your donation).
FacingBereavement - 29-Jan-18 @ 11:18 AM
Marie - Your Question:
HI Suzanne How did you get on as I'm in the same similar situation. But in my case,My dad still has the full receipts for the GRAVE but my steps is yer had signed the deeds.

Our Response:
If the deed holder refuses to erect a memorial or headstone, we think maybe a court order might be the only option, but it's worth contacting the cemetery office to see what they can suggest.
FacingBereavement - 29-Jan-18 @ 11:14 AM
HI Suzanne How didyou get on as I'm in the samesimilar situation. But in my case,My dad still has the full receipts for the GRAVEbut my steps is yer had signed the deeds.
Marie - 26-Jan-18 @ 1:29 PM
My dad died 10 years ago and was cremated. My brother told me that because my dad was cremated we can't put up a headstone.Recently this topic came up and I was told that he (my brother) was wrong and that many people choose to put up a headstone or a memorial marker. Is it too late to have a memorial marker, or tombstone? I am divorced now and would very much like to be buried next to my dad. He was an awesome dad and I miss him so much. I want his life to be remembered for generations to come. Something tangible. A place to sit and remember.(A bench too) Is it too late? My mother is still alive. When she dies she could be there too. They were together for over 50 years. Please give a definite answer and not a guess. Thank you
Missy - 22-Jan-18 @ 10:35 PM
My father in law died in December he was buried with my Mother in law,Sister in law and my wife is to be placed in the said grave he had a partner of 20 year who is to be interned in another grave dose my wife have the right to the head stone
Mack - 12-Jan-18 @ 7:11 PM
My son was buried almost 16 yrs ago and his grave stone is damaged he is buried in a grave yard. My ex refuses to let me have a new stone what can I do about this as I want a new one for him.
Del - 4-Jan-18 @ 3:36 AM
De de - Your Question:
My brother owns deeds to grave he needs inscriptions on headstone but says I have to pay for removel of ststone to put inscription on

Our Response:
This is between you and brother to agree between you really, we're sorry we can't really give any advice here.
FacingBereavement - 4-Dec-17 @ 2:22 PM
My brother owns deeds to grave he needs inscriptionson headstone but says i have to pay for removel of ststone to put inscriptionon
De de - 3-Dec-17 @ 10:19 PM
If there are two names on the deeds..Can you still erect a stone even if only one gains permission.
BT - 24-Nov-17 @ 3:02 PM
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
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