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The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 25 Nov 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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My grandmother died way back in 1925. Her grave was only marked by a boulder with no inscription. After many years I have finally located the grave and I want to place a more permanent stone there in order to recognise long held family regrets for her anonymous plot. Can I legally do that?
Stu - 25-Nov-18 @ 2:40 PM
Can i erect a headstone on my mothers grave she died 12 years ago? Another member of the family has the deed but she will not give us permission to put oneup because we stole a lot of her money she was entitled to from our mother.
Rick - 18-Nov-18 @ 8:36 PM
I would like to put a headstone on my Grandsons grave my son and daughter in law are ok with this can I have one
Lyn - 11-Nov-18 @ 8:33 PM
My two sisters have erected a headstone on a family grave without the deed of Grant they have also included my mum under the header of the grave which was her maiden name and not her married name and without the consent of her husband is this legal
Starlight Catherine - 9-Nov-18 @ 6:50 AM
Hello my friends son, 17 died in a tragic accident a year ago. The church have made it very difficult to deal with. The stone has been laid in the wrong place & it half on & half off of his grave. The Vicar wants it there & wont let it be put onto his actual grave. This is causing so much upset & agony. Any advice is very welcome. Thank you
Shell - 6-Oct-18 @ 1:34 PM
My brother passed away 2015 and the only person on the deed list is his wife but she has not done a headstone for him..now my family wants one done but she will not sign for rights to be passed over..what can i do?
ninja - 26-Aug-18 @ 11:15 AM
I just found out recently that my grandmother name is not on the headstone with my grandfather, as he married again after she died, just my grandfather and his second wife are on it, I would like to have my grandmother recognized as being there, do I need permission or can I go ahead and buy a separate plaque in her memory..
Kate - 18-Aug-18 @ 10:51 PM
Hi,my brother arranged the headstone for my mums grave, it was paid for from my mums banks account and out of all mine and my siblings inheritance after her death.He has put the wrong date of death on it which happens to be a meaningful date for another happier reason for me, i have asked him to have it altered as it was his mistake and was told that he wouldn't and as the deeds for the plot are in his name (although paid for by my late mums estate)he would not give permission for me to do so either . Is there anything i can do legally to enable me to have the stone altered without his permission?
tinyp - 13-Jul-18 @ 3:37 AM
minion13 - Your Question:
If 2 parties own the deeds to a grave can they put a headstone on without the other party consent or knowledge

Our Response:
You should contact your local cemetery office. We don't know whether grave deeds can be jointly held by more than one person.
FacingBereavement - 27-Jun-18 @ 11:33 AM
My brothers daughter passed away the commentary deed is under her mother's name. She has bought the stone. What could my brother do so he could buy the stone
Monie - 26-Jun-18 @ 9:57 PM
If 2 parties own the deeds to a grave can they put a headstone on without the other party consent or knowledge
minion13 - 26-Jun-18 @ 2:00 PM
T laws - Your Question:
I bought a headstone with for my husband and I with our both our names on it from Trump they were supposed to set it in the cemetery but ask me for another 400 to have the cemetery place it they took the headstone out to the cemetery and left it on April 27th it is now July or June 13th how long should it be before that headstone is set and base is put on it and they flag holder what rights do I have to demand that it be set instead of just said setting out there they need to lay the concrete and move it and then put bases and a flag holder that I had paid for in the contract

Our Response:
Our you based in the UK? In the UK memorial stone cannot be put in place until about 6 months after the burial.
FacingBereavement - 15-Jun-18 @ 9:57 AM
I bought a headstone with for my husband and I with our both our names on it from Trump they were supposed to set it in the cemetery but ask me for another 400 to have the cemetery place it they took the headstone out to the cemetery and left it on April 27th it is now July or June 13th how long should it be before that headstone is set and base is put on it and they flag holder what rights do I have to demand that it be set instead of just said setting out there they need to lay the concrete and move it and then put bases and a flag holder that I had paid for in the contract
T laws - 14-Jun-18 @ 3:39 AM
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
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