Re-open family graves

Burials may be accommodated in graves that have been purchased in the past. Sometimes our records will tell us how much space remains in a grave, but we don’t always have this information and would only find out by digging the grave for a funeral.

To use a grave that is already purchased, you must have the permission of the registered grave owner and should produce the grave deed. If the owner is alive, they must sign for the opening of their grave. If the grave owner has died, their nearest surviving relative needs to complete a Statutory Declaration, sworn under oath, to use the grave. Your funeral director can arrange this for you.

If there is more than one near relative of the same generation (e.g. grandchildren), one must sign to confirm that they have permission from the others to do so. If you are not sure who owns a grave or who should sign to open it, please contact us.

It is worth noting that grave ownership does not automatically pass to someone else when the grave owner dies, it can only be transferred by producing their will to us. If you need to do this, please contact us to make an appointment.

Find out more on transferring the ownership of a burial plot.

Types of graves