Arranging the transfer of grave ownership
Exclusive rights of burial (grave ownership) will need to be transferred upon the death of a registered owner, or you may wish to transfer the ownership to another person.
It is important in the interests of the family to resolve ownership issues as soon as possible rather than wait until you need to arrange a funeral/further funeral, as the process may take some time.
Ownership is the families' responsibility and we cannot accept a funeral booking or authorise a memorial application until ownership has been sorted out.
Transfer of ownership from deceased registered owner
If the owner of the exclusive rights of burial dies, they have the automatic right to be buried or have their ashes interred in the grave.
Subsequently, the rights become part of the deceased's estate and may be left in a will, or assigned by their executors to someone else.
If the rights are not specifically mentioned in the will, they will form part of the 'residue' of the will, usually worded as 'and all my other worldly goods' at the end of the will.
Whoever inherits the rights will need to contact Council to arrange a transfer of ownership before the grave can be re-opened again.
It is not possible to place a new memorial or alter an existing memorial without the instruction and permission of a new owner (even if the memorial relates to the previous registered owner), as someone must be responsible for the memorial.
We do ask for a copy of the will and/or grant of probate where granted as legal proof of transfer.
Transfer of ownership from a registered owner who is still living to another person
If the owner of the exclusive rights of burial wishes to transfer ownership from themselves into another persons name, they will need to contact the Council.
To arrange the transfer of a grave or vault you need to undertake the following steps:
- Complete the Application for Change of Ownership (pdf 49KB) or a copy can be requested by contacting Council.
- Submit the form by email or in person and pay the relevant fee.
- Once all necessary documents have been submitted, Council records will be amended and the original deed of grant will be transferred to the new registered owner. You will be sent a letter from Council to confirm change of ownership.