Can I be buried at home?

Written By

Jason Davies

Jason Davies, Funeral Director and Manager of our Hingham office answers some of the most frequently asked questions posed to him and the rest of our team. If you have a question you would like to ask you can contact us here, send us a tweet @_ivanfisher or call us direct.

We are asked this question lots and people are often amazed at the answer. It is often assumed that it is illegal to be buried at home however the truth is, there is no law that says you cannot be buried in the grounds of your own home or on land that you own. There are public health guidelines that need to be considered and you must ensure that the location of the proposed grave falls within these guidelines.

Having any grave near a water source raises concerns from the Environment Agency.

  • The site should be more than 30 metres from any spring or any running or standing water.
  • It should also be more than 10 metres from any ‘dry’ ditch or field drain.
  • The site should be at least 50 metres away from any well, borehole or spring that supplies water for any use. If you are not sure where these are, your local Environment Agency office will be able to advise you.
  • When preparing the grave, you must make sure there is no standing water when it is first dug and that the grave is not dug in very sandy soil.
  • There should be at least one metre of soil above and below the body after burial.

We would request that our gravedigger prepares any grave to ensure that we adhere to these guidelines and to ensure the safety of our team when the burial takes place. We may also request that you contact electrical and other services that must obviously be avoided to ensure the safe excavation of a grave.

There is a requirement to record the burial on the deeds to the property, in accordance with the Registration of Burials Act 1864.

A location map must be attached to the deed to confirm the position of the grave and details of the name of the deceased, age, date and place of death should be recorded. We also suggest using technology to record the precise latitude and longitude of the grave. This will reduce the potential complication of the Police being called if human remains are discovered during future maintenance or building work and of course, so any future owner of the land is also aware of the burial.

If there are any serious infectious disease concerns relating to the deceased person, then you must also inform the local Environmental Health department.

Over the years we have looked after many families who have chosen this option and we will always endeavour to accommodate those who feel this is the right option for them.

Questions

As funeral directors, we are regulary asked lots of questions about our profession. We are very happy to answer any questions you might have and no matter how strange they may seem, it’s very likely that we’ve been asked it before! Fill in the form below with your question and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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