Guide A guide to arranging a burial

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7. Exclusive right of burial

With the exception of the Woodland burial area the Exclusive Right of Burial may be purchased in Lawn graves or ashes plots.

The period for Exclusive Rights of Burial is fifty (50) years commencing from the date that approval is given. Before the expiry of the Exclusive Right the Council will offer the holder the opportunity to purchase a further 25 years.

The selection of any grave or ashes plot for exclusive rights will be at the sole discretion of the Council and will be allocated in strict rotation.  They are not available for selection other than in Seaton or Sidbury cemeteries where consecrated or un-consecrated ground can be chosen. All consecrated graves have been allocated in Sidmouth cemetery.  In line with current guidance from the Institute of Cemeteries and Cremation Management all new areas in the cemeteries will be un-consecrated ground. 

Exclusive Rights will not be sold to undertakers, their agents or other persons for resale but will be granted to a single or a couple of named owners. No more than two grave spaces may be purchased by one person

Only the holder of an Exclusive Right may be buried in a grave in which the Exclusive Rights are held, give permission for burials or the placing of a memorial. 

An Exclusive Right granted may be transferred by the holder to another person but the transfer must be agreed and recorded by the Council. On the death of the deed holder the remaining term forms part of their estate.  The next of kin or executor may apply for the exclusive rights to be transferred to them. The applicant will be required to provide an original copy of the sealed grant of probate or a signed Statutory Declaration.

If the holder of Exclusive Rights should die intestate then the next of kin can apply to the courts to be made an Administrator of the estate.

Owning an Exclusive Right of Burial for a grave does not give ownership of the actual land, but does give the owner of the deed right to:

(i)       Be buried in that grave if space is available

(ii)     Authorise further burials in that grave, where space is available, or the interment of cremated remains in that grave

(iii)    Place a memorial on that grave, subject to the Council’s regulations relating to memorials with prior, written approval

(iv)    Have inscriptions, or additional inscriptions, on a memorial on that grave, subject to the Council‘s Regulations and prior, written approval.

(l)      Exclusive Rights may be returned to the Council only by the named owner.  If legal transfer of rights has occurred, return may be considered with proof of transfer through grant of probate.  The council will apply a charge and may reimburse some costs not being in excess of the original deed purchase.  

The Exclusive Right of burial deed is an important document to be kept safely.

The exclusive right of burial may be purchased at the time of burial. To pre-purchased the exclusive right of burial please contact the bereavement service by email: burials@eastdevon.gov.uk or post: Cemeteries Registrar, East Devon District Council, Blackdown House, Border Road, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton, EX14 1EJ.  The cost of purchase of exclusive right of burial can be found on our list of fees .