House Clearance Edinburgh & Burial Information

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Burial Information

You should find out if the dead person has already paid for a lair in a churchyard or cemetery. This may be mentioned in the Will or be known to the family, solicitor or minister. You should give the details to your funeral director. If not, you will have to purchase a new lair and fees will vary.

Funeral directors will be able to give you advice on how to do this. Most cemeteries are private or operated by local authorities. There can be difficulty these days in arranging for the purchase of lairs. Local customs, regulations and costs regarding the erection of headstones vary considerably.

It is possible to have a burial at sea but it is expensive. It has to take place well out at sea at a site considered suitable by the Scottish Executive Rural Affairs Department. Contact the Department at 47 Robbs Loan, Edinburgh EH14 1TY, tel 0131 556 8400 for further details.


In order to prevent anybody being cremated where there is possible doubt about the cause of death, there are very strict rules about certification. The following forms have to be completed:

An application form (Form A) signed by the next of kin or executor; plus either

• two medical certificates (Forms B & C) signed by the family doctor and another doctor (both for which you will need to pay a fee) and a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (Green Form) issued by the Registrar or

• a Certificate for Cremation (Form E) if the Procurator Fiscal has certified the death, which overrides the need for the doctors’ certificates and the Green Form; and plus

• a certificate (Form F) signed by the medical referee at the crematorium (the fee for this normally comes as part of the crematorium fee).

Funeral directors are able to complete these formalities on your behalf. Cremation cannot normally take place until the death has been registered and the Registrar’s certificate of registration of death passed to the crematorium authorities.

Many crematoria include scattering or burying the ashes in a garden of remembrance in their fee. If a relative wants to collect the ashes they can be collected or sent. If the applicant does not wish to receive them, there is an obligation on the cremation authority to retain them and subsequently dispose of them in accordance with an agreed arrangement or by burial or by scattering on the land.

If ashes left temporarily and not removed by the applicant within a reasonable time, the cremation authority is required to give that person or the nearest relative or the executor two weeks notice of their intention to dispose of the ashes. Some churches are happy to scatter the ashes in the graveyard or bury them according to the family’s wishes but you should make inquiries about this.

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