Transfer of grave ownership

In the following circumstances, a transfer of the Ownership of the Exclusive Right of Burial will be required:

  • When an application is made for a burial in the grave but the Registered Owner is already dead.
  • When an application is made for a memorial to be erected on the grave, but the Registered Owner is dead.
  • When the existing memorial is to be changed, but the Registered Owner is dead.
  • When the Registered Owner has died, and a new Owner would like to be registered.

Establishing grave ownership when the owner has died

Where the original owner has died, the transfer will depend upon whether there is a Will. If the deceased grave owner has made a valid Will and left an estate of sufficient value to require the Grant of Probate to Executors, ownership of the grave can be transferred to the Executor on production of a sealed copy of the Grant of Probate.

If the estate is not of sufficient value, ownership may be transferred to the Executor named in the Will on production of a sealed copy of that Will. It is then the Executor’s responsibility to identify the correct person who should take ownership of the grave, if it is not required by the Executor.

Get a copy of a Will, Probate or Letter of Administration

If there is no Will, or the Will is not valid, and the estate is of insufficient value as to require a grant of Letters of Administration, ownership of the grave can be transferred to the personal representative of the deceased. If Letters of Administration were granted, these must be produced for a transfer to take place.

You can get a copy of a Will, Grant of  Probate or Letters of Administration from:

The Cemetery Office will help you throughout the process of the transfer. Full information regarding the personal circumstances of each case must be provided. The original grave Deed and a certified copy of the owner’s death certificate will also be required (if s/he is not buried in the grave).

Get a copy of a death certificate

You will need to know the full names, date and place of death. It this is not known, the National Archives at Kew have and index of deaths from 1837 to the present day.

For copies of a death certificate, you can ask the Register Office where the death took place if it occurred in the last 18 months.

Further useful information can be found on GOV.UK.

Transferring Grave Ownership when the owner is alive

During their lifetime, the Registered Owner can also apply, at any time, to transfer the grave to someone else.

Download the Exclusive Right of Burial assigned by a living owner(pdf, 43KB) form.

Fees

Please see our fees page for the current charge. You can pay by credit/debit card or by cheque payable to LBRUT.

Contact the Cemeteries Team

We are open Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm, excluding Public Holidays, Christmas and New Year.

The Cemetery Office

East Sheen Cemetery,
Sheen Road,
Richmond,
TW10 5BJ

Telephone: 020 8876 4511
Email: cemeteries@richmond.gov.uk
Fax: 020 8878 8118

Updated: 20 January 2017