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Grave Transfer Statutory Declaration

If the grave owner has passed away and left a will you need to provide the original copy of the grant of probate. 

If the grave owner did not leave a will you need to provide the original copy of the grant of letters of administration. 

If several generations have passed since the grave owner died, to confirm your entitlement to ownership of the grave, it will be necessary to see all documentation beginning with the original grant of probate/letters of administration. 

If the grave owner has passed away and a grant of probate or letters of administration were not needed a statutory declaration is required 

A statutory declaration is a legal document and should be drawn up by a solicitor of your choice. (this can be drawn up by yourself) It must include the following information: 

  • the deceased's full name 
  • their date of death 
  • the location of the grave including the cemetery, religion, section and plot number 
  • your full name, address and date of birth 
  • your relationship to the deceased 
  • an undertaking from you that you will indemnify Chorley Council against all actions, proceedings, demands, costs or expenses of any nature (including the exhumation of any burial) should it be subsequently proven that your claim to ownership of the grave is unfounded and that you have no title to exercise ownership of the grave
  • if there are other possible applicants, for example any siblings, the partner of the deceased and/or any other person with an interest in the plot, who do not wish to be included as the grave owner you should also include written statements from them consenting to the transfer of the ownership rights to you
  • if you are applying for joint ownership of a plot, details of all applicants (including their date of birth) should be included in the statutory declaration .

The statutory declaration should be signed by all the applicants in the presence of an authorised court official, a commissioner for oaths, a magistrate or solicitor. 

The requirement for a statutory declaration exists to ensure that burial rights are transferred only to the rightful owner(s) and serves to protect both the owners of those rights and the Council.

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