Questions about cremation

What happens to the ashes after cremation?

The law relating to cremation requires that ashes are disposed of in accordance with the written instructions of the applicant (usually the executor or nearest surviving relative).

Options for the ashes or memorials

Most crematoriums have a range of options which might include:

  • scattering or burying in the garden of remembrance
  • placing in a columbarium
  • interring in a small family vault or niche

Options for memorials are also available which might include:

  • plaques beneath rose bushes, trees or shrubs
  • memorial benches with plaques

The simplest form of memorial is an entry inscribed in a book of remembrance. Your nearest crematorium will provide details of their facilities.

Ashes may also be buried in family graves that are full for coffined burials.

Alternatively, you may be able to purchase a new ashes grave in a cemetery.

Your decision

There is no need to make a hurried decision regarding the final resting place of the remains with most crematoria having a facility to hold the remains until a decision is made.

Should a crematorium not be contacted with a decision after a period of time has elapsed you may receive a letter asking if you are ready to go ahead. If you are not, simply tell the crematorium that you need more time (a fee may be applicable).

Should a crematorium receive no reply to their letter they may legally scatter or bury the ashes within their grounds after giving 2 weeks written notice. You may, of course, decide to take the ashes home with you.