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Changes to Cremation Regulations in England and Wales will impact ashes

Amendments to the cremation regulations are on their way they come into force on the 6th April 2018. They apply to cremations within England and Wales.

How have they changed and what will it mean, there have been two big changes:

  • There will be a new application forms which will include a section where the applicant (this is the person arranging the funeral) can state what they want done with the ashes after the cremation. You will be able to change your mind but this will need to be in writing.
  • There is one brave but necessary change that they have introduced. Previously there had been a tiny number of extremely distressing cases where the applicant had been an abusers or even a murder and these people stopped the ashes being taken by relatives who were the victims, causing even greater stress and sadness. Specifically this relates to where they have been imprisoned for causing the death of the deceased or have been convicted of violence against a spouse where the cremation was of their child. So the law now allows for the crematoria to give the ashes to someone other the applicant in ‘exceptional circumstances’. Now this is the right thing to do but is likely to cause the crematoria a huge amount of issues and open the door to litigation, nevertheless – well done policy makers. I will keep you posted if guidance becomes available.

Also worth noting:

  • You will be able to ‘sign electronically’ rather than a paper copy
  • There will be bilingual Welsh forms – newyddion gwych i siaradwyr Cymraeg
  • If your cremation has been organised before the 6th but carried after you don’t need to reapply

The Cremation (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 were laid in Parliament on 19th December and will come into force on 6th April 2018.


8 thoughts on “Changes to Cremation Regulations in England and Wales will impact ashes

  1. Reply
    Allan Randles - 5th November 2021

    can someone be cremated in england and have the ashes laid at a pre-purchased plot at a creamtorium in wales,

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 5th November 2021

      Yes. I would contact the the crematorium where the ashes are to go. They will explain for it works.

  2. Reply
    Dpgreen - 13th May 2021

    Can parents ashes be buried or scattered in a previously purchased baby’s grave?. The funeral directors in 1986 said we could, is this still true?
    D P Green

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 13th May 2021

      It may be possible depending on the size of the plot purchased. First step would be to contact the administrator for the cemetery where the plot is located. They would be able to give you a better idea.

      Kind regards

  3. Reply
    Carol Stephenson - 9th January 2019

    Is it possible to have a urn moved to a different place in the graveyard as I would like to have my Husband moved as I would a larger headstone.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 9th January 2019

      Dear Carol
      It would depend on whether the current location is one consecrated ground, if it is it will be very unlikely, as you would need church of England approval and they are unlikely to grant it. If it not on consecrated land the answer is yes but it will be time consuming and expensive – please see our sectection on exhumation.

  4. Reply
    Joanne Semple - 2nd August 2018

    Or the applicant is a dictator / bully who doesn’t want to share the ashes with other members of the family !

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 3rd August 2018

      Yes that does happen, all too frequently sadly…

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