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coronavirus ashes

Wishes if for your ashes are impacted by Coronavirus – one lady’s qiuestion

So I have been keeping an eye out for covid-19 ashes stories, and came across this question that was sent to the ITV helpdesk


  • Diane – l am British and my son lives in the USA. l have always wanted my ashes to be scattered at sea there – on the beach where my son got married. If l died from the virus and that was on my death certificate, would this still be allowed?

Well, let’s hope that won’t be something that you and your family need to think about. Experts say that ashes can’t carry the virus, so in most cases victims of Coronavirus can still be cremated if that is their wish.

One thing to be aware of at the moment is that different local authorities have different rules in place around the collection of ashes. Some are allowing a family member to come to the crematorium to collect ashes, whilst others are asking funeral directors to collect ashes on families’ behalves.

There are crematoria that aren’t allowing anyone on the premises to collect ashes at the moment, but are storing ashes to be collected after restrictions are lifted.

Transporting ashes to the US could be another thing to consider – obviously the current restrictions on travel mean that nobody could take the ashes over in person at the moment. To send human ashes by post, you would usually need to use a specialist repatriation shipping service. These services are still operating in some circumstances, so the advice is to discuss this with your funeral director.

Bear in mind too that anyone hoping to scatter ashes at the moment should be very aware of whether or not they are able to access their chosen location to do so – and lockdown in the US might restrict access for your family to get to the beach for now.

In short, scattering ashes in the US should still be possible if someone sadly dies in the UK with Coronavirus, but many families are having to wait a little time for restrictions to be lifted before they can fulfil a loved ones’ final wish.

Yes the editor is correct in what he is saying but it sort of misses the point too. If Diane dies through the virus or not then, firstly she needs to make sure people are aware of her wishes. So hopefully she will have put it in her will and told the executor of her Will too. Ashes can only be collected by the person who signed the forms with the undertaker, and this may not be the executor, that person has the right to hold onto the ashes. In addition the will is not legally binding in this respect as will could request that the executor do something that is illegal.

So the answer is yes wait, but make sure that people know your wishes and are willing to act on them.

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