BUYING A GRAVE
We appreciate that during this difficult time you will have to make important decisions about the cemetery and grave you want.
What is a burial plot?
A burial plot is an area of land in a cemetery, or other type of burial ground, where the grave of a person who has died is located. Burial plots can be for individuals or multiple people, such as a couple or family. Burial plots are generally not actually for sale, but are leased for a set period of time. During the lease memorials, such as a headstone, are usually erected above a grave to mark a burial plot. Watford Borough Council have the following plots available:
• Earth burial plots for up to two people
• Children’s plots
• Cremated remains plots in two gardens
• Brick graves
We have multiple sections for different faiths and we offer both lawn and traditional sections.
What is Exclusive Right of Burial?
Exclusive Right of Burial is the name for the lease of a burial plot or cremation plot in a cemetery or garden of remembrance for a set period of time. Nobody else other than those authorised by the owner can be buried in the plot for the duration of the period covered by the lease, but it will eventually expire.
How long is an Exclusive right of burial for?
The typical period of time covered by Exclusive Right of Burial is generally between 50 and 100 years, but can be shorter. After this period has ended the lease can be renewed by the grave-owner for a fee. Where an Exclusive Right of Burial has expired, the cemetery-owner will try to contact any next of kin or descendants before digging a new grave in the burial plot.
Watford Borough Council leases are for 50 years.
What is the cost of a burial plot?
The cost of a burial plot depends on what type of grave is purchased and the size of the plot.
See the current fees on our information page.
Who can you buy a burial plot from?
You usually do not buy a burial plot directly from a cemetery, but arrange it via your funeral director. The cost of a burial plot is mostly a third-party fee that’s added to the total bill when you arrange a funeral. The cost of Exclusive Right of Burial in a burial plot may not be covered by a funeral plan, because the prices can change regularly.
You can discuss your requirements with the funeral director in the first instance and these will be given to us when the funeral is booked at the cemetery. Families can then contact us at the cemetery to make an appointment to see what plots are available.
Who can buy a grave?
Anybody can buy a grave when a death occurs, this is normally done by the next of kin or an Executor to the deceased. The owner of the grave will hold the Exclusive Right of Burial which means only they can decide who can go into the grave and the Memorial Rights which means that only they can organise a memorial for the grave if desired. An interment form is normally completed at the funeral director and it is the person signing this form that becomes the registered grave owner.
We accept grave purchases from outside the Borough of Watford. If the deceased is a non-resident at time of death, the fees payable will be approximately three times the resident rates. This will be for all services including purchase, interment, chapel fees and memorial permit fees.
Do I have to buy a grave?
No. You can opt to bury in an ‘unpurchased’ grave. This may mean that you are buried with other people that may not be family and you would not be permitted to place a memorial on the plot.