Grave Ownership Transfer

Mount Jerome must have the permission of the current registered owner of the burial rights of a grave to perform any of the below functions (except for the burial of a spouse or child):

  • To open a grave for a full coffin burial or a set of cremation ashes.
  • To erect any kind of fixed or temporary monument / headstone on a grave.
  • To inscribe a monument / headstone.
  • To anyway alter an existing monument / service.
  • To exhume a remains

If there is no current registered owner then a new one must be declared. This can be done in three ways. Please note that Mount Jerome only recognises one person as the registered owner. We do not accept multiple owners.

1.Will of the Original Owner (or surviving spouse): whilst most wills do not specifically list the transfer of ownership of a grave, there is usually a clause at the end of a will that states “rest and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, howsoever and wheresoever situated”. This clause includes the grave of the deceased original owner (or the surviving spouse) of the burial rights. Usually either one beneficiary or several are left the rest and remainder of the estate, i.e. the grave. In the case of one named beneficiary, it is a simple transfer. All we require is a copy of the will.

However in the case of several named beneficiaries, only one of them will be recognised by Mount Jerome as the registered owner. Therefore we require a signed letter (no emails please) from say five of six named beneficiaries to gift their interest in the grave irrevocably to the remaining sole sixth beneficiary. This letter must be accompanied by a copy of the will.

There is no charge for the transfer of a grave ownership by the instrument of a will.

2.Derivative Assignment Declaration (DA) form: Where there is no will in existence for the deceased original owner (or surviving spouse) of a grave, then the Mount Jerome DA declaration form applies. This DA declaration can also be used when under time constraints, a family cannot locate a will in time to re-open a family grave. This DA form may only be signed by the nearest surviving relative (NSR) of the deceased original owner. This person who intends to sign the DA form and become the new registered custodian owner (the Declarant), does so by declaring him or herself to be the personal representative of the deceased original owner. It must be witnessed only in the presence of either a peace commissioner, a public notary, a practising solicitor or a commissioner for oaths. We do not accept as witnesses members of the clergy or Gardai.

If there is more than one person who can be deemed to be the NSR of the original owner of the grave, then the Declarant must make contact with those individuals who are equally entitled to complete this DA form. They must be made aware of the Declarant’s intentions to complete the form and to become the newly registered owner of the burial rights of the grave. If they wish to object, they have the opportunity to do so. If these individuals are not contacted, they can legally challenge the Declarant’s ownership of the grave any time after the DA form has been completed by the Declarant.

Please note that there is a legal indemnity clause on the DA form. In the event of a legal challenge to a Declarant’s ownership of a grave by other NSR‘s, the Declarant is legally bound to reimburse the cemetery for any legal costs it may incur with such a challenge. There is a €40 registration fee to process a DA form and to issue a DA certificate.

Download Derivative Assignment (DA) Declaration Form

3. Letter of Transfer: The original owner (or the surviving spouse) may give away the burial rights of a grave to whoever they wish whilst he /she is still alive. What is needed is a signed letter from the original owner (or surviving spouse) to this effect. The letter must be witnessed in the presence of a peace commissioner, a notary public, a commissioner for oaths or a practising solicitor. We do not accept as witnesses members of the clergy, Gardai or solicitors who are not commissioners for oaths. There is no charge for transferring the ownership of a grave by this method.

Legal Disclaimer: The cemetery cannot provide legal information on who is the NSR or personal representative of a deceased original owner. Any information provided by the cemetery does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose.  For legal advice, a qualified solicitor should be engaged.