cremation law

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.


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