Grandparents grave

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by Broadcaster, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. Broadcaster

    Broadcaster Frequent Poster

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    Not sure if anyone can help with this but here goes.
    My grandparents died many years ago and recently a cousin used the grave to bury her husband. She has had the original headstone removed and had a new one erected showing only her husband's name and lots of room left for other names to be added, which I assume will be her and her family. Nobody in the wider family(first cousins nor siblings) was informed that this was going to happen. As this is my grandparents grave and they died way back in the 50s we have no idea who owns the grave now.

    The cousin involved, her father lived with the grandparents and inherited their house. Does that mean that he in turn inherits their grave and can it then be passed down in the line of the family only? Are there rules laid down by the local council regarding ownership of graves as old as this?
    Hope this sense and not too complicated.
     
  2. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    I don't have an answer for you but am wondering was it only your grandparents buried in this grave before your cousin was buried? It was terribly bad manners to take down their headstone and totally disrespectful to you and the family. I'm very interested to know what the legal position is as well as yourself.
     
  3. Broadcaster

    Broadcaster Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    Both grandmother and grandfather along with my grandfather's brother are buried there. Yes, we are all upset by this move and wonder how someone can just do this.
    I'm actually told two brothers were buried along with the grandparents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  4. Marsha25

    Marsha25 Frequent Poster

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    You could enquire with the council as to what grounds she had to open the grave in the first place, though not sure they are obliged to give out the information if the grave has been passed on to cousins family. Has anyone questioned her about changing the headstone? I'd be asking her when she plans to have your grandparents names engraved on the new one.
     
  5. DublinD

    DublinD Registered User

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    It’s one thing people often forget when going through probate/passing on via a will. A grave is technically an asset and has an owner (hence usually has an owner cert). Graveyard should know who purchased the grave and work back from there. If husband does 1st then wife would inherit and then after that however the wife’s estate was distributed (most likely equally split).
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  6. Palerider

    Palerider Frequent Poster

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    Your story disgusts me in its arrogance and complete lack of respect, please, do all you can legally to put this wrong right.
     
  7. john luc

    john luc Frequent Poster

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    I would have thought that their is some rules pertaining to who is buried in a grave and that this information must be displayed on the grave. It's a historical record that can be read by anyone who visits a graveyard.
     
  8. Laramie

    Laramie Frequent Poster

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    It would appear that your cousin's father inherited the house. This does not say that she in turn inherited from her father. Does this cousin have any other siblings? Is so she may have only inherited part of her father's estate and therefore part of the grave.

    I would call them out on this. Arrange a meeting with this person to express your unhappiness.
     
  9. Thirsty

    Thirsty Frequent Poster

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    This is all a bit odd.

    Rules for older graves / cemeteries may be different; in recent years I have had to buy a grave and arrange burials and there were restrictions on sizes / no. of coffins etc.

    many older graveyards are declared full because of these restrictions.

    Otherwise many families could 'reuse' a grave plot.

    The undertaker would have to get permission to reopen an existing grave.

    I'd first go to the local authority and talk to the responsible person for the cemetery and find out what really happened and who authorised it.
     
  10. RETIRED2017

    RETIRED2017 Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
    First find out how many can be buried in your Grandparents Grave if you say there are four already before latest interment this brings it up to five good chance there is just one more place left,Most old family plots where for six,

    Reading between the lines there is a good chance it was your cousins father who bought the plot and put up the headstone seeing he was left the house he may have taken an extra plot back then for himself and family your Grandparents are buried there but it could be bought/owned by your cousins father not unusual,Did your father/mother or there brother/sisters contribute to buying the full plot,
    which is The custom where I was brought up,
    I am disgust by your cousins arrogance and lack of respect but sadly it is the times we live in rights before respect, I have seen headstones replaced and another added to same plot up the custom was to check and add any Names missing of people interned in plot when any new engraving or headstone was added ,

    just be careful check if old headstone has being taken away for repair/ to be added back later as a slab,
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  11. PMU

    PMU Frequent Poster

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    Possibly. Your grandparents should have had 'grave deeds' or a 'grant of right of burial' from the cemetery concerned. (I've one of these for a grave in Glasnevin going back to 1846.) This would have formed part of their estate. If there are cemetery rules on monuments etc. these should be on or associated with the grave deeds. So you would need to check with the executor of the estate of the last surviving grandparent on what happened to this document. As this executor may well be dead or unknown, you could contact the graveyard concerned, but I'm not certain if they are under any obligation to respond to you as the grave or the right of burial therein may have passed to your cousin as part of your grandparents' estate.
    This is an important point and something of which executors should be aware. It's only too easy for grave deeds to go missing, rights of burial not to be transferred etc. It's one more job for the executor.
     
  12. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    My father owns a plot, a double plot he purchased. No idea what happens when he dies. I guess we his children inherit it. The graveyard is 'new' beside the old one and it's run by the council.

    My husband's family, the graveyard there is very very old. Run by the locals and no regulations that I can see. As in my BIL decided before he died where in the graveyard he'd be buried. As in 'that's my spot'. Another BIL is a gravedigger, price, a bottle of whiskey. He and others cleaned up the graveyard a long while ago and the put bones and skulls back into open graves. Cleaned up headstones but you can be sure many are not in their original position. Seems to me plots there are owned by whoever is there the longest. And they all sold land for housing and didn't want the new owners in the graveyard which caused to this day lots of controversy. Luckily my husband is being cremated so I don't have to worry about that problem. But if I had to he'd be buried there, somewhere. As the years go by the plots seem to be more defined. As in the Murphy plot or the Ryan plot etc. But straight lines like modern graveyards it does not have, it's all over the place.

    Here you can never own your plot, you get it for something like 60 years and 3 bodies max go in. Something like that.

    One of my uncles is named on his parents plot, but he's not there as he was cremated and ashes spread in another part of the country. And I can remember a Protestant graveyard where dogs were buried and Protestant neighbours who buried dogs on their land with headstones and all.
     
  13. PMU

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    Actually, they are not all over the place. Here's a bit of graveyard trivia. In bygone days graves were oriented towards the east, i.e. to the rising sun on the day of burial, so they sort of follow a crescent. After time it looks random.
     
  14. Broadcaster

    Broadcaster Frequent Poster

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    The latest I have on this problem is that the cousins father, being the last family member living at home took over the house and farm upon the death of his parents. Apparently it is custom in this particular part of the country for the grave to pass down this line of the family. I still don't know what the legal position is. Hope I can get to the bottom of this soon.
    Thanks for all the earlier comments.
     
  15. john luc

    john luc Frequent Poster

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    would still be poor form not to at least acknowledge the fact that the grandparents are buried there too. Hope all works out well in the end
     
  16. RETIRED2017

    RETIRED2017 Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
    That is exactly what I was expecting you would find out, If I found myself in your position I would make a visit to the Grave on the death of your Cousin I would then bring the subject up there could well be a communuication problem when the headstone was put up and engraved

    You need to asked why there names are missing first off,
    In your first post I note you said I assume will be her and her family will be interred there ,
    You never came back to let us know grave plot size .why not ask before turning things sour if there is no need grave plot may be almost full by now,
    I have seen where a new headstone replacing an older one being updated/ engraving to including names missing from old one,
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  17. PMU

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    The legal position is provided for by the Cemeteries Clauses Act 1847 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1847/act/65/enacted/en/print.html. Rights of burial can be assigned or bequeathed.
     
  18. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    This line alone (below) in that statute book law would have me wondering!
    "The expression “superior courts” shall mean her Majesty’s superior courts at Westminster or Dublin, as the case may require ."
     
  19. Northie

    Northie Frequent Poster

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    Something that I wasn't aware of relating to grave plots.

    My parents died within 5 years of each other, my mam passing away first. So my father purchased a grave plot in newlands (part of the glasnevin group) for my mother and then he followed. We never thought anything of ownership of the grave until we were clearing out the family home and found the paperwork.

    I rang newlands to confirm my assumption that the "asset" of the grave plot passed as part of my father's estate. But they told me it didn't. Ownership of the plot would stay with my father and this could not be changed after he died. However his next of kin would need to give their permission for anyone else to be buried in the plot.

    At the time it struck me as strange but thankfully we haven't had the situation OP has experienced.
     
  20. Broadcaster

    Broadcaster Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
    Just to answer your question 'Retired2017'...the grave is for 6 people so currently there are 4 interred that is why my suspicion holds that this cousin intends that others in her family will also be buried there. My main concern is that our grandparents' names are no longer visible so any of the extended family would have no idea they are buried in this plot or indeed that this in fact is THEIR plot and not my cousin's!
    From what I can gather, my grandparents did not leave a will but the son living at home took over upon their deaths. Thanks again for the link to the Cemeteries Act. I will check that out too.

    Having now checked the Act in question it would appear that the following applies:

    44. The exclusive right of burial in any such place of burial shall, whether granted in perpetuity or for a limited time, be considered as the personal estate of the grantee, and may be assigned in his lifetime or bequeathed by his will.

    45. Every such assignment made in the lifetime of the assignor shall be by deed duly stamped, in which the consideration shall be duly set forth, and may be in the form in the schedule to this Act annexed, or to the like effect.


    Assignments to be registered.


    46. Every such assignment shall, within six months after the execution thereof, if executed in Great Britain or Ireland, or within six months after the arrival thereof in Great Britain or Ireland, if executed elsewhere, be produced to the clerk of the company, and an entry or memorial of such assignment shall be made in the register by the clerk of the company, in the same manner as that of the original grant; and until such entry or memorial, no right of burial shall be acquired under any such memorial; and for every such entry or memorial the clerk shall be entitled to demand such sum as the company think fit, not exceeding the prescribed sum, or if no sum be prescribed two shillings and sixpence.


    Probates of wills disposing of rights of burial to be registered.


    47. An entry or memorial of the probate of every will by which the exclusive right of burial within the cemetery is bequeathed, and in case there be any specific disposition of such exclusive right of burial in the said will an entry of such disposition, shall, within six months after the probate of such will, be made in the said register, in the same manner as that of the original grant; and until such entry no right of exclusive burial shall be acquired under such will; and for every such entry or memorial the clerk of the company shall be entitled to demand such sum as the company think fit, not exceeding the prescribed sum, or if no sum be prescribed two shillings and sixpence.

    Looks like I need to see my cousin's father's will to establish if the grave was bequeathed!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018