Right of Interment

What is a right of interment?

A right of interment relates to a specific place of interment within a public cemetery, for example a plot, grave, crypt or cremation niche.

There is a common misconception that the purchaser of a right of interment actually buys the land associated with a cemetery plot, grave, crypt or cremation niche when a right of interment is purchased. This assumption is not correct as all public cemeteries in Victoria are situated on Crown land.

What is actually purchased is the right to determine who can be interred in that grave (or other type of place of interment) and the type of memorialisation (if any) to be established at the place of interment (subject to any cemetery trust memorialisation policies or specifications).

Who is the holder of the right of interment?

When a right of interment is purchased, the cemetery trust records who holds the right of interment. The holder of the right of interment is the purchaser or a person/s nominated by the purchaser. It is possible for more than one person to be the holder of a single right of interment.

At the time of purchase, the holder of the right of interment is issued with a document (for example a right of interment permit) which identifies the location of the place of interment within the cemetery. Cemetery trusts are also expected to provide documentation that explains any relevant conditions relating to exercising that right of interment.

When the holder/s of the right of interment dies, the right of interment will likely be transferred to the beneficiary of a will, or if no such arrangements have been made, the right of interment is transferred in accordance with the rules of intestacy. This could mean transfer to one or multiple people.

In the case of transfer to multiple people or intergenerational inheritance, the right to use a place of interment becomes very complicated and unclear. Accordingly, right of interment holders should provide cemetery trusts with clear instructions regarding the ongoing management of the right of interment prior to their passing.

To apply for a Right of Interment at Malmsbury Cemetery, please email the following form to mct3446″gmail.com