For the use of a grave, you pay burial rights. You can apply for, renew, transfer or relinquish burial rights. The term of the burial right starts on the day you are assigned a grave by the local authority.
Transfer of burial rights
The rights to a grave may be passed on to another person. This can be done in 2 situations:
• if the right holder gives consent
• if the right holder has died
Transferring burial rights to another person is intended to preserve the grave. The new rights holder may also wish to bury someone else in that grave.
The burial rights of a private grave can pass to a natural person or to a legal entity. The new rights holder is usually an heir or relative of the previous right holder. Or of the person buried in the grave.
If the former rights holder is still alive, that person must sign for the transfer. In addition, the cemetery manager must agree to the transfer.
Renewing burial rights
Do you want to renew the burial rights? If so, file the application before the end date. If we have your address, we will let you know that the burial rights are about to expire. You will receive that notice at least 1 year and up to 2 years before the end date.
You are not usually obliged to renew the burial rights, but in some cases you are. For example, if you want to bury someone in a grave with less than 15 years of burial rights remaining at that time.
You renew the burial rights of a private grave for a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20 years.
Relinquishing burial rights
If you do not renew the burial rights, they will automatically end on the expiry date.
You can also relinquish burial rights earlier. You will then lose the rights you have to a grave at that time. You decide on the date from which you relinquish the rights to the grave.
Issuance of burial rights
If you are granted burial rights by the local authority, they are for a minimum of 15 years. You can also opt for a longer period. There is no maximum period, but indefinite grave rights are not possible.
Allowing grave rights to lapse
The municipality can cancel burial rights. This is possible if the rights holder of a grave has died and the burial rights have not been transferred within 1 year.
The local authority can also allow burial rights to expire if the rights holder seriously neglects the grave or fails to pay for the burial rights on time. You will be given notice of this.
The burial rights end automatically on the expiry date or earlier, if the rightful owner relinquishes it.
Laws and regulations
- Municipal Cemeteries Management Regulation
- Municipal Cemeteries Implementation Decree
- Burial Rights Ordnance
You can view the laws and regulations of the City of Leeuwarden via the national facility Overheid.nl