Can I be buried next to my partner if we’re not married?

Can I be buried next to my partner if we’re not married?

After the tragic death of his boyfriend of 14 years, a reader asks our legal expert Matt Parr if he can, when he dies, be buried next to his partner when the family of the deceased won’t allow it.

Writing to THEGAYUK, MB* from London told us that his partner of 14 years died suddenly in a car crash. Although he and his partner’s family always got on well, when MB told them of his plans to get buried alongside his deceased boyfriend when he eventually dies, the family wrote him a letter telling them that they wouldn’t allow that to happen.

He told us, “I got a letter from his family which said under no circumstances would they allow me to be buried with my partner. We weren’t married, but we did own a house together and the mortgage was paid off a while ago. Is there anything legally I can do to ensure that I can be buried next to my partner”

“Exclusive Rights of Burial”

Matt Parr suggests that MB’s first port of call should be to his local council, saying, “I would contact your local Council office and ask to speak to their bereavement department. You can make enquiries into the possibility of purchasing the Exclusive Rights of Burial for the plot next to your partner if the cemetery is Council-owned.

“While this does not afford you the legal ownership of the land itself, it does give you the right to be buried there and for your family to erect a memorial. It may be a question of moving fast to try and secure the plot as your partner’s family may try to purchase the same as a preventative measure.


Make a Will and specific what you want

“If you do not already have a will in place which stipulates your funeral wishes, I would advise that you speak to a solicitor regarding preparing one. In the will, you would be able to alert your executors to the fact that you have purchased the plot and wish to be buried there. While your funeral wishes are just wishes and unlike the rest of your will aren’t binding, it will ensure that steps are taken for you to be buried there, even if this is not ultimately possible for one reason or another.

This response is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. Individuals should always seek legal advice from a professional which is specific to their unique set of circumstances”

*Name changed