Frequently Asked Questions About Interment Rights


What are interment rights?

Interment Rights include the right to inter human remains within a specifically assigned space at a cemetery, and the right to authorize memorialization within that space; subject to the bylaws of the cemetery. 

Why is it important to be the Interment Rights holder? 

Without the consent or permission of the interment right holder of cemetery record, there is very little a cemetery operator or a family is permitted to do.   Ontario Regulation 30/11,  Item 161. (1)  of the provinces Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002  states that "No cemetery operator shall inter human remains in a lot, other than the remains of the interment rights holder, without the written consent of the interment rights holder. "    O. Reg. 30/11, s. 158 (3)  further states that   "An interment rights holder or a person authorized to act on the holder’s behalf may install a marker on a lot if the installation of the marker does not contravene the cemetery by-laws."

How do I know who the interment rights holder might be for the family plot?

The interment rights holder is named specifically on the Cemetery-issued Certificate of Interment Rights and the Cemetery’s official Registry of Interment Rights Holders.   Please note that if the interment rights holder gave you the certificate, the interment rights are not yours until you present the certificate to the cemetery to transfer the interment rights and a new certificate is issued.  Only the cemetery can confirm interment rights.  Contact us if you are unsure or would like to know more.

Does the Interment Rights Holder own the land?

The land, also known as lot/plot/space remains titled to the Cemetery.  A cemetery only offers to sell the right to direct interments and memorialization within an assigned space (lot) within the cemetery.  This right is called 'interment rights' and may only be assigned by the cemetery or reassigned by registering with the cemetery, a transfer of the rights.   All activity within that space is subject to the Funeral, Burial, and Cremation Services Act, (2002), its regulations, and the Cemetery's by-laws.

But the Interment Rights Holder is no Longer living. Can  I still use the lot/Plot/ space?  

Cemeteries do not decide who can and cannot use the interment rights.  That decision as well as the authorization for that decision must come from the Interment Rights Holder of Cemetery record.   If the Interment Rights Holder has passed and he/she /they did not leave written instruction or authorization for additional interments or memorialization, then the remaining family is left with the choice to either register a transfer of the interment rights or purchase their own interment rights.  The Cemetery can only recognize and register a transfer of the interment rights if the applicant(s) presents documentation to the cemetery that clearly supports that the Interment Rights Holder of record had endorsed such a transfer.  

Do Interment Rights automatically transfer or pass to a spouse or children or grand children upon the death of the Interment Rights Holder of Record?

Interment rights remain in the name of the Interment Rights Holder of cemetery record until sufficient documentation is provided to the cemetery that demonstrates otherwise and the claimants register a transfer of the interment rights.  The provincial regulations and the cemetery's by-laws clearly outline what is required of the Interment Rights Holder to see that the remaining interment rights are transferred.

What if I/we cannot find the Interment Rights Holder's Last Will or  the Interment Rights Holder died intestate (without a Last Will)?

A diligent search for a copy of a Last Will is required under Ontario law.  Families are welcome to consult with cemetery staff as to what the options might be.... but... families should not substitute such information for legal counsel.   In most cases, families should seek their legal counsel to assist with matters involving a lost Will or intestacy.