Category Archives: burial

burial

Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill passed by Parliament

Burial and Cremation Scotland Bill passed by Parliament.

Despite their reluctance to protect Scots against murderous doctor like Harold Shipman. legislation to modernise the governance and scrutiny of burial and cremation has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. The Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill will modernise and update 100 year-old legislation – introducing a definition of ashes, standardising forms and record-keeping across Scotland, clarifying the process for instructing the disposal of human remains (including pregnancy loss) and placing a duty on burial authorities to maintain the safety of burial grounds.

Prepaid Funeral Review comments on Burial and Cremation Scotland.

Our view is: “Whilst much of the Bill must be welcomed, it will, when fully implemented, increase bureaucracy and hence funeral costs for Scots. As ever, Scots must appreciate that not every UK Funeral plan is right for them, so our independent advice is essential.”

The Bill also contains provisions to give Scottish Ministers the powers to introduce a licensing scheme for funeral directors.

The Bill takes forward recommendations from the Infant Cremation Commission chaired by Lord Bonomy, which was set up following concerns about the historical mishandling and disposal of infant remains. The Bill also gives effect to those recommendations made by the Burial and Cremation Review Group not already implemented in the Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said: “The new legislation will bring important and much-needed changes to burial and cremation processes – helping to ensure that they are easy to understand, reliable and fit-for-purpose.

“It will create a legislative framework for burial and cremation that will meet the needs of 21st Century Scotland and address the shortcomings in the current system.

“While the Bill’s passage has been marked by broad agreement on the Bill’s key provisions, and the need for new legislation, there is no doubt that the Bill has been strengthened by the parliamentary process.

“I’d like to thank all those people who gave such valuable evidence on the Bill, particularly those affected parents who have made such an important contribution throughout this whole process.

“Over 100 amendments have been made by this Government based on much of the evidence given at the Committee stage – ensuring these new laws work for everyone who will be affected by them.

“In particular, I’m proud that this Government has legislated to prevent any repetition of the issues around the handling of infant remains identified first at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh. The new processes and increased scrutiny introduced by this Bill will ensure those mistakes can never happen again.”

In line with the recommendations from the Infant Cremation Commission, the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill will:

  • Introduce a legal definition of ‘ashes’.
  • Require the relevant authorities, including health authorities, to keep burial and cremation records indefinitely and ensure that details of the burial and cremation of pregnancy losses and stillborn babies are recorded.
  • Strengthen the application process for cremation, requiring the applicant to clearly specify what should be done with ashes and also requiring cremation authorities to record details of cremations on a central register.

The new legislation will also modernise and improve the administrative procedures surrounding adult cremation.

It also contains measures to give Scottish Ministers the powers to formally regulate the funeral industry – including making provision for the introduction of a licensing scheme for funeral directors.

The Government will also supplement the existing role of Inspector of Crematoria by establishing two new inspector roles for burial authorities and funeral directors.

Burial authorities, such as local councils, will also be given the power to carry out activities considered necessary for the upkeep and management of burial grounds – including maintaining and repairing headstones and memorials to make them safe. The Bill will make it a legal requirement for burial authorities to ensure the safety of burial grounds.

The Bill will also regulate private burials (i.e. burials at home or in a private family burial ground) and introduce measures to address the issue of pressure on available burial land in Scotland.

Scottish Cremation Burial Law Changes

Scottish Cremation and Burial Law Changes

Scotland Crematiion and Burial Changes

Scotland Crematiion and Burial Changes

Legislation to modernise the governance and scrutiny of Scottish cremation and burial has been passed by the Scottish Parliament.  The Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill will modernise and update 100 year-old legislation when it becomes Law in 2017.  It will introduce a legal definition of ashes.  It will standardise forms and record-keeping across Scotland. It will also clarify the process for instructing the disposal of human remains (including pregnancy loss) and place a legal duty on burial authorities to maintain the safety of burial grounds.

It also contains provisions to give Scottish Ministers the powers to introduce a licensing scheme for funeral directors.

Scottish Cremation Burial Law Changes – our comments.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Stephen Pett, of the Prepaid Funeral Review team said “This is a bold step.  After the rather odd decision of the Scottish Parliament to ignore the lessons of Harold Shipman by removing the need for second opinion before cremation.  We can’t help but wonder what this legislation will do to funeral costs in Scotland.  That said, some aspects will just legalise best practice.  But overall, we’re pretty sure that there will never be a better time to but a prepaid funeral plan for Scots.  We think costs will rise faster with greater Regulation.  The rest of the UK may follow!”

Scottish Cremation Burial Law Changes – back to the Scottish Governments view.

The Bill takes forward recommendations from the Infant Cremation Commission set up following concerns about the historical mishandling and disposal of infant remains. The Bill also implements the remaining recommendations of the Burial and Cremation Review Group.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said: “The new legislation will bring important and much-needed changes to burial and cremation processes – helping to ensure that they are easy to understand, reliable and fit-for-purpose.

“It will create a legislative framework for burial and cremation that will meet the needs of 21st Century Scotland and address the shortcomings in the current system.  While the Bill’s passage has been marked by broad agreement on the key provisions,, there is no doubt that the Bill has been strengthened by the parliamentary process.

“I’d like to thank all those people who gave such valuable evidence on the Bill, particularly those affected parents who have made such an important contribution throughout this whole process.

“Over 100 amendments have been made by this Government based on much of the evidence given at the Committee stage – ensuring these new laws work for everyone who will be affected by them.

“In particular, I’m proud that this Government has legislated to prevent any repetition of the issues around the handling of infant remains identified first at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh. The new processes and increased scrutiny introduced by this Bill will ensure those mistakes can never happen again.”

In line with the recommendations from the Infant Cremation Commission, the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill will:

  • Introduce a legal definition of ‘ashes’.
  • Require the relevant authorities, including health authorities, to keep burial and cremation records indefinitely and ensure that details of the burial and cremation of pregnancy losses and stillborn babies are recorded.
  • Strengthen the application process for cremation, requiring the applicant to clearly specify what should be done with ashes and also requiring cremation authorities to record details of cremations on a central register.

The new legislation will also modernise and improve the administrative procedures surrounding adult cremation.

It also contains measures to give Scottish Ministers the powers to formally regulate the funeral industry – including making provision for the introduction of a licensing scheme for funeral directors.

The Government will also supplement the existing role of Inspector of Crematoria by establishing two new inspector roles for burial authorities and funeral directors.

Burial authorities, such as local councils, will also be given the power to carry out activities considered necessary for the upkeep and management of burial grounds – including maintaining and repairing headstones and memorials to make them safe. The Bill will make it a legal requirement for burial authorities to ensure the safety of burial grounds.

The Bill will also regulate private burials (i.e. burials at home or in a private family burial ground) and introduce measures to address the issue of pressure on available burial land in Scotland.

Burial Funeral Plans – Advice Will Be Needed

Burial Funeral Plans – a little more complex.

Burial funeral plans are relatively unusual these days, so if your wish is for your funeral plan to pay for your burial, you are even more in need of independent advice than most people.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plans can readily be organised to allow for burial, but they don’t generally include the purchase of the actual burial plot. So a burial Funeral Plan will pay for the burial, but leave the family to find both the plot and pay for it.

To make matters worse, there may not be a burial plot available in the local area, which may mean the family not only paying for the burial plot, but also paying extra for the funeral director who now has to travel more miles than allowed for in the original funeral plan agreement (it is common for the mileage to be limited to 20 miles, with any more being chargeable extras.)

Woodland Burial Funeral Plans to the rescue?

Burial plots are just not available in may city and large town areas – all the old cemeteries are full.   The only slight improvement in availability is that Woodland burial grounds are becoming a little more popular and available.   But as commercial operations, they are not going to be a cheap option as an add on to your burial funeral plan.

Burial Funeral Plans Summary:

Insurance based funeral plans are pretty useless in this area, as they generally have no inflation proofing at all, so they usually won’t even pay for the basics unless you expire just after the two years (or whatever period it is) when you don’t get paid out if you die to soon, and you opted for a high enough premium and level of cover.

Burial Funeral Plans Advice.

At the Prepaid Funeral Review, we can help you put together a solution which is as good as possible, though we wouldn’t pretend that burial funeral plans are the easiest to advise on.   But they certainly are one area where Independent Advice is absolutely essential.

Burial in Space – the dream of many

Celestis Celebrates launch of “Burial in Space.”

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Of course, you don’t remain in space, and the remains do come back down to earth, but it is the fulfilment of many people dreams, and that is what Celestis, Inc., the pioneer and global leader in Memorial Spaceflight, announced back in 2013.

The launch of its mission – the Centennial Flight (named in honour of the 100th anniversary of New Mexico’s statehood). The launch, from Spaceport America, New Mexico on June 21, 2013, carried cremated remains into space and returned them to Earth aboard a SpaceLoft XL launch vehicle developed by UP Aerospace of Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Celestis joined with its client families from 20 nations in celebrating the successful launch of more than 1,000 Celestis Flight capsules into space over the course of the company’s history.

Burial-in-spaceHonoured aboard this mission were: greatly admired Hatch, New Mexico Mayor Judd Nordyke, who was an early advocate for Spaceport America; Candy Johnson, an American dancer who appeared in several of the Frankie Avalon ‘Beach Party’ films of the 1960s, thrilling audiences with her highly energetic dance style; Johnson’s sister, Gayle Johns; and Maria Swan who was crowned “Miss World Argentina” in 1967 and became Argentina’s first female airline pilot.

The Centennial Flight launched a symbolic portion of the cremated remains of those honourees and others into space on a trajectory similar to NASA’s early Mercury manned missions in the 1960s. This “Earth Rise Service” mission launches the cremated remains into space which then harmlessly coast back to Earth via parachute. Once recovered, the spaceflight hardware containing the cremated remains will be returned to loved ones, providing them a keepsake which has truly experienced flight into space, a privilege currently reserved for very few.

“The people who participate in our uniquely compelling missions all shared in the dream of exploring the great unknown,” said Charles Chafer, CEO of Celestis. “With Celestis, the dream of spaceflight, and the desire to take part in the opening of the space frontier can be realized – and is available to everyone. With the Centennial Flight, Celestis continues to make history, reaching the 1,000 person in space milestone, symbolically achieving a goal not yet reached by any company – or country.”

Celestis, Inc. is a subsidiary of Space Services Holdings, Inc. (SSHI) headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Space Services made history over 30 years ago with the launch of Conestoga 1, the first private rocket to reach outer space, opening the space arena to private enterprise. The founders of SSI and Celestis also pioneered post cremation memorial spaceflights in 1997 with the launch into space of a symbolic portion of the cremated remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and 60’s pop icon Timothy Leary among others. Working with NASA, they also placed Dr. Eugene Shoemaker’s cremated remains on the lunar surface, making Dr. Shoemaker the first person to be symbolically buried on the Moon. or more information visit celestis.com,

For information on prepaidfuneral plans (with or without burial in space flights) click here.

Burial Plots Shortage

Parliament Dicusses Burial Plot Shortage.

With an ever expanding population, and the post war baby boomer population aging, there is massive pressure on burial plots.  In many areas there are virtually none left, with Church graveyards having been filled many years ago.

Action is needed for those who wish to choose a burial plot.

Indeed, there is talk of the Church of England offering a discount on services where the deceased is to be cremated!

The situation is dire in many city areas, with even paths and car parks being pressed into use as grave space, according to the Telegraphs report on burial plots.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Rural areas are increasingly turning to “green” burial sites so at least they have an alternative.  But the mood of the public, as far as our independent funeral plan advisers conversations with clients indicate, is away from conventional burial towards cremation which is generally cheaper. But the various green/ forest burial sites are growing in popularity as they become more widely available.   The link to green burial sites above lists the ones we are aware of so far – do let us know of any more we can add.

For those of you who wish to be buried, it is something that should be organised at the earliest financially possible moment if you know where you would prefer your resting place to be.  It is an added expense, but can be incorporated into the cost of a funeral plan.  Burial plots generally have to be paid for in one go, but we can almost always spread the cost of the actual prepaid funeral plan.

Generally speaking, our independent funeral plan advisers can arrange 12 months interest free installments with most prepaid funeral plan providers.  And if those are still too high for you, there are all sorts of other options available to ease the strain on your bank account as well as on those left behind.

After all, that is really the point, to minimise the financial and emotional stress on those left behind.  And to reduce the likelihood of quarrels over what you would have wished: sadly, these are an all to common cause of family splits where emotional, caring individuals vent their distress in ways which are not their usual cooperative style and take entrenched and opposing positions over what may actually be tiny, insignificant details.

Why not contact us today to plan for the inevitable, for you and your parents? There is no charge for our services, and we can often offer discounts over normal published prices.  Funeral plans are NOT all the same.