Exhumations are rare and tend to be traumatic for the family involved. The information below has been written to help you make the best decision for your family.

Exhumations can take a long time to arrange and are usually expensive. In most cases, you will need to pay your own legal fees.

We cannot carry out an exhumation without the correct licences and permission from the Sheriff Court.

If you have any questions about the exhumation of human remains, please contact us using the details on this page.

There is a set process you must go through to get an exhumation licence:

  • The next of kin must choose a solicitor, except in cases where a cremation casket is to be exhumed.
  • The solicitor must contact us to confirm details of the burial and ownership of the grave. If the exhumation is not for the last person buried in the grave, then additional exhumation licences are legally required to exhume all the remains required.
  • Once we have confirmed these details, we will issue a "Feasibility Certificate" to the solicitor.
  • The solicitor will ask the Sheriff Court for a licence to exhume. If the deceased is to be reburied, known as reinterment, the Court must be told.
  • The Sheriff will issue a Warrant to Disinter/Reinter. We will report back to the Court once the exhumation and reinterment has taken place.