We have tried to make this section as comprehensive and, above all, as accurate as possible. If you know better in any respect, please tell us by clicking on the “contact Us”.

  1. No law requires you to use an undertaker. An undertaker is your agent, your deputy, your colleague. You are the funeral director
  1. The personal representative (executor or administrator) has a prior right to take charge of a dead body unless i) the coroner wishes to examine the body or ii) the person died of a disease which makes the body infectious
  1. The right to take possession starts at the moment of death
  1. There is no legal requirement to hold a funeral
  1. Dead bodies are not infectious (except in certain circumstances)
  1. You do not have to accept responsibility for disposing of someone who has died
  1. If no one accepts responsibility for disposing of a dead person, it becomes the job of the state
  1. Funeral wishes in wills, unlike gifts such as money, are not legally binding (though may be used to build a case in court if, for example, the disposal method is disputed as in Anstey & Mundle (2016))
  1. An executor or administrator can be replaced under certain circumstances
  1. The death must be registered
  1. Failure to dispose of a body may result in prosecution
  1. The person who engages an undertaker is responsible for paying the bill
  1. You may bury a dead person on your own land
  1. A buried body can only be moved with permission
  1. There is no legal definition of ashes
  1. Under certain circumstances it may be necessary to seek permission to exhume ashes
  1. The application procedure for cremation is designed to rule out foul play
  1. You don’t have to bury or cremate someone who has died. You can preserve them
  1. A one-off open-air funeral pyre is probably not illegal
  1. There is no statutory bereavement leave