Burial plots

A burial plot is a piece of land in a cemetery that a commune may decide to grant to someone wishing to establish a grave for him/herself and his/her children or successors.

How does a burial plot work?

An instrument will be drawn up known as a land grant instrument. This may be a municipal order or a real contract.

The grant may be issued by the mayor as delegated by the municipal council, on a temporary basis (for a maximum fifteen years), for thirty years, fifty years or in perpetuity. The municipal council will decide which categories of plot are to be sold (one, two or all categories) and set the rates applicable to the plots granted.

The construction of an ossuary in a cemetery is an obligation of the municipality in the event that the latter issues concessions within that same cemetery. If the cemetery does not provide sufficient space for the construction of the ossuary, the remains of the buried persons are, in principle, placed by the decision of the mayor in the ossuary of another cemetery belonging to the commune.

What is a family burial plot?

A family burial plot may be used to bury the holder, his/her spouse, ascendants, descendants and relatives as well as people the holder is close to such as live-in partners, children of a second spouse's first marriage , etc. It should be pointed out that a plot may be used to receive not only coffins but also urns.

How to renew of the burial plot?

By paying the cost of the granted plot within two years of the renewal date, the holder can extend his/her rights for a further period. This may take the form of a renewal or an extension if the cemetery grants longer periods. Municipal authorities may reclaim plots for which the grant is not renewed i.e. within two years of the renewal date. A special case arises when "perpetual" plots are no longer maintained. A complex procedure is required for recovery on grounds of abandonment. ­

How to pass on a burial plot?

Even though they lie outside normal commercial law, the ownership of burial plots may be transferred free of charge, as gifts or bequests. In the absence of testamentary dispositions, the concession is transferred to the heirs, then to the heirs of the heirs (perpetual indivision). Your notaire is at hand to advise you of the best options and solutions to meet your wishes. If a burial plot is transferred as a gift , the beneficiary must ask the mayor to draw up a new land grant instrument on presentation of the Authentic instrument making the gift.

Frequently asked questions