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Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of NSW - Members Site


What should happen to cremated remains?

Once a deceased person has been cremated, what should be done with the ashes?



The simple answer to this question is that cremated remains (ashes) should be dealt with according to the known wishes of the deceased or appropriately authorised persons e.g. the Executor of the estate.

That said, crematorium operators often experience situations where genuine inquiries are received from interested persons e.g. “Where are Gran’s ashes?”.

At times the cemetery records confirm that the ashes were released to a funeral director (who may or may not still be an operating business) or a person (who is unknown to the interested party). In such circumstances, regrettably, no further assistance may be able to be provided by the cemetery operator.

It is preferable if either

  1. the ashes are placed within a grave or ash placement location within the cemetery or

  2. if the ashes are being taken away from the cemetery, that cemetery records are updated to better reflect the planned outcome for those ashes e.g. to be scattered in the sea off the pier at xyz.

The cemetery or crematorium operator can provide guidance on the ash placement options within its grounds.

Before ashes are scattered in public places, it is likely that permission will need to be obtained from an appropriate authority e.g. the Council or sports club or relevant park authority.


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