Why do exhumations happen?

  • movement from the original grave to a different family plot
  • repatriation overseas
  • a court order that requires further forensic examination

Things to consider

  • exhumations are rare and expensive
  • legally a licence is required from the Home Office before any arrangements can be made
  • it is an offence to exhume any human remains without having the necessary permissions
  • an environmental health officer must be present to supervise and ensure the respect for the deceased person is maintained and that public health is protected
  • if the conditions of the licence cannot be met, or there are public health or decency concerns, the exhumation may not go ahead