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Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 51 – Duty of cremation authority before carrying out cremation

137.This section places a duty on a cremation authority to take reasonable steps to ascertain how an applicant wants the ashes to be dealt with before carrying out the cremation. The options for what may be done with ashes are set out in subsection (3). These are for the cremation authority to keep the ashes for the applicant to collect; keep the ashes for the funeral director to collect; or dispose of the ashes in a way indicated by the applicant or as specified in regulations made by the Scottish Ministers.

138.An applicant will be required to indicate what he or she wishes to be done with the ashes when applying for a cremation. A cremation will not be able to take place if the applicant does not provide this information. A cremation authority is expected to discuss the options with an applicant, including advising where particular options are not available (for example, where an applicant wishes the cremation authority to scatter or bury ashes while the applicant is present).

139.An applicant will be able to specify a way in which ashes should be handled (from particular options) but may also authorise the cremation authority to dispose of the ashes in a way specified in regulations made by the Scottish Ministers. The Scottish Ministers will prescribe ways that are considered appropriate for ashes to be disposed of by a cremation authority.

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